Archive

Obama’s Nixonian turn | TribLIVE.com
Featured Commentary

Obama’s Nixonian turn

ptrocdaviespic062914
caglecartoons.com

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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.