Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) look pretty foolish yesterday during a hearing on Benghazi. He made matters worse for himself after the hearing -- accusing Clinton of faking her emotions -- though he eventually expressed some regret for his churlishness.
But Johnson apparently learned very little from the incident.
For reasons that could only make sense to Johnson and conspiracy theorists, the far-right Wisconsinite remains preoccupied with preliminary intelligence reports from September that there were protests in Benghazi before the deadly violence erupted. Today, during John Kerry's confirmation hearing, Johnson wanted the Democrat to commit publicly to help him "find out what actually happened." Kerry explained that we already know what actually happened.
Kerry: Senator, in all fairness, we do know what happened. I think it is very clear. Were you at the briefing with the tapes?Johnson: No.Kerry: Well, there was a briefing with tapes, which we all saw, those of us who went to it, which made it crystal clear. We sat for several hours with our intel folks who described to us precisely what we were seeing. We saw all of the events unfold. We had a very complete and detailed description.
Johnson responded he still wants to know about the formation of the preliminary talking points, but (a) his obsession with this narrow aspect has become nonsensical; and (b) he's preoccupied with trivia that's already been addressed more than once. The early intelligence said there were protests that preceded the violence. Subsequent intelligence provided additional, more accurate, information.
Johnson apparently can't let this go because he and some conspiracy theorists are convinced there's a secret political scheme hidden just out of view, but for the second time in two days, the senator had been left looking like he has no idea what he's talking about.
And after reviewing the last several months, a pattern emerges: Johnson routinely seems to have no idea what he's talking about.