Monday, May 13, 2013

When is a Scandal?

When is a scandal a scandal? When is a scandal not a scandal? Curiously enough it would seem the answer to both of these questions is when Republicans define a scandal. At the moment Benghazi is a scandal for Republicans even though it is not actually a scandal. Somehow it has become common to define scandals as something done by Democrats, and especially anything done by President Obama. What happened in Benghazi is little different than what happened several times during the Bush/Cheney administration. It is only defined a scandal now because Republicans want us to believe it is. They obviously want it to be a scandal to discredit Obama, and more importantly, to discredit Hillary Clinton who may run for President in 2016. It is a scandal that is not a scandal.
Similarly, the accusation that the IRS targeted Tea Party and other Right-leaning groups for investigation, is another scandal that is not actually a scandal. There is no doubt the IRS concentrated on such groups, they have admitted to doing so. But the assumption that this was political, and the further assumption that the White House was involved, is speculation gone wild. Obviously Tea Party and other Right Wing groups would have been prime subjects for investigation. First, they were new, and they were claiming to be non-political, a questionable claim at best. And while I do not know for certain, I suspect there were many more of them than left wing ones. They would have been prime targets for investigation, especially when the definition of such groups is itself questionable (if not ridiculous). It may well prove to be true that more right-wing claims were investigated than left-wing ones, but given the rapid rise of the Tea Party and their fellow travelers this would only be expected.
Of course the truth doesn’t matter here anyway, as anything Obama and the Democrats do is regarded as scandalous by Republicans. Remember it was scandalous the Obama children were attending private schools (unlike the children of all previous President’s children?) It was scandalous they were afforded more protection that other children (a claim so idiotic it could only have been made by Republicans). It was scandalous for President Obama to go on vacation when there were national interests at the time (Bush, of course, never vacationed when there were national interests at the moment). It is scandalous that Obama plays golf when he should be in the office (Bush would never have done such a thing). It is scandalous in Republican-land that Obama is President, being a Kenyan, Muslim, socialist, communist, fascist. It is scandalous that Michelle Obama bobbed her hair, or danced, or supported her husband. Now some nitwit Republican had the audacity (and excruciatingly bad taste) to question whether the Obama’s oldest child (15) was on birth control pills. You can bet if she was that would be a scandal, and if she is not, that, too, would be a scandal. For Republicans the fact that the Obamas breath air, drink water, and eat is scandalous.
There are things about the Obama administration that might well be seen as scandalous. Drone warfare, for example, the continuing pointless “war” in Afghanistan, the secrecy, the civil rights violations, the overwhelming “hawkishness,” and so on. Republicans don’t say much about these things as they are mostly in favor of them. What is truly scandalous is the behavior of Republicans, their refusal to compromise, their refusal to cooperate with Obama on anything, and their basic refusal to even attempt to “govern.” And even more scandalous is their disgusting hypocrisy and dishonesty. Having refused to make any effort to create jobs, and having blocked every attempt by Obama to do so, they now try to blame him for the failure to create jobs. They have done considerable damage to our country due to their irrational, racial, and obsessive hatred of Obama, and that is the real scandal of our time. You might say, taking something completely out of context, “They do not go gently into that good night, but rage, rage, against the dying of (their) light.” They should be mostly gone by 2014, if not, our country is in far worse shape than even I can envision.

I must say our behavior towards Iran remains just as scandalous as ever:  
 “Erin Pelton, spokesperson for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, said in a statement that a country "in flagrant violation" of U.N. Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency obligations stemming from its suspect nuclear program should be barred from any formal or ceremonial positions in U.N. bodies.”
Really? As far as I know they are not, and have never been “in flagrant violation,” and their “suspect nuclear program” is just that, suspect. But never mind common sense and reality, when Israeli paranoia and U.S. hegemony are involved.

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