Charles Krauthammer says the Republicans’ attempt to compel Obama national-security aid Ben Rhodes to testify was a mistake:
When you listen to [Press Secretary] Josh Earnest, that was an exercise in linguist acrobatics to say something very simple: If there’s a subpoena, you call it ‘executive privilege,’ if there isn’t a subpoena, you call it something else.
Either way it’s exactly the same idea, and I do think the administration is right. If this were a Republican administration you [still] would not want the Congress compelling an advisor to give the advice in public. That’s well known, that’s well practiced — which is why I think the entire exercise was a bit of a misfire on the part of the Republicans. It was obvious [the administration] was not going to allow [Rhodes] to testify.
Rhodes had completely embarrassed himself, completely exposed the administration for its deception and its misleading and the use of pliant people in the press to echo their misstatements. That was already out there, it was in a big argument, it was known.
There was no way you were going to get live testimony. I don’t think they should have attempted this because . . . it was turned by Democrats into a retrial and a revisiting of the Iraq War which is not to the GOP’s advantage.