Benghazi

Tell Us Something We Don’t Know

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Mister Benghazi himself, former Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, is on his way out the door and now that he's taking stock of his accomplishments he's coming up empty.

He 'doesn't have a lot to show," Gowdy says.

“I have 19 more drives to the airport before this session is over,” he told Vice. “I liked the people, I don’t like the job. … To the extent men judge themselves based on what they do for a living, I don’t have a lot to show for the last seven years.”

Gowdy announced his retirement in January by proclaiming: “Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress.” He’s been critical of the gig ever since and told Vice Thursday that lawmakers’ main downfall is the constant need to “win.”

“We’ve convinced ourselves that we have to win because the country will go to Hades in a handbasket if my team doesn’t win,” he said.

Gowdy is right that members of Congress are too focused on winning instead of producing sound policy, but he's also wrong because he led the "winning" charge. Republicans spent four years repeatedly investigating Benghazi for the expressed goal of winning in 2016 and Gowdy played the biggest role in that.

With that said, Gowdy isn't unique.

What does any Republican who's been in office for the last decade have to show for themselves?

The most generous thing you could say is they finally passed tax cuts for the rich. Republicans have whiffed on almost every single other policy goal even though they've controlled Congress for four years and currently control the White House as well. Although their ideas are profoundly bad, they probably could have realized and accomplished more of them if they were willing to make incremental progress toward their goals instead of expecting everything to fall into place at once.

We should be thankful that Republicans have failed to achieve most of their (terrible) goals, but it would be nice if Americans would stop electing people who can't govern. It leads to long-term stagnation. The rest of the world is investing in the future while Republicans continue to fight the same fights year after year.