Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-S.C.) approach to September’s deadly attack in Benghazi has gotten a little out of hand. Indeed, in some corners, it’s become a running joke – Lindsey Graham is considering putting a hold on the Super Bowl until he gets answers on Benghazi. Lindsey Graham doesn’t want anyone to finish the third season of Downton Abbey until he gets answers on Benghazi. Lindsey Graham won’t let me have breakfast until he gets answers on Benghazi.
But as he gets more agitated, Graham’s rhetoric is getting more disturbing (via ThinkProgress).
For those who can’t watch clips online, Graham appeared on Fox News this week and was asked about whether he’d consider voting for Chuck Hagel’s Defense Secretary nomination. The senator said it would depend on the upcoming confirmation hearing, before adding:
“But the one thing I’m not going to do is vote on a new secretary of defense until the old secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, who I like very much, testifies about what happened in Benghazi.
“I haven’t forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view.”
Now, I realize “get away with murder” is a common figure of speech, not a literal accusation of homicide. I’m going to hope that the Republican meant that the outgoing Secretary of State “got away with” doing something wrong, not actually killing someone.
That said, when we’re dealing with a crisis in which four Americans were actually murdered, perhaps the senator could have chosen his words more carefully.
But even if we give Graham the benefit of the doubt on this, his position is still increasingly unhinged.
Towards the end of the clip, the South Carolinian vowed to block Hagel’s nomination until Leon Panetta testifies on Benghazi. What does the outgoing Pentagon chief have to do with this? Graham didn’t say. What questions does Graham have that haven’t already been answered? He didn’t say.
Why would he block a confirmation vote on the Secretary of Defense during a war? Graham didn’t say.
It appears the senator wants to keep talking about this for the sake of talking about this. Maybe Graham thinks this will help back home if he faces a primary challenge; maybe he thinks it’ll shave a point off the president’s approval rating.
Whatever his motivations, Graham’s tirades aren’t doing his credibility any favors.