The four Ds of the Democrats' Benghazi strategy: Deny, Delay, Disrupt, Discredit
By Mark Tapscott | MAY 7, 2014 AT 8:41 AM
President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress and the mainstream media face a huge problem in House Speaker John Boehner's decision to appoint a select committee headed by Rep. Trey Gowdy to investigate the Benghazi scandal.
Gowdy is a former prosecutor who has demonstrated beyond any doubt in his work on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he means business. Don't be deceived by the Southern manners and the "Yes Ma'ams" and "No sirs."
So Democrats will spare no effort to make Gowdy's life miserable and the work of the panel impossible to complete.
The Democrats' response
White House spokesman Jay Carney and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi framed the Democratic strategy as soon as Boehner's decision became clear.
Carney said "If you look at even what some Republicans have said, it certainly casts doubt on the legitimacy of an effort that is so partisan in nature."
Even "some Republicans" question whether the select committee "is necessary after seven congressional committees and multiple investigations," he added.
As for Pelosi, she initially hinted that House Democrats would boycott the panel, then demanded that Boehner appoint equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans as members.
Deny, Delay, Disrupt, Discredit
Neither the boycott threat nor the equal numbers demand were credible, so what to expect now that there will be seven GOP members of the select committee and five Democrats?
Between now and Election Day, the Obama White House will claim to be cooperating with the Gowdy panel even as it delays in every way possible providing either documents or witnesses.
Within the panel itself, there will be endless procedural controversies and debates over how the investigation should proceed, who should be subjected to depositions, and what witnesses to call for testimony.
Leaks about Gowdy's alleged partisanship and hard-edged tactics will pour out of the minority side and be dutifully reported by the mainstream media.
Once the November election is over, there will be pressure on Republicans to wrap up the panel before the new Congress convenes. Whether that happens will depend primarily on the election results.
But in any case, Democrats will seek to discredit the panel's work after the election and will demand that it be closed so the new Congress can "move on" to more important issues.
In the meantime, Gowdy will be profiled throughout the mainstream media as the panel is assembled. It will not be a complimentary framing of the South Carolinian.