IRS-AP-Benghazigate and the Overzealous GOP

By Dan

What a terrible week for the Obama administration. Easily the worst single news week during his presidency, and probably worse than any single week in the Bush presidency.

The GOP was handed a gift-basket of scandals this week with the reports that the IRS had targeted conservative groups applying for 501(c)(4) tax status for extra scrutiny. On top of that the AP was subpoenaed for phone records due to a leak regarding national security. Obviously the Republicans got a raging boner when they heard these things, while using their ‘outrage’ as a pillow to cover up said hard-on. This to go along with the Benghazi “scandal” they have been spewing in their little Republican bubbles since it happened back in September.

So lets first get into the IRS. I’m going to come out and say this first before I get into anything else, but I absolutely don’t condone that kind of shitty behavior from a government agency that is supposed to be neutral.

Okay. Now that that’s out of the way…does the GOP actually think this is going to stick with the public?! It’s fucking ridiculous. Just because a government agency fucks up (pretty royally) does not mean that it was somehow commanded down from the White House, let alone the Oval Office. Do the Republicans even know that the only two appointees to the IRS when this was happening were Republicans appointed by Bush? Their outrage is as if my girlfriend blamed me for her ex-boyfriend having sex with her best friend. Was it a shitty thing to do? Obviously. Is it my fault? Obviously not.

John Boehner is saying people shouldn’t just be fired, but that someone needs to go to jail although somehow doesn’t think the bankers who destroyed our economy should go to jail. If that doesn’t show how purely political this ‘outrage’ over the IRS is, I don’t know what does.

So what can we expect for this story going forward? Well first of all, barring any huge revelation that this actually did come down from the White House (extremely unlikely, but resignation forcing if it did), we’ll probably keep hearing the same nonsense from the Republican noise machine going all the way into the mid-terms.

However, the general public is going to forget about this faster than they forgot about Honey Boo Boo. Everyone will be obsessed for like…2 weeks, then they’ll all be ashamed of how much time they wasted thinking, talking, and paying attention to it.

honey boo boo

Now onto the AP situation. This is going to be a quick one. The AP getting subpoenaed for phone records is totally okay when it comes to a threat of national security. I am by no means a guy who is willing to give up all of his rights for the sake of national security, but according to Eric Holder, this was one of the 2 or 3 most pressing national security threats he had ever witnessed. I’m willing to have the press’ constant need to get the story out first take a backseat to making sure Americans are safe.

On top of that, you lose your rights to free speech and to some degree freedom of the press when someone with security clearance is leaking news that they have sworn not to. I do not feel bad for you when the government hunts down the source of the leak and prosecutes you. And it’s likely that means getting access to phone records from the sources that acquired the leaked info.

So this is a non-story. However, the GOP is obviously trying to make this about first amendment rights yadda yadda yadda, despite completely forgetting the first part of the first amendment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and constantly trying to stomp all over the rest of the amendments (14th and 17th, in particular).

And now finally, Benghazi. Oooh Benghazi. This has been the GOP witch-hunt of the past 8 months. First it was why wasn’t the embassy being protected? Then it was why did Obama say it was because of an anti-Islamist video? Then it was Susan Rice. Now it’s the talking points that were emailed out and had edits to it.

But here’s how I see it. Was the attacks at the embassy in Benghazi terrible? Yes. 4 Americans died, including an Ambassador. Could we have done things to prevent it? Maybe. Have we done things to prevent it from happening again? Yes. So quit your bitching.

What I think of is what happened after 9/11. There was an investigation because some kind of shady stuff happened, they established the 9/11 commission, and the published their findings. Lets just do that and have this be over with. Democrats didn’t try to politicize 9/11 to the point where they were talking impeachment of the President. In fact, the GOP tried to politicize it even more so they could go and bomb a country not involved. But that’s besides the point.

The point is that the GOP live in this bubble of misinformation and outrage that is both misguided and inconsistent. A recent Public Policy Polling survey showed that 41 percent of Republicans believe Benghazi is THE BIGGEST SCANDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY. the same poll asked if Benghazi was a bigger scandal than Iran-Contra, Teapot Dome, and Watergate. The results? 70%, 74%, and 74%  of Republicans, respectively, think Benghazi is worse. (See the full PPP report here.)

And some Republicans in Congress are saying even more ridiculous things…

This week was hurtful to the President and to Democrats across the nation. That’s no doubt. But let’s all try to keep this in some…. perspective. None of these things are impeachment worthy at this current juncture. So lets stop throwing that word around.

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