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October 31, 2013 12:35 PM Climbing Onto the Monetary Policy Crazy Train to Protest Benghazi!

By Ed Kilgore

It’s never that surprising when John McCain and Lindsey Graham act in tandem. But still: when the amigos climb on board the Rand Paul Monetary Policy Crazy Train of a challenge to Janet Yellen’s nomination, linked to a demand that the administration cooperate with their Benghazi! investigations, things have gone seriously eskew. Here’s the basics from TPM’s Catherine Thompson:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Wednesday that he and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) plan to delay the nomination of Janet Yellen to chair the Federal Reserve in order to obtain information on the 2012 Benghazi attacks from the Obama administration, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“That’s the only way we get their attention,” McCain told the Journal. “It’s the only way we get any response.”
Graham wrote on his Twitter account Monday that he would block confirmation of all the Obama administration’s appointees until Benghazi survivors are made available to testify before Congress. The South Carolina Republican also threatened to hold the nominations of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and CIA Director John Brennan earlier this year until the White House explained Obama’s actions on the night of the attack.
McCain and Graham join Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in threatening to block Obama’s Fed appointee. Paul announced Tuesday that unless Senate leadership ties Yellen’s confirmation to a vote on his Fed transparency bill, he intends to put a hold on the nomination.

You can read the original WSJ report here.

Putting aside the spectacle of the two-cushion shot of Republican senators coming together to hold a major nomination hostage to not one but two right-wing hobbyhorses, you have to wonder how the financial types reading the WSJ feel about it. I mean, the GOP just got through risking major financial instability over the debt limit. Now here’s an Unholy Trinity of senators messing with a Fed nomination that Wall Street itself would like to see glide through with minimum fuss, given the vast jitters associated with any instability at the Fed.

The whole amigos gambit, of course, is a thinly veiled effort to save Graham from a primary “purge” in South Cackalacky. Benghazi! is his main bond with the bountiful constitutional conservatives of the Palmetto State who for the most part wouldn’t cross the street to hear ol’ Lindsey speak even if he was dispensing free food and military appropriations. But in holding up Yellen and making common cause with Paul, they’re playing a dangerous game.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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