Obama scandals reveal true govt.

anti government graffitiMay 20, 2013

By Steven Greenhut

The Obama administration has gotten itself into a fix between its contradictory stories about the Benghazi incident, reports of the IRS targeting conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s grabbing of phone records from AP reporters. There are few things more fun to watch than arrogant political leaders — folks who spend their lives bossing everyone around — getting a comeuppance.

My favorite take wasn’t from any serious commentator but from comedian Jon Stewart, who noticed that the president routinely claims ignorance about embarrassing events by saying that he learned of them while watching the news: “I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama learned Osama bin Laden had been killed when he saw himself announcing it on television.”

I take a bipartisan approach to Washington, DC’s political scandals and find myself savoring them all, regardless of the party that is in control of the White House. Any sane person would conclude that all administrations and bureaucracies essentially are corrupt given that they thrive on the exertion of power over other people. We know about the corrupting influence of power, and DC has become like ancient Rome that way. It’s a magnet for those seeking favor, money, or a big title administering some pointless program.

I visited DC last week and was astounded at the booming economy, the endless new construction, the astronomical prices, and garish displays of wealth everywhere — not to mention the haughty attitudes of every pissant assistant to the whatever. That’s what Other People’s Money buys you. When Ronald Reagan talked about the Shining City on the Hill he was speaking metaphorically about America, but the new shining city is DC — funded on the backs of all those Americans who blithely vote for people who promise to solve their problems.


That’s the main lesson from this latest mess: the federal government is an untamable beast. These superficial scandals are nothing compared to the things we will never learn — i.e., the way the CIA conducts its business overseas.

Still, there are so many things to savor as President Obama circles the drain. Obama has always exuded an intellectual arrogance. Yet if he’s so smart, why would his Justice Department target reporters? The national media has fawned over the president, but the quickest way to end that love affair is to go after their personal records.

Unfortunately, many people insist on seeing every scandal in terms of partisanship. Conservatives are aghast, as they should be, at the thought of an IRS auditing groups based on their political views. That is eerily totalitarian. But where would they have been had a Republican administration done the same thing to liberal critics? I doubt the activist groups would be sending out the alarmist direct-mail pieces if the latest Bush were still president.

The best news from the ongoing drama is that people on the left and right see problems here. Let’s use that as a foundation for a renewed civil-liberties coalition that understands that there are many bright red lines in which the government — regardless of who nominally is at the head of it — does not cross. That’s easier to do when one realizes that our supposedly limited government is so limitless in its size, power, and taxing ability that no president can control it.

When pundits complain about excess partisanship, what they usually are really saying is they are tired of all the political fighting. Yet political fighting is good — it’s a sign of differences of opinion and assures that important issues get debated, however clumsily, in the public.

In Sacramento, California, the Republican Party has imploded and there is little worry about partisanship. But the state’s Democratic Party is now engaged in policies so secretive that even liberal-oriented pundits are getting concerned. No one has the power to say no, so the Democrats are ramming through every manner of dangerous bill.

The new health-exchange law shields most contracts under a veil of secrecy so that public money can be dispensed to friends and cronies without the public learning about where it is going. Democratic leaders have embraced a gut-and-amend frenzy — proposing dozens of bills with placeholder language that will be stripped away at the last minute with new and completely different language inserted. This circumvents normal debate and oversight.

Not just Democrats

This is not a Democratic problem per se, but a government problem. And local governments are arguably even more dangerous to our liberties. In Bakersfield recently, after Kern County sheriff’s deputies beat to death a young father (after being called to the scene for a minor incident — public drunkenness), they grabbed the cellphones of bystanders who were recording the incident. That’s right out of a police state.

Government is about power and force. Many people charged with power over others will abuse it. That’s human nature. Unfortunately, the nation’s founding ideals — limited, accountable government, with separated powers and checks and balances — have been fading away. Government is so big that even the president and the attorney general claim they have no idea what their departments are doing. I almost believe them.

We need to rebuild a coalition of civil libertarians of the left and right who agree to some basics, on some bright red lines that no government should cross. We need to provide a unified, bipartisan front on behalf of individual liberties and against any official from any party who would trample them. Maybe we can learn that constructive lesson from the administration’s unreconstructed behavior.


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  1. Reject This Voice
    Reject This Voice 20 May, 2013, 08:51

    “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

    President Obama, speech at Ohio State commencement, May 5, 2013


    Reply this comment
  2. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 20 May, 2013, 09:21

    Benghazi–Who cares about the stupid talking points? Just another Republiscam

    IRS thing— That was bad– they will get to the bttm of it and more heads will roll, ted likes that the President dumped the boss.

    AP thing— tempest in a teapot (no potdome) , looking at the call records in light of the leak does not keep the Ted ™ up at night.

    All in all— just fodder for the bunker hunker Beck Squad and little more……

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 20 May, 2013, 09:45

    Greenster– What’s your beef with the CIA??? Seems like they do a pretty good job overseas for the most part. Sure, some things fail, but it usually has more to do with the political will here than the company.

    Did you ever read Frank Snep’s book about his agency Vietnam experience?

    Reply this comment
  4. us citizen
    us citizen 20 May, 2013, 09:45

    We already have red lines……its called the constitution. How about using and enforcing it………

    Reply this comment
  5. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 20 May, 2013, 09:52

    US Cit— Exactly what Constitutional red line is not being enforced?

    Reply this comment
  6. Hondo
    Hondo 20 May, 2013, 10:05

    To all my liberal friends here, do you trust the IRS with your health records? Or your daughters?
    Say you are a govt worker and you won’t take part is some illegal govt action or theft your fellow workers are plotting. You won’t play illegal ball. Then a packet is dumped on your doorstep containing the medical records of your adult daughter, showing she has Herpes or some other VD. The note says you better play ball or your daughters medical records will be copied and spread all over town.
    Do you trust the republicans, if they take the whitehouse, not to play catchup with Obama’s IRS now that the IRS has everyone’s medical records?
    You don’t think that will happen?
    The IRS is an arm of the democratic campaign committee. The IRS employees are all unionized. That will end up being a major part of this scandal, I think.

    Reply this comment
  7. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 20 May, 2013, 10:56

    Honda— Honestly amigo I think you’re paranoid. Heads have and will roll on this last IRS thing. This hurt the Prersident. Give the culture a chance to catch up–this will be considered tabboo and while it may happen again, I think it’s rare.

    Reply this comment
  8. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 20 May, 2013, 11:09

    ted likes that the President dumped the boss.

    Tedszly ……whispersonly morons, movie stars, and professional athletes refer to themselves in third person. Two of those things you are not.

    Just looking out for everyones favorite retired, too much time on his hands lobbyist.

    Reply this comment
  9. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 20 May, 2013, 11:57

    You must have only read the very first sentence, Trolling Teddy. That’s as near as I can figure it, as it was only in SG’s intro were the scandals d’jour specifically mentioned.

    Greenhut’s points are much broader.

    Is your reading comprehension failing? Your myopia worsening?

    Reply this comment
  10. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 20 May, 2013, 12:27

    Teddy…don’t banter we these goose stepper fools….they are beyond paranoid…..white coat material!

    Reply this comment
  11. BobA
    BobA 20 May, 2013, 12:34


    The fact of the matter is that the IRS can and will do what ever they want and get away with what ever they want and no one can stop them. Congress has the power to defund the IRS and shut them down but they are just as afraid of the IRS as the average citizen. Our founding fathers repeatedly warned us that the would happen if we the people allowed our government to get this big and here we are today.

    The IRS isn’t the only government agency the American people ar afraid of either. Don’t forget that the EPA can arbitrarily and capriciously take your property from you and there is little you can do about it. They can also shut down any business they want to if said business doesn’t jump through their hoops and dares to fight back. The latest scandals only proves that America has crossed the threshold into government tyranny and there is no turning back.

    “You and I are told increasingly that we have to choose between a left or a right. There is only an up or down: up to man’s age-old dream — the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.” –Ronald Reagan.

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 20 May, 2013, 13:17

    Relax Bo-bo– it will be ok……..try to remember (heck, all of you doomers need to remember), that this is a gov. by, of and for the people— a majority of your fellow Americans want these folks in there doing the j.o.b.—-try to stop coming so unglued and distraught. When you all get the chance to elect your crew, (ah…Ron Paul I guess, lol?) you’ll get a chance to show us all how its done! I will enjoy that! If you EVER get the votes!

    The Cycle of Ted

    Reply this comment
  13. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 20 May, 2013, 15:33

    Teddy…don’t banter we these goose stepper fools….they are beyond paranoid…..white coat material!

    So says one personality adoringly to the other!

    You’re just the bestest poster evah Teddy….everyone else in the room thinks so!

    Reply this comment
  14. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 20 May, 2013, 20:40

    Queenie your a work……Teddy is in your inner ear…..you cannot shake him…..the voice of truth and reason!

    Reply this comment
  15. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 21 May, 2013, 06:29

    Queenie your a work……Teddy is in your inner ear…..you cannot shake him…..the voice of truth and reason!


    Reply this comment
  16. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 21 May, 2013, 09:07

    Is the former Poodle now named Queenie? Teddy what do you think?

    Reply this comment
  17. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 21 May, 2013, 09:25

    Mr. U– I renamed her. She spends so much time watching tv in the bunker I thought it fit better. But I do miss the Poodle!

    Reply this comment
  18. Donkey
    Donkey 21 May, 2013, 12:31

    Teddy Steals, Head RAGWUS Tool!! The HRT of government!! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  19. Bunker Queen
    Bunker Queen 21 May, 2013, 12:47

    But I do miss the Poodle!

    Well do Spedlzzsly, we all do.

    Reply this comment
  20. Ted Steele, Navigator
    Ted Steele, Navigator 21 May, 2013, 15:26

    It’s a pleasure to at least know that the Poodle is still here in the form of the Queen….mmmmmm

    Reply this comment
  21. Queeg
    Queeg 21 May, 2013, 17:00

    Does anyone else post on this belived site beside this village personality Queenie?

    Reply this comment
  22. The Ted Development
    The Ted Development 21 May, 2013, 18:33

    Queeg. You are driving the poodle queen mad.

    Reply this comment
  23. Queeg
    Queeg 21 May, 2013, 21:44

    Only Teddy is capable of rent free space in Poodle’s 10,000 B. C. Mind!

    Reply this comment

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