Scandals? Pfffft. There are no scandals. What are you right wing nut jobs talking about?
Peter Fenn writes that we should just ignore these faked, fake, faker, fakest, fakey, more fakerer “scandals” that the Republicans are ginning up out of thin air:
I have to confess that I am the only Washington political junkie who has not watched the series “Scandal,” or even the much acclaimed “House of Cards.” Maybe that makes me not competent to comment on what is going on in Washington these days – IRS, Benghazi, Associated Press reporters tracked. I hope not.
What we are seeing on the nightly news or emanating from Capitol Hill is so far from a “scandal” I find myself in an Alice in Wonderland world. (A Mad Hatter tea party?)
The word scandal does not even fit – this is not Teapot Dome, this is not Spiro Agnew, this is not Watergate, this is not Iran Contra. The 24/7 news cycle has taken the confluence of events and the ease with which congressional hearings become show trials and blown this all way out of proportion. After all, the definition of scandal is “an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.”
Well, damn. These can’t be scandals – none of the “real” people (Democrats) or the “real” media (the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC) are outraged. Hell, ABC and NBC won’t even report this Republican/Fox News made up trash. Even Media Matters for America says so.
But we have seen a version of this movie before. We saw it during the Clinton era. Investigations, special prosecutors, hearing after hearing, attack, attack, attack. What did we end up with after Whitewater, Hillary’s billing records, Vince Foster, Monica Lewinsky, impeachment? Zip.
Once again, Americans are bombarded with the word “scandal.” And the words that go along with it: “cover up,” “conspiracy,” “corrupt.” The trouble is there is no scandal; there is no issue remotely resembling Watergate.
Not even close – never mind that no one died in the Watergate scandal, a government agency didn’t actively work against free, individual American citizens or fabricate reasons to directly eavesdrop on private press communications…and these things happened here.
In an attempt to identify organizations that were hiding their donors, garnering tax-exempt status and claiming the “social welfare” mantle, staff at the IRS included key words that targeted the tea party. Big mistake. But blame Obama and the White House? Please. The IRS also targeted over two-dozen liberal groups. All these political campaign groups should never have been given status as tax exempt, social welfare organizations. That is the real scandal.
The IRS targeted two dozen liberal groups and over 500 conservative groups (at last count) while fast tracking questionable but politically connected leftist groups. Hell, there is no issues here, they were just doing their jobs over there at the IRS, we all know that it one liberal group is worth 5 crackpot, gun totin’, child killin’, teabagger group anyway, don’t we? The real scandal is that we didn’t look at more of these assholes.
And how long are we going to investigate Benghazi? Again, no conspiracy, just the usual interagency competition, confusion and rush to get something out without jeopardizing an ongoing investigation.
Man, it is just inter-agency competition and incompetency that killed those people. Damn shame but you know that Form 5903095-666, “Authorization For Use of Rapid Reaction Team To Save People”, takes a long time to fill out and you non-government types just don’t understand how we work – you could easily “misperceive” things that the “leadership in our building” doesn’t want you to know in the first place. So we have to be careful what we release to you rubes.
Who is Peter Fenn? Why, he is a Democratic political strategist, consultant, television commentator…so obviously he is not the kind of guy to have some kind of bias, nosireeee, Bob. We should just take ole Pete at his unassailable word.
Hell, if there are scandals, CNN’s Mark Lamont Hill says that they aren’t Presidential scandals:
The American people know that even if they’re scandals, they’re not presidential scandals. They have nothing to do with him, number one. And number two, it’s also a referendum on how they feel the Republican Party has dealt with these ‘scandals,'” noted the “HuffPost Live” host. “They see Benghazi as an issue that needs to be investigated, but they also see the way the Right Wing has attempted to convince us, that this is the scandal of all scandals that is connected to President Obama. They look at the IRS scandal, and say, ‘Okay, this is a problem. Clearly bad actions have taken place here. But the president was not sitting in the White House figuring out how to take down the Tea Party through taxation.
Psheeeew. That was close. I’m glad that was cleared up. I was worried there for a minute that his might be a Presidential scandal. I guess it is good that Barack H. “Know Nothing” Obama isn’t responsible for anything done by government acting in accordance with the policies of he and his party or it would be a Presidential scandal.
Let’s assume all that is true.
When questioned on the so-called, teabagger generates IRS “scandal”, the former White House senior adviser and Democratic strategist David Plouffe said yesterday on ABC’s This Week:
There’s been no suggestion— the Inspector General said there was no politics involved in this. This was not an effort driven by the White House. It would be the dumbest political effort of all time.
Well, OK. No denial that some sort of targeting happened, just that it wasn’t a political effort motivated by the White House. Notice that Fluffy Plouffe’s statement leaves room that it was targeting, that it was political – it just wasn’t “driven” by the White House – suggested maybe, fostered along possibly, not stopped assuredly – just not “driven”.
When pressed by Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday a few weeks ago about the President’s whereabouts and actions as American citizens and government employees were under attack in Benghazi, Libya, Dan Pfieffer, Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications said:
WALLACE: With due respect, you didn’t answer my question. What did the president do that night?
PFEIFFER: He was kept — he was in constant touch that night with his national security team and kept up-to-date as events were happening.
WALLACE: You say the national security team, but he didn’t talk to the Secretary of State, except for the one time when the first attack was over. He didn’t’ talk to the Secretary of Defense. He didn’t talk to the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs. Who was he talking to?
PFEIFFER: He was talking to his national security staff, his National Security Council, the people who keep him up-to-date about these things as they happen.
WALLACE: Was he in the Situation Room?
PFEIFFER: He was kept up-to-date throughout the day.
WALLACE: Do you not know if he was in the Situation Room?
PFEIFFER: I don’t know. I don’t remember what room the president was in on that night. That’s a largely irrelevant fact.
Where the President of the United States was and what he did as Americans were under enemy fire – and being killed – is a “largely irrelevant fact”…well, fair enough.
When it was revealed that the DOJ had snooped on the AP and the Attorney General of the United States might have committed perjury in front of the House committee, Senator Chuck Schumer says that there’s not a scintilla of evidence to suggest he did, pointing out that there never has been any prosecution or attempted prosecution of any journalist.
Even though to even get a warrant to do what the DOJ did, they did have to give the appearance of prosecution and wrong doing or there was no basis for the judge to approve the action. It really doesn’t matter that, according to Schumer, “there never has been any prosecution or attempted prosecution of any journalist”, the intent to accumulate enough evidence to prosecute is the very reason for a warrant, even though the Holderites want us to believe that saying that they were just kidding gets them off the hook.
So what if these are not “scandals”?
Even if you accept that proposition, the reasons why they are not are just a damning. You really have to ask yourself if you want a government that features an agency as omnipresent as the IRS utilizing its power to “scrutinize” in an unbalanced way using politics as a filter and run by people who don’t see that as an issue, a dishonest, politicized Department of Justice headed by an Attorney General who is comfortable with lying to Congress and sees contempt citations as badges of honor, and a politically craven coward for a President who claims to be unaware of just about everything except fundraisers, golf, vacations and White House parties.