Monday, May 20, 2013

Not Exactly

(Editorial cartoon by Glenn McCoy / Belleville News-Democrat (May 17, 2013) and featured at McClatchy DC.)

Doyle McManus took a look at the three scandals currently swirling around the White House and seems to believe that this state of affairs is typical for a second-term president.

What is it about presidents' second terms that makes them seem so scandal-ridden? Simple: The iron law of longevity. All governments make mistakes, and all governments try to hide those mistakes. But the longer an administration is in office, the more errors it makes, and the harder they are to conceal.

Just ask Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, all of whom spent much of their second terms playing defense.

The longevity rule caught up with Barack Obama last week as he wrestled clumsily with not one controversy but three: the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of "tea party" groups, the Benghazi killings and the Justice Department's seizure of Associated Press telephone records....

If Obama is both smart and lucky, all three controversies will gradually fade away, assuming no more wrongdoing comes to light. His Republican critics already run the risk of repeating their error in the 1998 impeachment of Clinton; if they hound the White House on charges that don't pan out, they'll be vulnerable to charges that they're wasting time on partisan squabbles.   [Emphasis added]

 I agree that the second term is difficult for most presidents, but this series of events is a zebra with a different stripe.  Yes, Obama is behaving clumsily, stumbling gracelessly on the first two "scandals" involving the IRS and Benghazi.  On the third, he at least has used the cover provided him by the various iterations of the Patriot Act, passed overwhelmingly by the congress critters since 9/11, 

Ironically, that third scandal has merit, but not exactly the one the wackaloons in the current Congress want to touch.  I think that's why we've seen fewer fireworks being shot off on that one.

I also think that what really is ginning up the controversies is a desire to keep the wackaloons in place for the 2014 election, perhaps even after the 2016 election.  If the basest base of the GOP can be kept energized, the Tea Party movement (primarily funded by Our Owners) will last a little longer and its hangers-on (Ryan, Bachmann, and Issa) will be in place for another couple of years at least.

It's never too early to campaign for the next election.

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