This is not the first time at all that Graham has threatened to take hostages in the Senate to get his way, nor even the first time his demands have related to Benghazi. Graham issued a warning about no nominations proceeding unless the Port of Charleston received the $50,000 needed to be deepened back in 2011. In Dec. 2012, Graham threatened to allow the U.S. to go over the so-called “fiscal cliff” unless the Social Security age was raised.
On Benghazi itself, Graham has had his exact demands change along with his targets. CIA Director John Brennan was threatened not to be confirmed unless Graham was able to learn precisely who changed the infamous “talking points” that now-National Security Advisor Susan Rice delivered the week after the attack. He also swore to not allow a vote on Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense unless his predecessor Leon Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
When congressional Republicans finally ended their government shutdown two weeks ago, it was only natural for political observers to wonder what GOP lawmakers would tackle next. The most common guesses were obvious: (1) keep trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act; (2) kill immigration reform; and (3) bring back Benghazi conspiracy theories.
The first is well underway, as is the second, and right on cue, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is back to the third.
On Fox News this morning, Graham called for yet another new committee to investigate the same attack that’s already been investigated by several other committees. He added, “I’m going to block every appointment in the United States Senate until the survivors are being made available to the Congress.” He liked the line so much, the Republican senator pushed it on Twitter soon after.
Hayes Brown documented the series of recent Graham tantrums, of which there are many.
Keep in mind, Senate Democrats are now preparing to move on several confirmation votes, and if Graham decides to block literally all of them because of a right-wing conspiracy theory, it’s quite likely talk of the “nuclear option” would make a sudden comeback.