Thursday, May 16, 2013

Arrogance, Cover-Ups and Blame-Shifting

From Harry Stein, at City Journal, "Not a Crook — Yet":

Nixon Denies photo NixonDenies_zpsd26b057b.jpg
The comparisons of the Obama and Nixon White Houses are suddenly coming—pardon the expression—fast and furious, and why not? The IRS investigations; the administration’s fixation on leaks and leakers and its obsession with enemies; the cover-ups, the blame-shifting to subordinates, the defiant chief executive, even the sweating, pathetically dissembling press secretary; it all has the odor of that earlier time. Again, it’s all happening early in the second term, following a triumphant reelection. Again, the operative terms are arrogance, contempt for law, and thuggery.

The growing awareness of administration malfeasance is evident in the numbers on Google: more than 59 million hits for “Obama and Nixon” and 24 million–plus for “Obama and Watergate.” For those interested, the 44th president’s face can already be found morphing into the 37th’s. Then there’s the rising tide of commentary. “Obama knee-deep in Nixon-esque scandal” runs the headline of columnist Joe Battenfield’s piece in the Boston Herald, which notes that Obama’s campaign slogan would have been more appropriate if it were not “Forward” but “Backward”—“All the way to, say, 1972.” “Benghazi, IRS—Son of Watergate?” asks Cal Thomas. “In IRS Scandal, Echoes of Watergate,” observes the Washington Post’s George Will.

Such talk is mostly confined to the Right so far, but a handful of principled liberals have also weighed in. “There’s no way in the world I’m going to defend that,” said U.S. Representative Michael Capuano of Massachusetts of the IRS’s going after the Tea Party. “Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.” Former Michigan Democratic congresswoman Lynn Rivers echoed him: “For anyone over 50, this news couldn’t help but stir memories of Richard Nixon’s Political Enemies Project. . . . To use Dan Rather’s ‘duck test,’ the IRS probe of ‘hostile’ ideological groups looks like, swims like, and quacks like government dirty tricks.” One of the heroes of Watergate weighed in, too. “This is outrageous, and it is totally inexcusable,” Carl Bernstein raged about the revelation that the Department of Justice had secretly seized the phone records of Associated Press journalists. “There is no reason that a presidency that is interested in a truly free press and its functioning should permit this to happen.” Thus it is that questions that once seemed unfathomable take on unexpected plausibility. Where and how far will it all go?
Continue reading.

Well, it's not going to impeachment anytime soon. There's still way too many questions, rival cover-ups, and a still mostly-compliant media. It's going to take some undeniably huge smoking gun to keep this flurry of bad news alive. As Sean Hannity predicted on air last night, things are likely to blow over in the lapdog press in no time. And to that, Michelle Malkin added that conservatives will never "stand down." Amen.

IMAGE CREDIT: Brad Marston.