Some months it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed, especially if you are the President of the United States. First there was the IRS “scandal.” This is, of course, Obama’s Watergate. This is the one where he goes down! The socialist nit has finally done it and he’ll get his come-uppence for sure now.
Here’s how it all came about.
IRS Newbie Employee: Sir, we have a butt-load of applications from Tea Party and “Patriot” organizations for 501 (c) 3 and 501 (c) 4 status all of a sudden.
IRS Veteran Boss Type Person: Well, what do you expect, Cadwallader, it’s election time.
IRS Newbie Employee: But sir, aren’t they political organizations?
IRS Veteran Boss Type Person: So?
IRS Newbie Employee: Well, as you are aware, 501 (c) 3 organizations are charitable agencies and 501 (c) 4 organizations are social welfare agencies. They can’t be primarily political organizations.
IRS Veteran Boss Type Person: Good grief, Cadwallader, look into it. If you can prove they are primarily political organizations, then deny them the status. That’s what the taxpayers pay you for, after all.
IRS Newbie Employee: Um, yes sir.
Later, at the water fountain:
IRS Employee #2: Whatcha doing these days, Cadwallader?
IRS Newbie Employee: I’m looking into all these Tea Party and Patriot organizations applying for tax exempt status.
IRS Employee #2: That sounds politically dangerous, Cadwallader. Are you sure you want to do that?
IRS Newbie Employee: Orders came straight from the top.
IRS Employee #2: Wow. Maybe I should look at the stack on my desk too.
Bingo. Scandal time. People actually doing what we pay them to do! And do you know how many of those Tea Party and Patriot organizations who applied for tax exempt status were actually denied that status? Do you know how many Tea Party organizations and Patriot organizations are actually involved directly in politics according to the IRS after “unfairly singling them out for scrutiny?” Zero, zip, zilch. Nada. Nil. Scandalous!
And, of course, Obama not only gave the order, but he personally visited the IRS regional heads to give it to them instead of going to Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. More scandal. Will the man never learn.
Then came the AP scandal. The Justice Department got a secret subpoena to look at the phone records of some AP journalists after they reported on a story in which the CIA had foiled another underwear bomber attack. That put certain undercover operatives at risk, and that’s a big deal. We don’t want another Valerie Plame scandal, after all. So, acting under the power given them by the US Congress under the Patriot Act, The Justice Department went looking for the leak – all quite legally so far as anyone can tell right now. But they went looking at journalists and well, journalists are like sacred cows. You can’t just go looking at journalist’s phone records! What if one of them is having an affair? Then there would be a scandal!
And, of course, all of this was preceded by the Benghazi scandal which was the first Obama Watergate, but it is so old and worn out that it doesn’t deserve mention right up front. As Joe Klein points out in a recent TIME Magazine column, this one isn’t even really a scandal, it’s more of a scam by the Republican Party to try to discredit Obama. That hasn’t stopped the press and the talking heads on cable news, not to mention the conservative members of Congress from beating it to death long after it became a dead horse.
And all of this should have spelled the end of the Obama era by now… except it hasn’t. He’s still there, defiling the White House with his scandalous behavior. Why? Why, we have to ask isn’t the man gone? Why hasn’t congress impeached his butt for all these impeachable offenses? Why aren’t the American people crying out for his immediate removal for office? Well, some of them are. And they are the same ones who keep beating all these dead horses in the first place. But the rest of us see them for what they are: smoke and mirrors.
We have problems in this country. We have real problems. But these ain’t them. If you want to talk about Benghazi, talk about the budgets for overseas embassy security. If you want to talk about the problems with the IRS, talk about why we have to have so many regulations and why we have to distinguish between a “charitable organization” and a “social welfare organization” and how any political organization can qualify for either. If you want to talk about the AP situation, talk about the powers we have granted government in the Patriot Act and how the grey areas there affect real people and the image of freedom that we venerate.
But this stuff is boring. It won’t play in Peoria. It doesn’t increase circulation or translate into good rating numbers. So we have to have loaded words crammed into headlines for those. Let’s link “Obama” and “IRS.” What other two words can get such an emotional reaction from the masses. Or “Obama” and “freedom of the press.” That’s a good one, too. Any day now you can expect to see this one: Obama Accused of Wife Beating, followed by the real story:
“The White House revealed today that President Obama regularly beats his wife and often his two children. “I don’t know why we even bother to play Clue with him anymore,” said the First Lady, “He always seems to win.”
Your Humble Servant,
The Willowbrook Curmudgeon