Monday, May 27, 2013

What Obama's Scandals Have in Common

The scandals besetting the administration have this in common, they all spring from a desire to score political victory at all costs.  The administration's belief is that it must maintain a narrative, convenient to the President, facts be damned, rule of law as well.

The scandal of Benghazi grew out of a desire to wish away the inconvenience of the resurgence of al-Qaeda.  Obama was supposed to have won the war on terror by killing bin Laden, the success of terrorists in killing a U.S. ambassador couldn't be admitted to, so some poor schlub who made a third rate video finds himself behind bars.  Some excellent background and the Petraeus connection here.

The IRS targeting of tea party and "patriot" groups came after prominent Democratic politicians and the left wing grass roots led a drumbeat of accusations that the tea party was not a genuine grass roots movement, but a creature of the Koch brothers and anonymous right-wing billionaires.  We were warned that Democrats might push the IRS to target conservative groups in 2010 and look what happened.

Similarly, the massive dragnet against the AP's phone records look like payback for another story that upset the Obama narrative about the war on terror.  In May of the election year, the AP broke a story of an al-Qaeda plot to blow up an airliner on the anniversary of the bin Laden killing.  Bringing to the public's attention the fact that there were negative consequences to the killing of bin Laden and the fact that the terrorists are still active is another inconvenient narrative.

Finally, while not a scandal, the pending furloughs of defense employees was also wholly avoidable.    The administration directed the Defense Department to continue spending at last year's levels, rather than setting aside reserves in case of sequestration.  Allowing any hint that there would be actually be a sequestration might hurt Obama's chances for re-election in northern Virginia home to many defense employees and contractors.  The administration even told contractors that they shouldn't send out the warning notices that their might be layoffs.  Now, furloughs will cause across the board delays to defense programs, which will cascade into increased costs in future years.  Meanwhile, the administration has yet to propose any significant program cuts that would rationalize the defense budget.

What connects these issues is the unlimited greed for power and the bending of every portion of the government to maintain the President's power.  Ironically, the scandals will weaken Obama during his second term.

What You Should Be Reading

DooDoo Economics reports on Microsoft getting into the political discrimination business.  Memo to Bill Gates, the election is over.

Mark Steyn tells you all you need to know about the rot that is Britain, as revealed by the machete murders in Woolwich.  The reaction of the British is more frightening than the heinous crime itself.

Patrick Buchanan explains why the Middle East will stay engulfed in civil war for a while, and why we should stay out of it.  There is precious little the U.S. can do to influence a good outcome there.

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