Yesterday at the Benghazi hearings, Elijah Cummings saw fit to quote something he'd said recently at a family funeral. Why was this member of Congress, sitting through a committing hearing going into what happened before, during, and after the Benghazi attacks, reminiscing about remarks he himself made the other day to help grieving people come to terms with a death in the family?
Is it that he admired his own words? That would take some strange self-regard, because the words are no special wisdom, but the generic stuff of funerals. In the midst of life we are in death....
It must be that he equated the witnesses at the hearing to the mourners at a funeral, who experience the abrupt upheaval of a death in the family and need a way to pull themselves together and continue with their lives. A funeral is decidedly not the time to ask questions about why the death occurred. Leaders at a funeral set about tending to the emotional and spiritual lives of those who must keep living and who are at risk of becoming despondent or obsessed with questions about how it could have happened.
Cummings was on message with the Democratic Party talking point on Benghazi: It happened. Move on. Hillary Clinton chose an indignant, accusatory "What difference, at this point, does it make?" Cummings assumed the pose of the family elder, comforting the suffering, as if the witnesses emotionally were weak mourners who don't know how to let go of the painful memories and go forward to live productive lives.
The analogy is telling and quite outrageous.
IN THE COMMENTS ddh said: "Can someone explain to me how we can make life a part of death?" Ah, yes. My post is about the first part of Cummings's quote, a standard sentiment at funerals. The second part of his quote "life a part of death" is puzzling. Maybe at the funeral he talked about the afterlife. Maybe he talked about the fact that living people are spending some of their alive time in the company of a corpse. What that has to do with a congressional hearing... who knows? Maybe he's thinking: I'm alive and yet I must spend some of my precious time with this corpse of a political issue.