|"You have a new idea for a scandal? Proceed."|
The IRS scandal is instructive. The most damning moment of the episode was the first day, when the IRS disclosed that it applied one-sided scrutiny to conservative political organizations seeking tax-exempt status.
But then the IRS inspector general, a Republican, reported that the entire program came from within the agency, with no direction at all from Obama or any members of his team. It was just an agency scandal. Subsequent revelations have made the matter look even more benign. Apparently, the agency also targeted liberal groups for possible violations, using terms like progressive to flag political groups. In other words, there may be no scandal here at all. The IRS was looking to make sure political groups weren’t abusing the tax code by pretending to be nonpolitical, and it tried to search for such abuses by using terms like tea party and progressive that would signal partisanship.
Why did we think the agency was targeting only conservatives? Because apparently Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, ordered the agency to audit its treatment of tea-party groups, and only tea-party groups. The IRS dutifully reported it was indeed targeting tea-party groups; everybody assumed it was doing no such thing to liberal groups. The IRS inspector general is defending its probe, but the IRS's flagging of conservative groups seems, at worst, to be marginally stricter than its flagging of liberal groups, not the one-sided political witch hunt potrayed by early reports.
What about the rest of the scandals? Well, there aren’t any, and there never were. Benghazi is a case of a bunch of confused agencies caught up in a fast-moving story trying to coordinate talking points. The ever-shifting third leg of the Obama scandal trifecta — Obama’s prosecution of leaks, or use of the National Security Agency — is not a scandal at all. It’s a policy controversy. One can argue that Obama’s policy stance is wrong, or dangerous, or a threat to democracy. But when the president is carrying out duly passed laws and acting at every stage with judicial approval, then the issue is the laws themselves, not misconduct.
The whole Obama scandal episode is a classic creation of a “narrative” — the stitching together of unrelated data points into a story.
You know I think it must literally drives the Republicans crazy that Obama is so squeaky clean.
No graft, no philandering, no huge gaffes, virtually nothing for the Republicans to work with in order to destroy his credibility or halt the political ground being gained by the Democrats.
Almost makes you wonder if there is a 12 step program for conservatives to help them deal with the withdrawal symptoms they are suffering after coming up empty so many times?
I have a suggestion for them. They could always investigate each other.
After all you KNOW there is no lack of Republican scandals just WAITING to be uncovered.
Perhaps they even could start with Darrell Issa? There is no way that a guy who acts like him, and looks like an extra from "Goodfellas," could be clean. No way!
Update: While we are on this topic, do you remember how Fox News, Right Wing radio, and Teabaggers, like Sarah Palin, claimed that Ambassador Stephens and three others were killed because there was a "stand down" order given preventing them from being rescued?
Yeah, not so much:
The former commander of a four-member Army Special Forces unit in Tripoli, Libya, denied Wednesday that he was told to stand down during last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
In a closed-door session with the House Armed Services Committee, Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson said his commanders told him to remain in the capital of Tripoli to defend Americans in the event of additional attacks and to help survivors being evacuated from Benghazi.
"Contrary to news reports, Gibson was not ordered to 'stand down' by higher command authorities in response to his understandable desire to lead a group of three other special forces soldiers to Benghazi," the Republican-led committee said in a summary of its classified briefing with military officials, including Gibson.
So Palin's sing song refrain of "The President lied, and people died" is complete bullshit.