On September 11, 2012, an attack in Benghazi resulted in the deaths of four Americans. In the wake of this tragedy, there are legitimate questions that need to be answered. Many Democrats have raised such questions. Many Republicans, however, have been using the attacks to assail the foreign policy of Barack Obama. That is why they are still clamoring for General David Petraeus to testify before Congress despite his resignation as a result of his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. Republicans want Petraeus to testify instead of Mike Morell, his Deputy and current interim Director of the Central Intelligence Agency because the media coverage will be more intense, thereby ensuring that they will get the opportunity to once again highlight their criticisms of the president’s foreign policy.
For decades, Republicans were considered stronger on issues of national security. Over the last few years, however, Republicans have lost this reputation ... and for key reasons. First is the Iraq War, launched by George W. Bush, which cost the country over $800 billion, helping contribute to our current national debt problem. Polls now show that most Americans believe the invasion was a mistake. Second, Obama has decimated Al-Qaeda, and has killed the group's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Because of his success in the War on Terror, the public has given Obama high marks on foreign policy. Obama was the first Democrat who enjoyed an advantage over his Republican opponent in decades on foreign policy in a presidential race.
Still, Republicans have sought to portray the president as weak. Their constant criticisms, however, have failed to get any traction with the public as the polls indicate. Republicans seem to think that the hearings on the Benghazi attacks are an opportunity to put the spotlight on the president’s shortcomings on foreign policy.
Republicans and conservative activists have not been deterred by their failure, thus far, to pin the blame for the attacks on Obama, thereby making it more likely that the tragedy would become a political liability for the president. Having failed in this endeavor in the past two months, many Republicans want to use the Benghazi hearing not merely to get answers to legitimate questions but to re-launch their attacks on the president’s conduct of foreign policy.