Fifteen Democratic lawmakers walked out of the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Thursday, just before testimony from family members of two men murdered during the terrorist raid a year ago in Benghazi, Libya.
The committee had already accepted testimony from Adm. Mike Mullen and others and was about to hear from family members of the victims. They included Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer at the facility who was killed early in the attack along with Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
The committee was also set to hear testimony from Charles Woods, the father of former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was killed defending the compound from the roof of the security annex along with fellow former SEAL Glen Doherty.
At that point, the 15 Democratic members excused themselves without offering a reason and left.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was so appalled by the disrespect shown the family members that he snapped a photo of the empty seats in hearing room and published it with this tweet:
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) September 19, 2013
Only two Democrats remained: ranking minority member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif.
Here’s a list of the lawmakers who walked out:
Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.
Danny Davis, D-Ill.
Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.
Gerald E. Connolly, D-Va.
Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
John Tierney, D-Mass.
Mark Pocan, D-Wisc.
Matt Cartwright, D-Penn.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.
.Peter Welch, D-Vt.
Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.
Steven Horsford, D-Nev.
Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
Tony Cardenas, D-Calif.
William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.
By Thursday evening, Issa’s tweet was retweeted more than 1,100 times, many accompanied by comments calling the walkout “shameful, “ “disgusting” and “outrageous,” to mention a few.
Democrats like to paint their party as humane, compassionate and representative of the common man. Thursday was a major fail on all those counts.