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On Newtown vs. Benghazi: Selective Outrage Is Killing America

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By Jordan Chariton
May 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm



“Our goal in this investigation is to get answers because their families deserve answers. They were promised answers at the highest level when their bodies came home. The President was there, the Vice President was there … We want to make certain those promises are kept on behalf of those individuals.”

Rep. Darrell Issa delivered these important words on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Issa continued this line of earnest logic: “We also want to make certain that our government learns the proper lessons from this tragedy so it never happens again, and so the right people are held accountable.”

Darrell-IssaWatching and listening to Rep. Issa as he read out the names of the four American victims of the U.S. consulate attack in Libya on September 11, 2012, as he toed the GOP line of “getting to the bottom of Benghazi,” disbelief started to sink in.

Sheer disbelief. It stems from the fact that these words and actions from Mr. Issa and his GOP colleagues about “families deserving answers” and “tragedy never happening again” were about a rare attack killing four American government workers in Libya, but not about 20 children and six teachers killed in Newtown, 12 movie-goers killed in Aurora, 12 killed at Columbine High, 32 killed at Virginia Tech, eight killed at a Seal Beach California hair salon, six killed at a Tucson “Congress on Your Corner” event, six killed at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, five killed in a Seattle café, four killed in a Nevada IHOP, and hundreds of thousands of inner city gun deaths. No, to Mr. Issa and his cohorts, those examples are simply the price of freedom in America.

What about those families? What about making sure those tragedies never happen again? Where’s that sentiment? Where’s that solemn promise?

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How one of the two major political parties in America is allowed, by the legacy media, and more so the citizens they are representing, to embark on an all-out crusade over a one-off incident in Libya (under presidential terrorist ass-killer Barack Obama, no less) but get away with doing nothing and preventing anything from getting done on gun violence is politics at its worst.

Four dead Americans in Libya is not nothing. It’s a terrible loss. Their families deserve our sympathy and, indeed, answers from the government their lost loved ones served. But what about the parents of the aforementioned gun victims, specifically from Sandy Hook? In return for turning their grief into action on Capitol Hill, they received platitudes about the Second Amendment and a “So sorry for your loss, there’s the door.”

The difference between Benghazi and Newtown is simple: The former hinges on answers, the latter on action. And for the new Republican Party, born in the Era of Obama, answers are search-worthy if it can take down the President, and action is not about people, but about the politics. From immigration to gun violence, when is the last time the GOP searched for answers or took action based on what will help America, and not themselves?

Look back no further than the GOP presidential nominee, who twisted himself into a weird-looking political pretzel in order to come off as a Man of the People. By doing this, the GOP is not just hurting America, but themselves.

Ninety percent of Americans want action on background checks, not investigations into what happened in Benghazi. Sadly, no amount of hearings or cable news appearances will bring back the victims in Libya or Newtown, but a shift from selective outrage to collective action can do something much greater than embolden ideologues on the right.

It can save innocent schoolchildren and Americans going about their day, who know or care little about politics, from getting shot and blown away by deranged gunmen — with a simple assist from lawmakers too busy engaging in witch hunts on Benghazi rather than trying to save their lives.

Jordan Chariton is a politics, media and culture writer. He has previously produced for Foxnews.com’s “Strategy Room,” Fox Business Network’s “Freedom Watch,” and MSNBC Dayside. Tweet him @JordanChariton.

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