Could what happened in Benghazi lead to an impeachment of the president? Based on existing evidence it could — largely because impeachment and allegations of misbehavior have become the Godwin's Law of national politics. As described by its creator, a man named Mike Godwin, the law states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1." Godwin explained the rationale in an interview with New York in March. Asked if he'd use the same definition today:
The only thing I would say it turns out not to be limited to online discussions. Other than that, it still seems to have some observational value. It’s the worst thing anybody can think of, so if you have some kind of rhetorical escalation with someone you disagree with, it’s sort of easy to go there if you’re not very reflective about what you’re saying.
When you're trying to win a heated rhetorical point, it's very hard for the rhetoric not to escalate. The worst scandal in modern American political history is Watergate — a sitting president conspiring to break the law and cover up his crimes. Therefore, in order to disparage a president, it's helpful if his crimes can be portrayed as worse than Watergate. It is politically helpful if you can suggest that what he's done rises to the highest level of reprimand. Obama's critics have previously suggested that the Department of Justice's "Fast and Furious" or calls for new gun control measures have warranted the consideration of impeachment. If you want to say that you disagree with what the president is doing, and you want to make it stick, you say it may be an impeachable offense. It's worse than the worst thing you can imagine.
At issue is the administration's behavior in the aftermath of the attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya — or, for some, the lead-up to it. Attention to the situation has steadily ramped up over the past few months, fueled heavily by right-wing media attention. The House Committee on Oversight held hearings last week offering testimony from "whistleblowers;" on Friday, ABC released drafts of talking points that demonstrated how various claims had been edited out.