HART: Shades of Nixon: Obama & Scandal
Much has been made of Obama using the coercive power of government to go after political opponents and to intimidate dissenters. I’ve been out of the country, so allow me to make even more of it — assuming this column is not seized by Eric Holder’s Department of "Just-Us."
Presidents Nixon and Obama both liked enemy lists. Obama’s IRS and Benghazi scandals could go as high in his administration as Jay-Z. At a minimum, Dennis Rodman should resign.
Nixon secretly bombed Cambodia; Obama, the Drone Ranger, secretly kills American citizens abroad. Both sicced the feds on their enemies.
It is a fair comparison of two aloof and devious presidents, pure politicians willing to hurt opponents to win. Obama portrayed his opponent, all-American, clean-as-a-whistle Mitt Romney, as a murderous, greedy monster. Obama did not win re-election on his record or his ideology; he destroyed the reputation of his opponent, and his O-bots went after GOP supporters.
The difference seems to be that the economy grew at a rate 2.5 times better under Nixon. He was also a better bowler, and probably a better free-throw shooter, though the awkward Nixon would have shot hoops in a cardigan sweater.
Obama said he knew nothing about IRS targeting of conservative groups since 2010 until he heard it from the press. Never mind that his Chief of Staff knew of it for weeks. Are we to believe they are that close and do not talk? Who are they, the Clintons?
When Nixon was first asked about Watergate, I am pretty sure he had the same Sergeant Schultz-like answer as Obama. As Nixon told us, he was "not a crook."
Maybe Obama didn’t know. He must have been too busy not knowing about Benghazi nine months ago to know anything about the IRS overreach and the Fox wire taps his administration was doing. Do you really think going into Fox news reporters' personal emails on dubious grounds for suspicion was anything other than political?
Maybe if Obama held more press briefings, the “press” could “brief” him on what’s happening. Obama chose to say he did not know anything about the IRS scandal in a rainy Rose Garden appearance (the roses needed fertilizing).
He awkwardly had a Marine hold an umbrella over him, Michael Jackson-style, as he spoke in front of a roofed White House. I guess the Marines can be assigned to protect Obama’s suit from rain but not our diplomats from terrorist attacks in Benghazi.
The IRS’s Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify to Congress. She needs to be careful; if she clings too hard to the Constitution, she might risk landing on Obama’s enemies list and have to audit herself.
So far, the only person to pay a price in the IRS scandal was the “acting head” of the IRS, Stephen Miller, who was going to retire anyway; he just did so a few weeks early. The reason Miller was called the “acting" head of the IRS was that it was crucial he continue to “act” like the Obama administration had nothing to do with the scandal.
If Bernie Madoff gets out of prison, he could resume his Ponzi scheme investment business, knowing this government would never investigate if he names it the "Carbon-Neutral Lean Forward-Progressive Green Investment Company."
The real answer to this IRS case study is that the complex tax system that hands such capricious power to the government should be abolished and a simple Fair Tax implemented.
Obama has gone from “Change we can believe in” to "We change our story until you believe it." The self-proclaimed "most transparent president of all time" is having Eric Holder investigate himself. This is not unprecedented; Obama tasked Hillary Clinton with investigating herself on Benghazi. Within a day she said she was innocent of any wrongdoing and recommended a raise for herself.
One would think a guy who plays as much golf as Obama could distinguish a good lie from a bad one.
The reason Obama should not be impeached can be summed up in two words: Joe Biden. Eric Holder should resign. He then could run for office with Anthony Weiner in 2016, the bumper sticker being: Weiner Holder.
Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.