The “other” Obama scandal — a pithy summary

This one is making the rounds, and deservedly so:

Bob: “Did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?

Jim: “You mean the Mexican gun running?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean the State Dept. lying about Benghazi?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean voter fraud?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean that 3 or 4 of Obama’s GAY friends were mysteriously MURDERED when they came forward with claims he was gay too?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean the drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “Giving 123 Technologies $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”

Bob: “No the other one:.

Jim: “The IRS targeting conservatives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The DOJ spying on the press?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “Giving SOLYNDRA $500 MILLION DOLLARS and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought it?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The president’s ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants  from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The president’s threat to impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass Congress?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The president’s repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The president’s unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”

Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”

Bob: “No, the other  one.”

Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?

Bob: “THAT’S THE ONE!”

Hat tipWolf Howling, who found it at American Digest, who got it from the Homechick Email circuit

Is the IRS scandal the worst political scandal in American history? I say “yes.”

Internal Revenue Service

When it comes to the IRS’s ongoing, repressive behavior against conservative groups, you’re likely to hear different verdicts:  The hard Left says, of course, that this is a molehill that the Republicans are scandalously trying to turn into a scandal.  (The New York Times perfectly exemplifies this line of thinking.)  Others on the Left admit incompetence, but refuse to assign moral blame.  Conservatives are willing to assign moral blame but think that no one really cares.

I believe that everyone should care because what we’re seeing now is a new type of scandal in American history, and the biggest crime a sitting administration has ever committed against the American people.  I wrote about it at Mr. Conservative, although the headline there focuses on the IRS’s probing into people’s prayers.  (Thinking about that, its worth remembering that Queen Elizabeth I, who ruled in an age when church and state were one, refused to “make windows into men’s souls.”  The IRS is not so doctrinally picky.)

Anyway, here’s the post I wrote for Mr. Conservative:

**************

There’s been a lot of debate swirling amongst the pundits lately. Is the Watergate cover-up worse than the Benghazi cover-up or vice versa? Is the only scandal that matters the Justice Department’s decision to tap Associated Press phones, because that’s the only one that the media will care about? What did Obama know and when did he know it?

Ignore all that. The absolute worst scandal that’s emerged lately, and the worst administration scandal in American history is the IRS scandal. Why? Because you, the People, became the targets of a comprehensive federal government effort to stifle dissent, one made using the government’s overwhelming and disproportionate policing and taxing powers.

All of the other scandals, going back to Andrew Johnson’s post-Civil War scandals, Warren G. Harding’s 1920s Teapot Dome scandal, Nixon’s Watergate, Reagan’s Iran-Contra, and Clinton’s Oval Office sexcapades have actually been narrowly focused acts of cronyism, garden-variety political chicanery, or personal failings. It’s been insider stuff.

The IRS scandal, by contrast, is a direct attack on the American people. Right now, Progressives throughout America are pretending that this scandal doesn’t matter: “Obama wasn’t involved.” “Tea Partiers had it coming because they’re all corrupt.” “Obama would have won the election anyway.” “It was just a coincidence that the only groups that had their applications scrutinized, sometimes for years, were politically conservative. It means nothing that, when one group changed its name to sound Progressive, its application was approved in only three weeks.” “This is just a bureaucratic snafu.” “It’s a few rogue agents in Ohio.”

Those who offer these excuses are either morally flawed themselves or delusional idiots. Pastor Martin Niemoller, who once supported the Nazi party, finally and famously figured things out after World War II:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Once a government gets the bit between its teeth and starts targeting special interest groups, that is the end of freedom, not just for those first groups targeted, but for everyone.

Okay, that was the throat-clearing. Now it’s time to add the latest chapter in the long list of examples showing that the IRS engaged in a politically motivated witch-hunt against people who don’t toe the Progressive/Democrat party line:

The Thomas More Society (a Catholic organization) says that an IRS office in California ordered a group called “Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas” to detail the meaning and content of the prayers they offered. That was not an isolated event. IRS agents demanded the same information from “Coalition of Life of Iowa,” which was required to explain what went on at the group’s prayer meetings.

When Rep. Aaron Schock (R., Ill.) asked outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller whether these were appropriate questions, Miller didn’t even have the courage to say “no.” Instead, he said meaninglessly that “It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either.”

Here’s thumbnail sketch of just a few of the other politically-motivated attacks the IRS has made against American citizens. We can expect many more revelations to come:

1. The IRS official who over saw the agency’s effort to stifle political dissent is now in charge of enforcing ObamaCare, which will account for up to one-sixth of the American economy.

2. The IRS gave confidential financial documents from conservative non-profit organizations to a far-Left political activist group.

3. The IRS (which will police ObamaCare) stole 10 million medical records, including the records for all California judges.

4. The IRS blocked applications for or otherwise harassed almost 500 conservative non-profit groups – and there’s every reason to believe that this number will continue to rise.

5. The IRS insisted that, for a pro-Life group to obtain tax-exempt status, it would have to promote abortion.

6. The IRS has been mining Facebook for private data about people who dissent from Obama’s party line.

7. The IRS tried to force a conservative non-profit education group to turn over the names of students (mostly minors) who benefited from its services.

As for those who say that the whole IRS affair becomes irrelevant if no one can prove that Obama is not directly involved, that’s completely wrong. Of course, if the president was involved, it shows that he is the most corrupt, tyrannical leader in American history, and that every branch of the executive division in our government has been tainted and must be cleaned out. And as far as Obama is concerned, if he wasn’t involved, he is a man too incompetent and weak to hold the job of national chief executive.

But think about what it means if Obama wasn’t involved, and the IRS, an agency that has the power to destroy every person in America, did all of this on its own initiative. What we’re seeing in that case is the fall-out of a complete Leftist takeover of American institutions. We will have become a tyranny by bureaucracy (in no small part due to the fact that federal agencies are heavily unionized, and always with a Leftist slant), with the entire federal government irredeemably corrupt.

Here’s one last thought for you about an American president who, wittingly or unwittingly, presided over the single worst scandal in American history:

On May 5, at Ohio State University (the same state in which the IRS scandal was headquartered), Obama gave a speech that was viewed then as yet another in the endless list of examples showing Obama painting his political opponents as loony paranoids:

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

Reading those same words now, it’s clear that, like the rattlesnake’s warning, Obama was previewing the reality of a Leftist government’s total control over the people who have naively consigned themselves to its care.

photo by: saturnism

Is Obama’s puppet master to blame for all the scandals?

Barack Obama -- small and helpless

Scandals, scandals, and more scandals.  My list so far includes:

1.  Benghazi:  politics before, politics and apathy during, and politics and a wall of lies and cover-ups afterwards.

2.  Fast & Furious:  a completely bungled effort to track cartels in Mexico or a deliberate attempt to gin up gun crime as a way to feed anti-gun fervor.

3.  IRS:  Deliberate targeting of conservative groups and individuals in order to disable them in the lead-up to a tight election.

4.  AP:  Justice Department eavesdrops on media, with recent news indicating that this wasn’t about national security but was a tit-for-tat step taken because the AP mis-timed releasing a story about a thwarted terrorism plot.

I feel as if I’ve forgotten something. I’m sure there’s something else, but I’ve reached the outer limits of my brain’s capacity for the scary, sordid, disgusting, and illegal.

Anyway, the above is a starter list, which shows a distinct trend-line:  the Obama government is about politics before country, revenge before law and morality, and cover-ups above and beyond everything.  That’s why the New York Times’ desperate attempt to blame Republicans for all these things makes for amusing reading.  Although the Times was absolutely outraged by the AP scandal (and I agree with their outrage), everything else is just business as usual.  Nothing to see here.  Just move along:

The Internal Revenue Service, according to an inspector general’s report, was not reacting to political pressure or ideology when it singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny in evaluating requests for tax exemptions. It acted inappropriately because employees couldn’t understand inadequate guidelines. The tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, never a scandal to begin with, has devolved into a turf-protection spat between government agencies, and the e-mail messages Republicans long demanded made clear that there was no White House cover-up.

The only example of true government overreach was the seizure of The Associated Press’s telephone records, the latest episode in the Obama administration’s Javert-like obsession with leakers in its midst.

(A total aside here.  The myth is that reporters are, at heart, curious people who want to know what’s going on.  Although they’ve been temporarily blinded by ideology, once they catch the scent, they’ll be like the crazed reporters in His Girl Friday.  That’s just wrong.  Today’s reporters signed on, not because they like sniffing out information, but because they’re ideologues who want to pursue an agenda.  The Times perfectly exemplifies this.  It does not report on all the news fit to print.  It doesn’t report at all.  It simply works like a Leftist propaganda arm, reporting all the spin necessary to advance an agenda.  It’s utterly incurious and cares only when it, personally, gets poked.  And now back to your regularly scheduled blogging.)

Wow.  Just wow.  For one thing, it’s clear that the New York Times wrote this editorial before the head of the IRS went before Congress and confessed that the IRS denied what was going on before the election (a lie) and that it timed the release of information to bury it in the news cycle.  And then there’s all that other fascinating stuff that’s been oozing out from the single most powerful coercive entity in the federal government.

In every single statement she made, Lois Lerner, the IRS official who every so casually broke the story, lied.  Just some examples are the fact that the IRS didn’t target, maybe, 75 groups.  It targeted at least 470 groups.  And it wasn’t just wacky Tea Party groups that got caught it the cross hairs, it was any group that appeared even vaguely to oppose Obama’s policies.  The targeting wasn’t just confined to a rogue Ohio office, it went to the top.  And, indeed, the very top person got over $100,000 in bonuses and was promoted to head the — ahem — nonpartisan branch of the IRS in charge of enforcing ObamaCare.

We also know that the IRS illegally leaked information about Obama’s political opponents — which definitely has a kind of mirror-like Watergate quality to it.  Nixon’s henchmen stole data directly from his political opponents; Obama’s henchmen release data about Obama’s political opponents to Obama’s supporters.  And of course, speaking of stealing things, it appears that the IRS stole tens of thousands of medical records — this would be, of course, the same IRS that’s in charge of enforcing ObamaCare.

Worried yet?  I know I am.

Despite all this, Obama remains perched precariously atop ignorance mountain.  His line is consistent:

Either Obama’s lying, which is entirely possible, because he’s a compulsive liar, or he was as ignorant as he seems.  Those Leftist media figures who are not in total denial have latched on this as the excuse to protect their idol, now that they know there’s a lot of clay mixed in with his feet.  He’s a little too disengaged, he’s not a micro-manager, he’s too pure to know what evil lurks in the heart of men, etc.

John Fund, however, has a very different idea, and I think he may be on the right track.  His version of events posits that Obama has never actually been president.  We’ve been operating, instead, under the shadow presidency of consigliere Valerie Jarrett:

So if Obama is not fully engaged, who does wield influence in the White House? A lot of Democrats know firsthand that Jarrett, a Chicago mentor to both Barack and Michelle Obama and now officially a senior White House adviser, has enormous influence. She is the only White House staffer in anyone’s memory, other than the chief of staff or national security adviser, to have an around-the-clock Secret Service detail of up to six agents. According to terrorism expert Richard Miniter’s recent book, Leading from Behind: “At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving” the mission for May 2, 2011. She was instrumental in overriding then–chief of staff Rahm Emanuel when he opposed the Obamacare push, and she was key in steamrolling the bill to passage in 2010. Obama may rue the day, as its chaotic implementation could become the biggest political liability Democrats will face in next year’s midterm elections.

A senior Republican congressional leader tells me that he had come to trust that he could detect the real lines of authority in any White House, since he’s worked for five presidents. “But this one baffles me,” he says. “I do know that when I ask Obama for something, there is often no answer. But when I ask Valerie Jarrett, there’s always an answer or something happens.”

You really should read the whole thing.  That theory explains so much….

When it rains it pours (and that’s bad for the Obamites)

Obama sweating

In the past four years, conservatives have felt disheartened by the Obama deluge.  Since he first took office, conservatives have been playing defense on so many things:  ObamaCare, changes in the military to allow gays to serve openly and women to serve in combat roles, attacks on Israel, a non-declared war in Libya, caving in to Iran, announcing defeat in advance in Afghanistan, attacks on Second Amendment rights, far-Left political appointees, etc., etc.  You know that I’ve frequently blogged about feeling disheartened and overwhelmed.  The only victories that have come down the pike are Obama’s having to retreat from his attacks against Israel (but a little more on that later) and the Democrats’ recent gun control loss.  The first came about, not because of anything conservatives did, but because reality interfered with Obama’s grand plans.  The second seemed to come about because of conservative efforts, but it also happened because it turns out that Obama’s second term is not going to be as shiny as the first.

This time around, Obama is on the receiving end of the “if it rains, it pours” expression.  In the last week, all the straws he thought he’d gathered neatly in his hands have been scattered to the winds.  Here’s my list of the last two week’s worth of scandals and mishaps.

1.  The most recent round of Benghazi hearings revealed that Obama’s hand-picked Secretary of State bungled affairs in Libya so badly that four men, including an American ambassador, died on a teeny plot of U.S. soil, at the hands of terrorists affiliated with al Qaeda.

2.  Those same hearings revealed that a significant part of Hillary’s failure resulted from her need to align with Obama’s officially stated policy position on al Qaeda:  It was decapitated when Barack Obama, practically single-handedly except for a small assist from some expendable Navy SEALS, killed Osama bin Laden.

3. Those same hearings revealed that, while the attack was going on, both the President and the Secretary of State got some much-needed sleep to prepare for the next day’s campaigning.

4.  Those same hearings revealed that Obama absolutely refused to send help, whether because it would have interfered with his political narrative, or because he was afraid of “coming on to strong” in the Muslim world, or because that would have interfered with his beauty rest.  We don’t know the motive; we just know the fact.

5.  Those same hearings revealed that Obama and Hillary (and by using that term I mean the entire chain of command that ends with them at the top of the heap) worked frantically to create a cover-up pinning the attack, not on al Qaeda, but on an obscure, slightly shady Christian film-maker, who languishes in prison even today.

6.  Obama’s Justice Department, headed by Eric “Fast & Furious” Holder, tapped 40 different phone lines at Associated Press, including it’s official line in the House of Representatives.  Associated Press, which has been an untiring water carrier for the administration — touting its agenda, hiding its troubles, attacking its enemies — might just have been mugged by reality.

7.  The families of the 17 SEAL Team 6 members who died on August 6, 2011, when a Taliban rocket took out their insufficiently-armed helicopter (and killed 21 other military personnel) are on the warpath.  They claim that it was Obama’s and Biden’s boasting about SEAL Team 6′s role in the Osama bin Laden killing that paint a target on their sons’ (and brothers’ and husbands’ and fathers’) backs.  To rub salt in the wound of seeing their brave men die, not in the service of their country, but as necessary sacrifices to Obama’s political ambitions, Obama’s Pentagon, when it conducted the official memorial service at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, refused to allow these men’s Judeo-Christian God even to be mentioned, but invited a Muslim Imam whose invocation, of necessity since it was an Islamic prayer, cursed them for being infidels.

8.  News broke that the IRS deliberately audited conservative groups who were seeking tax exempt status because their primary goal was education.  Any groups with giveaway words in their names such as “Tea Party,” or “Patriot” or “Constitution” were swept up in the effort.  In addition to audits, the IRS also asked intrusive questions aimed at eliciting information about donors. Although the IRS tried to claim that the problem was a local office, it quickly became clear that the directive came from Washington and that the IRS has known for years what was going on and denied it.

9.  The dust had scarcely settled on this IRS revelation when it emerged that the IRS had also targeted pro-Israel groups, who advocated policies different from Obama’s “get Israel at all costs” approach to foreign affairs.

10.  And the dust was still floating on the IRS’s attack on pro-Israel groups (and do keep in mind that Israel is America’s ally), when it emerged that the IRS had leaked to a Leftist advocacy group tax information about organizations on Obama’s political enemies’ list.

11.  Obama’s EPA granted almost all waiver requests from friends of Obama and denied almost all waiver requests from Obama’s political opponents.  Coincidence?  I think not.  This isn’t a huge scandal — yet — but it could develop in interesting ways.  I mean, we all understand that the EPA is filled with far-Left political hacks.  That’s why it’s not as shocking as the IRS scandal.  We’ve always assumed that the IRS is an equal opportunity money grabber.

11.5  It’s not really an administration scandal, but the verdict against Kermit Gosnell, which came from a jury that was 3/4 pro-Choice, shows that the Leftist pretenses about late-term abortion, and life-birth baby care (which Obama opposed) is starting to float into the public awareness.

I haven’t looked at the headlines in the past half-hour, but I suspect that more sordid scandals are popping up now that the dam is breaking.  Conservatives find all four corners of these scandals (Benghazi, IRS, Navy SEALS, and AP intimidation) disturbing.  Leftists, predictably, care only about the IRS and the AP intimidation.  Whatever.  As long as the media starts taking corruption in the Obama administration seriously, it’s all good.

Here are some good links for more information about the scandals.  (You’ve probably noticed that I was too lazy to hyperlink any specific facts, because I had opted for this end-of-the post data dump.)

Richard Baehr talks about the President’s silence as his lies are revealed.

Leftists may be right to pretend Benghazi is not a problem, because the public doesn’t care.

Barry Rubin explains why Obama will not be getting any further mileage out of attacking Israel.

The Anchoress has a perfect visual to explain Jay Carney’s role in life right now.

Richard Fernandez asks whether the breaking wave of scandals is just a cosmic coincidence or if we’re witnessing a breaking p0int.  I think it depends on how angry the media is about the AP story, and how fearful they are about a politicized IRS.

Bryan Preston helpfully sums up the four major scandals (no, make that five major scandals) currently plaguing the administration.

Michael Ramirez has the perfect cartoon.

And my friend Wolf Howling has two great posts summing up precisely what’s wrong with the whole Benghazi debacle:  the lack of a military response (which goes straight to Obama) and the reason, contra Obama, that there is a “there there.”

Four years of October surprises

Pile enough misery on people without actually killing them, and they get somewhat inured to it.  That’s how poor people in Third World countries can survive living on garbage dumps or in areas that lack any semblance of sanitation.  Zombie posits that we haven’t had an Obama-damaging October surprise in this election because the endless trickle of bad Obama news over the past three and three-quarter years has meant that “we’re all scandaled out.“  If you doubt this, check out Zombie’s staggering laundry list of Obama-connected events that would have been touted as earth-shattering scandals had Obama been a Republican.  Because Obama is a Democrat, and an enlightened being,  however, they were presented to the American people as either non-events or business-as-usual.