Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1293: WSJ— Has The Obama Administration Been 'Long On Dignity And Short On Scandal'?

IRS Logo 2Wall Street Journal: A Crisis of Authority—II, by James Taranto:

[I]n a lengthy series of interviews, both pre- and postelection, with the New Yorker’s David Remnick, Obama has been quite fretful—torn, as at that press conference, between his duty as a lame-duck president to respect the office and the man who will soon hold it, and his anguish at what amounts to a repudiation of authority. ...

Remnick himself described the Obama presidency as “two terms long on dignity and short on scandal.” The IRS? The State Department scandal that arguably sank Mrs. Clinton’s campaign? Again, the memory hole.

In Lima on Sunday the president himself declared: “I am extremely proud of the fact that over eight years we have not had the kinds of scandals that have plagued other administrations.” That’s either delusional or very carefully worded: To our knowledge no other administration has used the IRS to punish ordinary citizens for dissent, nor faced FBI findings that the secretary of state treated classified information in an “extremely careless” fashion.

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The President's press secretary seems to have amended this declaration today to "personal" scandals. On that point I'd agree. Gun-running, mass domestic surveillance, targeting of political opponents, spying on and trying to prosecute reporters, editing and deleting portions of White House press briefings, making ransom payments to foreign governments to release hostages, cabinet officials lying before Congress, and of course the DOJ buring any and all internal investigations into these matters, those all definitely fall outside the President's personal life...

Posted by: MM | Nov 28, 2016 7:46:10 PM

Your daily postings say it all, IRS Scandal, Day 1294, etc. What this administration has done, far better than any in my memory at least, is play out the clock. The fight over what files to turn over is a constant with administrations but, usually, if the courts get involved it's done. This administration has proven it doesn't even care what the courts say, they'll do it when they're damn good and ready and not until. To me. that is a bigger scandal than any other administration, the complete disregard for separation of powers and the need for oversight.

Posted by: bflat879 | Nov 23, 2016 8:52:19 AM

Even a master wordsmith would have to say ATF's Fast & Furious "gunwalking" program was the same KIND of scandal as ATF's Wide Receiver program under Bush (even if worse because of volume and DOJ response).

(I hope this post does not land me on an NSA watchlist.)

Posted by: CareforNOLA | Nov 23, 2016 6:36:05 AM

There was also the illegal packing of the NLRB among many many other examples of scandal.

Posted by: wodun | Nov 22, 2016 6:18:12 PM