Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck gives his acceptance speech to supporters as his daughter Kaitlin celebrates in Loveland, Colorado, August 10, 2010.
Rick Wilking/Reuters

GOP congressman tries to connect refugees, Benghazi

Updated
There is literally nothing unhinged members of Congress can’t connect to Benghazi in some wild-eyed way. As hard as this may be to believe, this even includes Syrian refugees.
 
TPM reported yesterday on an amazing exchange at a congressional hearing.
Colorado Republican Rep. Ken Buck on Thursday blamed the President’s handling of the 2011 terrorist attack in Benghazi for Americans’ distrust of Syrian refugees today.
 
In a back-and-forth with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez, Buck argued that no one should be surprised Americans are deeply concerned about refugees considering the way Obama handled the aftermath of the Benghazi attacks.
Initially, I took this to mean that Buck was conflating terrorists in Libya and refugees from Syria, but that’s not it.
 
Rather, the Colorado Republican was endorsing far-right Benghazi conspiracy theories, which leads him to believe the White House covered up some imaginary scandal, which then leads him to believe Americans don’t trust the administration, which then leads Buck to believe Benghazi is indirectly responsible for creating public hostility towards refugees from an entirely different country.
 
“It is a result of this administration’s lack of credibility that has caused the fear and panic among many of the Americans in this country,” Buck said, as if Republican demagoguery is unrelated to irrational public anxiety.
 
Incidentally, whatever happened to that ridiculous GOP-led Benghazi Committee? As it turns out, it still exists – the panel’s price tag crossed the $5 million mark this week – and its members are still saying odd things. BuzzFeed reported on Tuesday:
Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a member of the House Select Committee On Benghazi, said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton laid “a trap” for the committee by making her Oct. 22 appearance go “as long as possible.” […]
 
“As you know, some of you may have watched the marathon Hillary Clinton fiasco, and I say that because Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, wanted to interview her in private, and she said, ‘No, I want to do this in public,’” Westmoreland said in a recent speech uploaded to YouTube.
 
“Now to me, that was us stepping in a trap because we should have known that she was going to go on and just stall, debate, filibuster, on these answers to make it go as long as possible, so we would look cruel,” he continued.
Jeet Heer joked, “By Westmoreland’s account, Clinton is more than a clever politician. She seems to be a superwoman of some kind, perhaps even a Jedi master, able to sway the weak minds of Republican lawmakers and make them behave in a self-destructive way on national television. If Clinton is as powerful as Westmoreland apparently thinks, she has the makings of a great president.”
 
The Georgia congressman went on to argue that Clinton, over the course of her 11 hours of testimony, was “proven a liar on national TV,” though he neglected to mention what Clinton said that wasn’t true.
 
Meanwhile, at least for now, the committee’s Democratic members intend to stay on the panel, even as they push for the ridiculous sham to end.
 
 

Benghazi, Conspiracy Theories and Ken Buck

GOP congressman tries to connect refugees, Benghazi

Updated