‘What difference, at this point, does it make?’


More so than even most of his colleagues, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is not a fan of doing his homework. Occasionally, this causes the far-right senator some embarrassment – and this morning offered a classic example.

At a Senate hearing on the Benghazi attack, Johnson clearly had a political goal, hoping to use the discussion to score cheap points by focusing on the intelligence community’s preliminary talking points from mid-September. For the senator, the fact that some of the early details were incorrect is still critically important. For Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Johnson’s pettiness is annoying.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest, or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator. Now, honestly, I will do my best to answer your questions about this. The fact is that people were trying, in real time, to get to the best information.”

There was some talk on the right that Clinton wanted to get out of testifying, and some Republicans even accused her of faking a serious head injury so as to avoid participating in hearings on the violence in Benghazi.

After watching the hearing this morning, it looks to me like she’s more than prepared to respond to whatever the administration’s critics want to throw at her.