“I think it’s a hunting mission for a lynch mob,” said Dianne Feinstein of the renewed pressure to investigate the Benghazi attacks. I find the sentence very clunky and confusing, but I believe she is saying that a crowd of people is working very hard to find another crowd, to commit a lynching. By which she means House Republicans are trying to stir up their base to go after Obama. Although I do believe my analysis of her meaning is correct, perhaps someone should remind Ms. Feinstein that generally speaking, when you are hunting for something, you kill it. Presumably she does not mean that House Republicans want to kill lynch mobs, since she seems disposed to thinking that Republicans are lynch mobs. True, colloquially speaking “hunt” does not always imply kill or harm; there is “house hunting” after all. But still, when you “house hunt,” you look for a particular thing that exists, the same goes when you are “hunting for a parking space” or some such. So if you were on the hunt for a lynch mob, you would be actively seeking a lynch mob you know to exist. But to do that, you would probably just go onto a neo-Nazi web-forum or ask an uncle of poor character. How would you find a lynch mob by forming a special committee in Congress? If the committee were created with the purpose of finding and rooting out lynch mobs, you could say it was on a “hunting mission for a lynch mob” — but the committee is investigating corrupt/lying politicians and an event that transpired in Libya. Although the people that killed four Americans in Benghazi just before the last election are generally considered terrorists, and sometimes “rioters,” one could probably make the argument that they constituted a kind of “lynch mob.” However, this new committee is not investigating the murders in far away lands, the committee is investigating the politicians at home (if one can refer to Washington D.C. as “home”) – and Ms. Feinstein certainly does not think of the Obama Administration as a lynch mob.
Were she a bit more articulate, she may have said something like, “I think it’s a mission to stir up a lynch mob.” The word “hunt” implies too direct an action to fit well in her liberal, race-baiting allusion. While no one should be surprised that Ms. Feinstein knows little about hunting, we should perhaps be surprised by her lack of eloquent diction; she did go to Stanford after all. What was it that the (always eloquent) late Joe Sobran said?
In 100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching Remedial English in college
Originally published by Chronicles on May 21st, 2014