Washington must be in a state of shock. The scandals swirling around this administration just keep on coming and the sheer speed with which they are being revealed seems to be putting the White House on the defensive. Take your pick:
- the Benghazi cover-up, in which the administration was caught in a flood of lies regarding Benghazi and the events surrounding the murders of four American, even as the President’s narrative continues to change.
Former Secretary Hillary Clinton will no doubt go down in history, not for her time as First Lady, or her service as Obama’s Secretary of State, but for her angry response to Sen. Ron Johnson, during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigating the Benghazi murders: “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?”
To those of us who still care about the obligation of protecting the men and women who serve us overseas, it makes a great difference. And it matters that those who serve in high office are held publicly accountable to the American people for their acts of commission and omission when they betray the public trust. By not doing everything possible to save the Americans who represented us in Benghazi that night, the administration is likely to be found culpable and perhaps criminally guilty.
Two of the most recent scandals are:
- the IRS admittedly targeting “right wing” organizations for costly audits just before the 2012 Presidential election, while giving liberal groups (like Planned Parenthood and NPR) a pass, including the President’s own brother’s “Barack H. Obama Foundation”, which claimed 501(c)3 (tax deductible) status and solicited tax-deductible contributions, while operating solely out of Kenya;.
- the Department of Justice seizing AP’s phone records without notice, compromising Constitutional guarantees of the First Amendment and the ability of the press to protect its sources.
And then, there is:
- ObamaCare, which is now costing Americans millions instead of reducing health care costs as promised, placing an added tax burden on middle class workers’ paychecks (despite campaign promises of “not one penny of new taxes on the middle class”). ObamaCare is also forcing corporate employers to either stop hiring or put full time workers on part-time status in order to avoid the huge additional costs of the program.
The list of scandals and cover-ups continues, including the DOJ’s stealth “Fast and Furious” gun-running operations that sent 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and resulted in the murder of several hundred people there and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. In the hearings that uncovered this scandal, the Director of the Department of Justice Eric Holder refused to produce requested documents and was held in contempt of Congress. But since he is the head of the DOJ, he gave himself a pass. This scandal is hardly mentioned these days in the wake of all the others. In the words of Jay Carney, “That was a long time ago,” as if that makes a difference.
Another is the President’s still repeated promise to protect the middle class (repeated again by WH Press Secretary Jay Carney just yesterday as the President’s top priority), at a tme when the middle class is hurting the most in this job-poor economy.
All of these issues are serious. The fact that they are coming to light shows that there is a wide-spread epidemic of arrogance and corruption in Washington that gives those in positions of highest power the feeling that they are above the law and are not accountable to the American people, whom they are supposed to serve. These scandals should not be ignored and those who perpetrated them need to be held accountable.
The good news is that the scandals are finally seeing the light of day and the mainstream media is finally doing its job, asking the hard questions and demanding straight answers from the administration.
Congress is also finally doing its job, holding hearings that demand that people, even those at the top of the administration, show up and testify under oath in order to get at the truth behind the scandals and cover-ups.
It is still too early to know what impact these new revelations and old scandals will have on the Obama administration, which is already showing signs of stress fatigue as they become increasingly defensive.
I have always had faith in America, but in recent years, I have worried that the system would be overrun by a new and dangerous ideology that puts the government first and the people last. Now, for the first time in a long time, I am beginning to believe that the system, so brilliantly conceived by our founding fathers, is still working.
——– Ilana Freedman, Editor