Obama’s Nixonian turn
The Obama administration has used the IRS to target political enemies, sold guns to drug cartels, ignored pleas for help from our embattled Benghazi outpost, secretly obtained reporters’ and editors’ telephone records, watched silently as its attorney general perjured himself before Congress, sat idly while our veterans hospitals fudged their numbers instead of treating their patients and traded five terrorists for a likely deserter without informing Congress in direct violation of the law.
The administration of “hope and change” has devolved into one of scandal and lawlessness. And as the president’s poll numbers sink to their lowest levels yet, only the most blindly obedient party hacks refuse to see the obvious: President Obama has descended to Nixonian depths.
One wonders what has become of Harry S Truman’s mantra, “The buck stops here.” With the current administration it is very clear that the buck stops nowhere. President Obama has developed a carefully choreographed response that he rolls out whenever a new scandal arises. First, he expresses shock and outrage. Some days later he pledges to “get to the bottom” of what has happened and to hold those responsible accountable. Following this, he goes silent for some time and re-emerges blaming Republicans for manufacturing “phony scandals” in order to undermine his authority. There might not even be a buck in the first place.
And so it goes as the IRS scandal hits the news again. Recall that the IRS targeted tea party groups for special treatment. When this became public, the president was properly outraged and said on May 13, 2013, “I’ve got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it, and we’ll make sure that we find out exactly what happened.” Well, here we are, 14 months later, and guess what? The IRS has refused to produce Lois Lerner’s subpoenaed emails. Why? The IRS “lost” them. All of them. And they never can be retrieved. And, oh, yeah, at least six other hard drives germane to the investigation were “irretrievably lost,” too.
The administration is simply lying and why not? It has gotten away with it so many times that it naturally assumes it can do it forever. From Attorney General Eric Holder’s perjury involving the Fast and Furious program that sent guns to Mexican criminals, to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s assertion when caught lying to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he was the “least untruthful” he could be, to President Obama’s bald-faced lie, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” there are never any consequences.
Nixon would be downright jealous. The American people, on the other hand, should be horrified.
And it is time for them to treat President Obama as they did Nixon. Because there are really only two possibilities at this point: Either President Obama is supremely and consistently unaware of what his own administration is doing or the president has condoned wanton malfeasance. The president either is incompetent or criminal. Either way, this administration is unworthy of the nation it purports to govern.
Antony Davies is associate professor of economics at Duquesne University. James R. Harrigan is a fellow of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University.