The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from

South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy has been viciously hyper-partisan since the day he rode the 2010 tea party wave to Congress, but now he says his heart was never really in it.

“It’s not who I am,” the congressman insisted in an interview with Vice News.

That would be shocking news to anyone who has watched Gowdy in office. For two-and-a-half years, he chaired the panel investigating Benghazi, spending nearly $8 million to try to prove that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were somehow to blame in some vague but nefarious way.

Now, however, Gowdy is trying to claim distaste for all that partisanship.

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

He certainly seems to have been convinced of that while he was heading the Benghazi committee. But once Trump took office, Gowdy seemed to lose his lust for public exposure of potential wrongdoing.

Now, as he prepares to leave office, he is bemoaning the “ineffectiveness” of being a member of Congress.

“I don’t have a lot to show for the last seven years,” he told Vice.

Though it’s not as if he didn’t try.

But as his party is facing massive losses in the November midterms — and Gowdy, therefore, faces losing his powerful position as chair of the House Oversight Committee — he’s over it. In fact, he never really wanted to play the role of vicious attack dog in the first place.

That, he says now, was former Speaker John Boehner’s doing.

“Boehner put me on the ethics committee,” he said. “He put me on the Benghazi committee.” If Gowdy didn’t really enjoy abusing his power to try to destroy Democrats, he certainly gave a convincing performance.

Gowdy dragged Clinton before his panel to testify for 11 hours in what Republicans — especially former prosecutor Gowdy — desperately hoped would be a historic “gotcha” spectacle that would finally be Clinton’s undoing.

Instead, Clinton was widely declared the winner of that round. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, a member of the panel, later complained that Clinton had essentially outsmarted them.

Gowdy was so rabid in his investigation that he fired an Air Force reservist working on the committee for refusing to focus on Clinton. The Benghazi panel ultimately paid $150,000 of taxpayers’ money to settle a wrongful termination suit.

Despite all those efforts, Gowdy never could find any wrongdoing. No wonder he considers himself “ineffective.”

If it was all just for show and he actually disdains the way Congress works — or the way it’s supposed to work — it’s probably a good thing Gowdy’s taking his toys and going home. Before he can be any more “ineffective” to help his team win.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Pat McCrory

Youtube Screenshot

If former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory is any indication, the GOP primary wounds wrought in the last several months stand a good chance of bleeding into the general election this fall.

McCrory, who lost his bid Tuesday to become the Republican nominee for the Tar Heel State's open Senate seat, declined to endorse his GOP rival, Rep. Ted Budd, the Trump endorsee.

Keep reading... Show less

Dr. Mehmet Oz

Youtube Screenshot

Senate candidate Mehmet Oz thanked Fox News host Sean Hannity for advising him “behind the scenes,” helping to bring him to the cusp of a potential victory in Tuesday night’s primary in Pennsylvania — a revelation that further illustrates Hannity’s position as a Republican operative who leverages his media presence for political influence.

The Republican primary race could potentially go to a recount, with Oz currently ahead of former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick by a slender margin. The winner will face Democratic nominee Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won his primary by a landslide. During a speech on Tuesday night, Oz first thanked his wife, his children, and his campaign staff and then called out two key political figures who endorsed him and advised him throughout the campaign: former President Donald Trump and Hannity.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}