[There was a video here]

The latest round of Benghazi hearings are, in theory, tailored to focus on how the attack happened and who, if anyone, is to blame. But for Rep. Trey Gowdy, a real high school hall monitor of a politician, there’s a larger issue at hand: Sidney Blumenthal’s unkind emails.

“In one email, he wrote this about the President’s Secretary of Defense: ‘I infer Gates’ problem is losing an internal debate. Tyler...knows him well and says he’s a mean, vicious little’—I’m not going to say the word, but he did,” Gowdy narced. “And here’s another Blumenthal email to you about the president’s national security advisor. ‘Frankly Tom Donlan’s babbling rhetoric about narratives on the phone briefing of reporters on March 10 has inspired derision among serious foreign policy analysts both here and abroad.’”

Damn. But then Gowdy produces an embarrassingly lame trump card: an email disrespecting the president by referring to him simply as “Obama” (no title!)

“This is a quote from him: ‘I would say Obama’—and by- the way, he left the president part out— ‘I would say Obama appears to be intent on seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. He and his political cronies in the White House and Chicago are, to say the least, unenthusiastic about regime change in Libya. Obama’s lukewarm and self-contradicting statements have produced what is, at least for the moment, operational paralysis.’”

“You know, Mr. Chairman, if you don’t have any friends who say unkind things, I congratulate you,” Hillary said.

“I’d like to think I would correct them,” Gowdy replied—and trust me, no one doubts you would, buddy.

Contact the author at gabrielle@gawker.com.