It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.   It may explain why Republicans have spent the last thirty years in an Alzheimer-like state, in the grand tradition of their savior and leader, Ronald Reagan. Their inability to process simple facts, their mindless repetition of phrases, and their fixation with lost causes would leave The Gipper sincerely flattered, if not sincerely confused. They deny climate science, insist that money will sometime in the future miraculously trickle down to the needy, and are obsessed with the impossible task of repealing Obamacare. Lest anyone fear that some in the party may try to reverse course in an effort fight the dementia, rest assured; there is no change planned. Witness the aftermath of the recent debate.

Ever since the final bell sounded on the September Republican debate, one echo continues to resound: Jeb Bush’s surreal comment that “my brother kept America safe.” This absurd remark went totally unchallenged by every Republican hopeful on the stage. Dutifully denying reality, the ten challengers choked on the unwritten commandment that one should never speak ill of a fellow Republican.   The media played its part by obsequiously ignoring the fact that the fateful day of September 11 occurred in 2001, a year when George W Bush just happened to be President. To accept Jeb’s dreamlike interpretation of keeping America safe, one must infer that the sickening images of collapsing buildings, billowing smoke, fire, planes crashing, and human carnage simply did not involve safety issues; or possibly Jeb meant that George did his part to keep America safe, but it was United Airlines that was responsible for the terrorist onslaught.

For the last month all the embarrassed candidates have been left grimly hoping that by ignoring Jeb’s fantasy rewrite of his brother’s failures, they could persuade voters to fixate on something important–like Hillary’s email account. Thus it fell to the irascible Donald Trump to make the startling observation that the worst attack in American history happened while Jeb’s brother was in charge. This boorish breach of etiquette was met with immediate denunciation by Jeb, who responded with his usual quick wit: “He’s not fit to be President.” It is interesting that after all of the aggressive, alpha- male promises the candidates made during the debate about attacking Iran, threatening the evil Putin and completely annihilating ISIS, not one of them has been able to muster a word in response to the orange-haired orangutan from New York.

This series of events must be a very encouraging development for Hillary Clinton, soon to be the subject of interrogation by the Blue Ribbon Special Select Ultimate and Definitive Committee Investigating the Benghazi Attack. I can imagine the line of questioning by the committee. The pompous chairman of the committee, fully aware of the momentous occasion, basking in the glare of countless television cameras and lights, opens the proceedings by reciting a litany of charges against the former Secretary of State, ranging from negligence to incompetence, his voice rising with each accusation. Finally, at crescendo, the chairman demands: “Mrs. Clinton, what is your response to the tragic events surrounding the Benghazi attack?” “I kept Benghazi safe,” Clinton firmly replies. The chairman sits dumbfounded. Beads of sweat can be seen dripping off the double chins of the committee members.   After an uncomfortably long pause the Chairman declares, “This inquiry is now officially closed.”

The New York Times briefly notes on page nine that the Benghazi hearings have ended. Talk radio shows spend weeks switching focus to the growing threat of Muslim terrorists entering the country posing as Guatemalan refugees. Somewhere in New Hampshire, Donald Trump is holding a press conference. Someone asks him a question about Benghazi.
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