BY: Joel Gehrke
January 29, 2013 | 12:00 am
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while lamenting the partisanship of congressional Republicans who grilled her about the Benghazi attack, encouraged Republicans not to imitate the unwillingness to compromise evinced by terrorists in North Africa.
“It has been increasingly partisan,” Clinton said today at the Newseum when asked to comment on the questioning she faced from Republicans last week. “You can be partisan, you can have a strong sense of the rightness of your position, but democracy and certainly legislative bodies require compromise. And you can’t let compromise become a dirty word because then you veer toward fanaticism.”
“I mean, we were just talking about extremists who think it’s only their way, they are the ones who have the truth, none of the rest of us have any kind of claim on what is real in their views,” she continued. “And so it’s important in our democracies – like Australia, like the United States – that yes, be passionate, be intense about your feelings, but at the end of the day you’ve got to serve the people who sent you there, and that requires compromise.”
The “extremists” Clinton had just been discussing included those that carried out the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, resulting in the deaths of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans.
“This is not what the Arab revolution was about, and there’s a great deal of concern across the region about people who choose to use violence to try to impose their extremist views rather than participate in politics,” Clinton said of the terrorist attacks taking place around North Africa. “It does have the potential, however, of expanding beyond the region, which is why I think you’re seeing an international concern and coalition coming together to support the people of Mali, to stand by the Government of Algeria, to work with the Government of Libya, so that they themselves are given the tools they need to combat this extremist threat.”