There is no mystery as to how House Republicans intend to conduct their latest Benghazi investigation. The head of the select committee has admitted publicly he’s already pre-judged the Obama administration; House Republicans have already begun exploiting the panel for fundraising; and GOP leaders have already rejected Democratic appeals to make the process fair and non-partisan.
House Dems have debated among themselves whether to (a) boycott the committee, since it’s such an obvious sham and doesn’t deserve bipartisan legitimacy; or (b) participate in order to keep an eye on the proceedings and push back when Republicans go too far.
A week ago, however, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, suggested a third option: (c) participate, but only send one person to serve on the committee, instead of the five slots Republicans are offering (as compared to the GOP’s seven). The thinking is, one person could serve as a token Democrat, keeping tabs on the witch hunt while occasionally interjecting in hearings with islands of reality in a sea of conspiracy theories.
But if Dems pursued this approach, who would they pick? Greg Sargent reports that one name seems to be coming up quite a bit: Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)
It now appears that the Draft Grayson movement is gaining a bit of traction, with two major liberal groups giving some thought to pushing it.A petition on the Credo Mobilize site calling on House Democrats to send only Grayson has now garnered 17,000 signatures. Credo officials say they think it’s possible the signatures could soon pass the 50,000 mark.Meanwhile, a source at MoveOn tells me the group “has taken notice and is looking into the idea as a way of exposing the committee as the kangaroo court that it is.”
House Democrats still have some time before they have to make a decision on how best, or whether, to proceed, and I haven’t seen Grayson comment on whether he even wants the gig.
But this arguably represents the most provocative of the Dems’ options.
For those unfamiliar with the Florida Democrat, he’s an unapologetic liberal with a track record of annoying Republicans with aggressive rhetoric.
Grayson has also offered some rather firm opinions about Benghazi conspiracy theories.
It’s easy to understand what progressive activists are thinking: if Republicans insist on engaging in an eye-rolling, election-year stunt masquerading as a select committee, Democrats might as well respond in kind, appointing one member who’d probably annoy GOP panelists as much as anyone else on Capitol Hill.
That said, it’s not clear House Democratic leaders would be amenable to the idea, with one House Democratic aide telling Greg, “It would be in our interest to have someone in there with great credibility and stature among both Democrats and Republicans. It’s unclear Grayson would be that person, despite his talents.”
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The Dems' possible Plan C for the Republicans' Benghazi committee