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Scandal Machine
« on: May 18, 2013, 01:40:18 PM »

Scandal Machine
Published: May 16, 2013 970 Comments

When politicians want to turn scandals into metaphors, actual details of wrongdoing or incompetence no longer matter. In fact, the details of the troubles swirling around the White House this week are bluntly contradicting Republicans who want to combine them into a seamless narrative of tyrannical government on the rampage.

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.

Many of the Republicans who have added this action to their metaphor blender were also the ones clamoring the loudest for vigorous investigations of national security leaks. But reality simply isn’t solid enough to hold back the vast Republican opportunism on display this week. Whatever cranky point Republicans had been making against President Obama for the last five years — dishonesty, socialism, jackbooted tyranny — they somehow found that these incidents were exactly the proof they had been seeking, no matter how inflated or distorted.

“This is runaway government at its worst,” Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said at a Tea Party news conference on Thursday about the I.R.S. scandal. “Who knows who they’ll target next.” Representative Michele Bachmann knew. Standing next to Mr. McConnell, she said the I.R.S.’s next target would obviously be the religious beliefs of people seeking health insurance.

For Senator Mike Lee of Utah, these incidents proved that the federal budget has to be cut even more deeply. “We need to return it to a simpler, more manageable government,” he said, “because that’s the only way that we’re ever going to prevent things like this from happening.”

There are no “things like this,” beyond a coincidence of bad timing. But they do have one thing in common: when bound together and loudly denounced on cable television and in hearings, they serve to obscure the real damage that Republicans continue to do to the economy and the workings of government.

While Washington was arguing about e-mail messages about Benghazi, it wasn’t paying attention to the hundreds of thousands of defense furloughs announced this week because of the Republican-imposed sequester, which will become a significant drag on economic growth. It wasn’t focusing on the huge drop in the deficit, which has yet to silence the party’s demands for more austerity. And apparently it’s considered old news that Republicans are blocking several of the president’s cabinet nominees.

For those who are wondering whether this week’s political windstorms will hinder Mr. Obama’s second-term agenda, here’s a bulletin: That agenda was long ago imperiled by the obstruction of Republicans. (See Guns. Jobs. Education. And, very possibly, Immigration.)

Meet The New York Times’s Editorial Board »
A version of this editorial appeared in print on May 17, 2013, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: Scandal Machine.
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
Comments Closed

William O. BeemanMinneapolis, MNNYT Pick
Soberer Republicans know that over-reach is fatal. When one gets Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachman, Ted Cruz and James Inhoffe screaming about impeachment and declaring the Benghazi matter the worst scandal in the history of the United States, even the most hard-core Republican supporters begin to wonder if the party "doth protest too much."

There are legitimate issues in all these events, but they have already been overwhelmed by the screaming and posturing. These people are parodies of themselves. How can anyone take them seriously?
May 17, 2013 at 9:28 a.m.RECOMMEND406

RJSteeleIowaNYT Pick
Now conservatives know what it's like to be targeted unfairly from key words and phrases--Tea Party--that pop up in the government's virtually bottomless well of surveillance data. None of them--particularly McConnell and Bachmann--were concerned when the words being gleaned were 'Muslim,' or 'Islam.' Funny how that works.
May 17, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.RECOMMEND193

Cara.New EnglandNYT Pick
Agree with much of this post ... although I have a hard time getting too excited about the fact that I had to wait a whole 3 weeks to find out what happened in Benghazi.
I don't expect to have immediate and completely accurate information on an ongoing investigation of a chaotic situation, but I guess I'm in the minority on that one.
In reply to Anetliner NetlinerMay 17, 2013 at 10:42 a.m.RECOMMEND68

JLWashington, DCNYT Pick
While I agree the GOP leaves a lot to be desired, I am not at all impressed with President Obama and his party. Why on Earth is it ALWAYS the Republicans fault? Where is the responsibility? Sheesh!
May 17, 2013 at 10:50 a.m.RECOMMEND35

ThomasBranford, FloridaNYT Pick
It's the same thing year after year.
Republicans driven to smear.
They've no conscience to guide them.
Why must we abide them?
Why not throw them out on their ear?
May 17, 2013 at 10:53 a.m.RECOMMEND161

Richard EttelsonMurrieta, CANYT Pick
Well stated., I quite agree. Hatred of a president is a very poor substitute for solution oriented governance.
May 17, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.RECOMMEND151

Ellen ValleFinlandNYT Pick
They have no shame. At long last, in fact they have no shame.
May 17, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.RECOMMEND85

Doug TerryMaryland, DC Metro areaNYT Pick
Okay, obstruction. Why isn't this same story being reported in the straight news columns and, for that matter, on the national evening news programs? It is not just a matter for editorials. Instead, the radicalism of the right has been cast as "the back and forth in Washington", never explaining to the public what is actually happening. Why?

The Republicans are out to wreck this presidency or this government, whichever comes first. The fundamental facts of obstructionism are present for all to see, day by day. "America Held Hostage. Day 851" should be the title of a late night news program on ABC News.

1. Denying approval of Cabinet and many other nominees to fill out Obama's second term team.

2. The use of the phony filibuster in the Senate to deny the majority a chance to vote.

3. The use of the Boehner Rule in the House so that compromise is nearly impossible, because, first, a majority of Republicans must approve a bill before it can even be heard on the floor of the House. Denying minority rights.

4. Embracing the sequester as a "victory" for Republicanism even though it means that cuts in spending can't be carefully and well managed.

5. Constantly spreading rumors, or allowing them to pass without objection, about Obama to undermine his credibility with the public.

6. Beating the Benghazi attack into the ground, insisting that a mistake in facts in the early days "proves" a cover up.

7. Risking America's credit repeatedly.
May 17, 2013 at 11:02 a.m.RECOMMEND288

Charles HorteniseGreenwich, CTNYT Pick
All of these matters require further scrutiny as a matter of good government, and the Congress has the oversight responsibility under Article One of the Constitution. It is unlikely that the IRS incidents, for example, were confined to low level employees because they do not have the discretion to make these decisions and they were made in an overtly biased manner during election season from multiple locations. The Inspector General's report does not pass the smell test. There are still unanswered questions about Benghazi. The AP incident sets a dangerous precedent.

Why is the NY Times ceding its mantle as the nation's newspaper to take partisan sides? It is shameful that the editors would rather defend their own, rather than take the higher ground of journalistic objectivity and pursuing the greater public good.
May 17, 2013 at 11:25 a.m.RECOMMEND24

PeterSBoston, MANYT Pick
There are people, like the majority of the readers of NYT, myself included, clearly think that all these so call scandals are distractions to major issues that this country is facing: economy, competitiveness, immigration reform, foreign policies etc. There are also people who will never accept the fact that the country is turning more liberal and will fight tooth-and-nail to hinder this change represented by Obama. For these people, the leftward moving of America is seen as oppressive and all these minor scandals just contribute to building up this world view in their mind. Both sides are roughly equal in population contributing to this political deadlock. I see that America moving to the center from the center-right as inevitable with increasing urbanization. Unfortunately, arriving at decisive policies is and will be very difficulty until this balance shifts further. I know that it is a hard job but we need leadership of the president in driving this shift in balance by convincing skeptical people in the middle.
May 17, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.RECOMMEND44

DorisChicagoNYT Pick
The media and overlook the millions of hungry families and children that are going to see a 20 BILLION dollar cut in the SNAP food program, so the Republcians can increase the crop insurance for big Ag. Southern Democrats voted with Republcians to cut the food subsidy for the poor also.
We know that Republicans have this Ayn Randian view that the poor have no use and should be just left ot die, but what about those southern democrats?
How about the cutting of Meals on Wheels for seniors by Republcians?
How about cutting head start funds?
Republcians are destroying this country and are looking out only for the interest of the rich and their corporate cronies. Has anyone seen any purposed cuts to the corporations and the oil companies and from the rich? Any proposals to close loop holes for these entities and to stop giving them welfare?
May 17, 2013 at 11:28 a.m.RECOMMEND100

PkSullyChicagoNYT Pick
"The Republicans are worse" is not a comforting argument to citizens who just want good government. Those of us caught in the middle of this battle between the extremists on the left and right see that the Republicans are political opportunists AND that the Obama administration has failed in these 3 cases.
May 17, 2013 at 11:48 a.m.RECOMMEND18

Thomas L. MischlerCairo, EgyptNYT Pick
This isn't about race, folks. Let go of that one. Clinton was a run-of-the-mill American white guy who faced the same insane scrutiny. Racism is certainly a minor factor, but when the left screams racism re: Obama, it sacrifices much of its credibility - especially when the Right parades Alan West and Herman Cain across the stage.

The fact is, the Republican party has moved so far to the right over the past few decades that it is no longer able, much less willing, to countenance any Democrat in the White House. Accepted dogma mandates 100% control of the government by conservative Republicans - White House, Supreme Court, and Congress. They have convinced themselves that the US has veered so far to the left that extreme measures are the only thing that will save us from oblivion.

This is tantamount to a religion for the Right. Facts, logic, proof - there is no time for such frivolities. They must save America from itself before it is too late.
May 17, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.RECOMMEND81

Jack MahoneyMaineNYT Pick
I remember a real government scandal ....

It all started when a former ambassador, Joseph Wilson, was asked by the CIA to research a statement made by Secretary of State Colin Powell (before the United Nations) and others in the Administration that Iraq's Saddam Hussein was buying weapons-grade uranium in Africa. Mr. Wilson found that not to be the case, and when the Administration made that same claim as justification for the invasion, in July 2003 Wilson wrote in The New York Times,

"More than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already. We have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons."

Came for the right reasons? Was it possible that American youth were dying in Iraq for something other than the right reasons? That question so haunted Republican members of Congress that their non-stop sniping at the Administration in search of credible answers has been cited as a Golden Age of representative democracy.

No, wait a minute. That last part didn't happen. Actually, the Republicans led cheers for "Mission Accomplished," and Bill O'Reilly of Fox News said in 2004, "“You don’t criticize the Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a firefight. That could be construed as putting U.S. forces in jeopardy and undermining morale."

So, Iraq continued. To put a cherry on top, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the Vice President's right-hand man, "outed" CIA covert operative Valerie Plame, who happened to be Mr. Wilson's wife.

Now that was a scandal.
May 17, 2013 at 12:59 p.m.RECOMMEND143

RRGuamNYT Pick
The Republicans are playing to win, period, and they're treating American politics like a take-no-prisoners video game. That's absurd enough, but they're doing it on OUR dime -- we hired these people to GOVERN, not to bully Democrats into a perpetual grudge-match of "King of the Hill."

If most American adults behaved like this on the job they'd be fired; school children would be sent to the prinicpal and then sent home.

This must stop. The NYTimes is doing a fantastic job to confront this madness, but hey, we readers are mostly part of the choir. It's up to the Democrats, and especially the Obama administration, to take off the gloves and give all Americans the Spectacle (yes, capital "S") the Republicans are bluffing for. The best way to handle bullies is to bully them back. Come right down to their level if that's what it takes -- the well-being of the country is at stake here.
May 17, 2013 at 1:03 p.m.RECOMMEND67

Bill MeekerSoutheastNYT Pick
I am re-reading some Kurt Vonnegut and find his ideas on society even more relevant today than they were in the 60's. From 'Breakfast of Champions':

"Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter. Friends agreed with friends, in order to express friendliness. Enemies disagreed with enemies, in order to express enmity."

Another apt thought:

"I had become more and more enraged and mystified by the idiot decisions made by my countrymen. And then I had come suddenly to pity them, for I understood how innocent and natural it was for them to behave so abominably, and with such abominable results: They were doing their best to live like people invented in story books. "

Clearly, the republicans have been spending way too much time re-reading their own material.
May 17, 2013 at 2:04 p.m.RECOMMEND35

CPBrownBaltimore, MDNYT Pick
There have been very real and major problems with the way government agencies have recently handled/mishandled issues like privacy, non-partisanship, transparency, freedom of the press, etc. And the result is to blame the GOP for pointing them out and/or investigating them ?

Instead of trying to shift the blame for government failure in a partisan way, it would be better to acknowledge that many of these problems are systemic and non-partisan. It would be much more productive for the press to be the watchdog for the people, rather than the excuser for either party.

Excessive zeal in partisan bullying at the IRS, much too aggressive pursuit of leaks that trample freedom of the press, blatant attempts to frame an international tragedy to inhibit political damage are all actions that should be denounced, no matter the party in power.

We need more information about all of these situations, not less, so that it might be possible to avoid them in the future. To imply that all would be right in America if only we had more Democrats and fewer Republicans is a naivety that will only result in more of the same governmental lapses.
May 17, 2013 at 2:12 p.m.RECOMMEND16

Ecce HomoJackson Heights, NYNYT Pick
You're right that Benghazi never was a scandal, and the IRS affair is a mini-scandal. You're wrong to say that the AP search is different.

Despite the fact that the Times has been unquestioningly reporting AP's account as truth, the evidence shows that AP's account is badly exaggerated. For instance, AP's account is that the Justice Department obtained all phone records for a large number of AP reporters for a full two-month period. In fact, the Justice Department obtained the phone records of a small number of reporters, for some period of time that fell within two months.

Moreover, AP willfully implied that the Justice Department listened in on actual conversations. In fact, the Justice Department obtained no recordings at all - only numbers dialed and dates and times.

Next, AP asserted without benefit of evidence that the Justice Department failed to make any effort to obtain the evidence it was seeking without resorting to AP reporters' phone records. But the evidence is that the Justice Department went to lengths to obtain the facts it needed, and subpoenaed phone records only after those exhaustive efforts were unsuccessful.

Finally, the AP and its media allies play down or ignore the fact that the Justice Department was investigating a national security leak - a serious criminal offense. Regardless how much the media would like it to be otherwise, the fact is that journalists enjoy no legal immunity from criminal investigations.
May 17, 2013 at 3:51 p.m.RECOMMEND35
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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013, 03:26:37 PM »
When in fact its details and facts that are directly feeding all these "scandals".  No opinions necessary.  Case in point, someone produce some facts that rebut the Benghazi talking points manipulation by the State Dept & WH, prior to the Nov Elections.....produce some facts that rebut the Justice dept secretly widespread tapping of the Press corp.....produce some facts that rebut the IRS systematically targeting conservative groups for far more scrutiny while speeding liberal groups thru for their tax exempt status, prior to the elections.

Yea, just a lotta of blather.....everyone does it....nothing to see here.....move along 

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013, 03:38:39 PM »
It hasn't been a great week for the Obama folks, as the scandal du jour tour has firmly taken hold. Every day it seems another federal agency is exposed as having intimidated, snooped, covered up or gone to Vegas on the taxpayer dime. Zimbabwe is even making fun of us.

On Jan. 21, 2009, in remarks welcoming his new presidential staff, Barack Obama said: "Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."

So what happened, Mr. President? Why so much stonewalling?

Let's take this one by one. Obama has to know that nobody is buying the assertion that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made a simple error when she blamed the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens on a spontaneous Muslim uprising caused by a stupid anti-Islamic video. No one believes that was an honest mistake, Mr. President.

So it is on Obama himself to explain the Rice deal -- and also to explain why armed U.S. assets in Tripoli were not immediately sent to help the ambassador and other Americans under siege in Benghazi.

But for eight months, the president has refused to explain.

The IRS chaos is newer, and the president was forced to respond by firing Steve Miller, who ran the agency. (and was set to leave, regardless) But again, how could the powerful IRS get so out of control? Was it loyalty to a liberal president that made agents unfairly target conservatives? We need some clarity here.

On the Associated Press front, all the president has to do is what Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to do: explain in general terms why the Justice Department thought it necessary to secure the phone records of AP reporters; explain why there was an urgency to the investigation. Obama can certainly do that without compromising national security. So why isn't he doing it?

The answer to that question lies in accountability. When has Obama ever been held accountable for anything? The press largely covers for him when mistakes are made, and the public seems to be in a very forgiving mood, especially on economic matters, where, according to some polls, almost half of the voters believe the sluggish economy is George W. Bush's fault.

Sensing blood in the water, the president's ardent opponents will continue to take the scandals as far as they can. The only way this stops is for Obama to take control, admit whatever mistakes were made, explain how and why they happened, and hope the public understands.

If he doesn't do that, his second term could well be a national nightmare.
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2013, 09:31:43 PM »
Speaking of trying to avoid facts and details.....

When you get right down to it, the political targeting and stalling of tax-exempt applications by the IRS was an effort to defund the Tea Party. Rick Santelli, one of the Tea Party founders and my CNBC colleague, was the first to make this point. I’ve taken it a step further: The IRS was taking the Tea Party out of play for the 2012 election, as it looked to avoid a repeat of 2010 and another Tea Party landslide.
There are a lot of numbers out there. Some say Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status averaged 27 months for approval, while applications from liberal groups averaged nine. In one extreme case, according to the Washington Post, the IRS granted the Barack H. Obama Foundation tax-exempt status in a speedy one-month timeframe. Yet some conservative groups waited up to three years, and some still haven’t received approval.
But there can be only one reason for the stalled-out approval process for conservative groups. The IRS was trying to put them out of business. Thus far, there’s not one wit of contradictory evidence.
Think of this: If the IRS wasn’t politically targeting conservative groups, why did its leading spokespeople lie?

This was not even cognitive dissonance. It was outright lying before Congress. Lois Lerner, a key player in the IRS’s tax-exempt division, is being accused by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee of no fewer than four lies. The inspector general’s report shows that she knew about the targeting problem in June 2011, but wouldn’t admit to it in correspondence with Congress over the next two years.
Then there’s former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee. He apparently knew about the targeting in May 2012, but told Congress in August 2012 that he didn’t.
Or there’s former IRS acting director Steve Miller, who was just pushed out. He also knew about the targeting in May 2012, but later refused to admit it to Congress during testimony.
In fact, the whole bloody agency may have known about it on August 4, 2011. According to the Treasury Department IG report, various IRS big wigs met that day to talk about the conservative-targeting problem. That meeting may have included the IRS’s chief counsel; while the IG report says he was at the meeting, the IRS has denied that he was. But if one of his minions was at the meeting, the chief counsel would have known about the problem.
And it turns out the Treasury’s inspector general, J. Russell George, told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 that he was auditing the IRS’s political-organization screening. That means White House appointees in the Treasury, including deputy secretary Neal Wolin, were aware of the IRS scandal before the presidential election. According to the New York Times, IG George “did not tell the officials of his conclusions that the targeting had been improper.”
No one knows the exact facts, which presumably will come out in the hearings. But this is important stuff. It is conspiracy stuff. Criminal stuff.
We already know that IRS employees gave heavily to Obama in 2008 and 2012, and very little to candidates McCain and Romney. But who was the quarterback in all this? Who was managing the targeting operation in the bowels of the IRS?
It could have been Sarah Hall Ingram. She served as commissioner of the IRS’s tax-exempt division between 2009 and 2012. And she got a $100,000 bonus for her efforts. And now -- incredibly -- she’s running the IRS’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) office, leaving her successor Joseph Grant to take the fall. But he just turned tail and resigned.
And now get this: President Obama has named OMB controller Daniel Werfel acting director of the IRS. And he’s only going to serve between May 22 and the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30. Are you kidding?
In four months, we’re to believe Mr. Werfel is going to piece together the lies, finger the quarterback, and replace everybody who was involved, not just in the now-infamous Cincinnati office, but in offices in Washington, D.C., two towns in California, and  even Austin, Texas. (That’s the latest count.) And this guy Werfel is also supposed to manage the agency which is adding Obamacare to its income-tax-collection responsibilities. In four months.

An independent special counsel with subpoena power is the only possible solution. This counsel must find out exactly what happened and who was involved, and then come up with a fix so it never happens again. Of course, Obama charged Treasury secretary Jack Lew with straightening this out. But Lew’s an Obama political operative.
By the way, a special counsel will have to do a special investigation, since we’re already learning the inspector-general investigation was a very superficial operation. And an independent special counsel can investigate any possible White House connections with senior Treasury officials, connections that could lead to the Oval Office.
We may hate the IRS because of its taxing power. We may hate it more because of its new Obamacare power. But it is a massively important government agency. And now we know that it is fraught with corruption and a liberal-left political agenda.
Only an independent special counsel could possibly straighten this mess out
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 03:27:11 PM »
"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan - June 12, 1987


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013, 06:50:13 PM »
In order for something like that to occur, there has to be a much higher up whistle blower(s), that cite direct testimony, under oath, that they got their marching orders from the man himself, or his chief of staff.  I don't see that happening, but any thought the Dems had at controlling DC come 2014 appears to have burned up faster than the Benghazi talking points
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 11:47:52 AM »
Couldn't have said it better

Let’s Exploit Liberal Hypocrisy

Some establishment types are shaking their heads as they warn conservatives that we must not politicize the Administration’s Benghazi bungling, its Obamacare shakedowns, its AP records grab or its IRS abuses.

Like hell we mustn’t. We must. Big time.

The last couple weeks’ revelations of fresh and compelling examples of the kind of duplicity and petty tyranny we conservatives have been screaming about for five years have presented us with what military folks call a “seam.” A “seam” is the border where two different units meet, and it is generally the kind of weak point you want to drive your forces into in order to split your opponent’s front and rout him. These latest scandals have revealed a seam between two elements of the liberal coalition, the liberals who actually believe some of what they say and the cynical leftists who merely crave power.

Let’s split that seam.

But to do so, conservatives must ignore the voices of the fussy and the fainthearted and ruthlessly exploit it. We can and should – and must – politicize the hell out of these shameful imbroglios.

There’s nothing wrong with politicizing politics. In fact, it’s kind of difficult to imagine why politics shouldn’t be politicized – politics is, after all, by definition political. In fact, it’s only this week, after it became inconvenient, that the liberal establishment changed its collective mind and determined that politicization was once again a bad thing. It was a good thing when liberals were slobbering at the chance to use the massacre of innocents by a lunatic to deprive law-abiding citizens of their sacred fundamental right to keep and bear effective arms. Back then, politicizing misfortune was not only A-OK but a moral imperative.

This week, not so much.

The hypocrisy surrounding the concept of politicization illustrates the opportunity conservatives have had fall into their collective lap as a result of this tsunami of scandals. Today’s liberalism is a festival of hypocrisy, of purported values solemnly praised and heartily defended right up until the second it stops being in the interest of liberalism to do so. At that point, these sacred values get discarded like so many whiskey bottles in the Kennedy compound’s recycling bin.

Of course, no discussion of liberal hypocrisy could begin without a reference to Teddy Kennedy, who did his part in the War on Women by personally running up the casualty rate. Bill Clinton was another friend of women, at least until they complained about him and were insulated by his liberal guardians.

Liberal champions of minorities didn’t hesitate to make an icon of Robert Byrd, who was either a Grand Imperial Cyclops or an Exalted Kleagle in the Democrat-founded KKK. And the liberal champions of the innocent and the helpless won’t help you if you are too innocent or helpless – if you are, say, a fetus you are out of luck.

The current administration’s love of civil rights and liberties came to an end about the time the President removed his hand from the Bible in January 2009.

Free speech was an awesome concept when liberals were using it against their opponents. But once liberals took power, free speech became an appalling obstacle to true progress. Freedom of religion stopped being important when some religious people abused that right by opposing liberal initiatives on religious grounds. And as for the Second Amendment, well, don’t let the text fool you into thinking it gives you any rights.

If it was to the Administration’s short term political advantage to quarter soldiers in private houses without the consent of the owner they would be showing the Third Amendment the door.

We now have an Administration that lied about what happened in Benghazi, and is now lying about its lies.

We have a cabinet secretary shaking down healthcare companies for “donations” to a propaganda fund for Obamacare.

We have the government grabbing up reporters’ cellphone records,

and we have the IRS randomly selecting for persecution people and entities who just happen to oppose the regime’s goals.

For some liberals, this is just too much to swallow, and we should focus on splitting them out of the liberal coalition. This is the seam.

We spend so much time seeing and reading the ravings of the zombie liberals of the media and the blogs that we forget there is another group of liberals who are liberal because – for whatever misguided reason – they think liberalism is the right way to be. In other words, there are liberals who actually believe what liberalism used to purport to support – including civil rights, civil liberties and the rights of traditionally disadvantaged people.

It is interesting that from those ranks come some of the most dedicated and effective conservative activists – people who became conservative not because they changed their views but because they didn’t. Liberalism left them. They believe in individual rights and in equality before the law. They hate prejudice and bigotry in all their ugly forms. They embrace every individual’s value, and want to see every individual have a chance to live and to succeed.

They are people like Andrew Breitbart. Andrew was not born a conservative. He wasn’t raised a right-winger. He started out a liberal, but he actually took seriously what liberals said. His great sin – and why he was and is so hated by liberals – is that he refused to stop believing in those values when those values stopped being useful. His outrage was not that liberals were liberal; it was that establishment liberals were liars, that they struck poses as defenders of what was true and good and then abandoned them without a second thought if another pose better served their purpose.

This is the seam, the liberals who have a sense of right and wrong, who truly believe in the values the liberal establishment merely pays lip service too. You can see them tentatively raising their heads in response to the avalanche of scandals, noting that maybe the Administration could be a bit more forthcoming on Benghazi, that perhaps siccing government enforcers on political opponents is a bad thing to do.

They sense the truth, and they need time to get their head around it. Liberalism has left them too.

This is why it is no time to go all wobbly. This is why it is no time to ease up on the accelerator. The unvarnished truth, presented clearly, forthrightly and undeniably, will be a wedge that drives them out of the liberal coalition.

Now that the mainstream media has itself felt the clammy grasp of government oppression, for the first time since the inauguration the White House has reason to fear the headlines in the morning papers. The press senses blood in the water, and some elements of it seem to be stirring out of their lethargy and spinning up into a well-deserved feeding frenzy.

As conservatives, we should not overplay our hand. We should not babble about impeachment or oversell the revelations. We should let the media be the delivery system for the bad news – it’s a lot harder to shoot the messenger when the messenger is the undeniably liberal Washington Post.

But politicize it we must – in hearings, on talk shows, to reporters. We have found the seam. Our wedge is truth. And we need to drive it in with a sledgehammer.
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 08:16:23 PM »
But politicize it we must – in hearings, on talk shows, to reporters. We have found the seam. Our wedge is truth. And we need to drive it in with a sledgehammer. 

I guess I can go along with that, provided that as conservatives we are actually offering better.

Replacing corrupt Democrats with corrupt Republicans is worse than useless, we must be demanding and hold high standards elese our hypocracy will surpass the hypocracy we see in opposition.

Already many voters are too apathetic to really keep up with the news, this is a problem that can get worse if the voting public sees corruption dueling with corruption.


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Re: Scandal Machine
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 12:00:24 AM »
agreed 100%
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle