I think Ruben Bolling pretty much nailed my opinion on the misplaced priorities of the latest raft of Obama Administration scandals.
You know what? If an organization has the words "Tea Party" in its name, it's probably a partisan political organization that shouldn't be given tax-exempt status!
So why did the IRS go after groups with "Tea Party" in their names, and not, oh, I don't know, ...
...actually, I really don't know. Finish that sentence for me, everyone who is morally outraged that the IRS looked for "Tea Party" as convenient shorthand for "partisan political organization". What word or phrase should they have been looking for to nail partisan Democratic organizations to the wall in 2010? Name a ubiquitous catchphrase from the 2010 election season that was synonymous with the Democratic Party.
The Tea Party orgs weren't victims of a partisan witch hunt, they were victims of their own success. Democrats weren't targeted because they didn't have their shit together. They didn't have an easy, two-word phrase that was endlessly repeated in the media or associated with nationwide rallies.
The most upsetting thing about the IRS scandal is the prospect that the IRS will now be gun-shy about questioning partisan political organizations about whether they should really be tax-exempt. That's something they really should be doing -- and yes, they should be doing it to both parties. I'm just noting that, in the election cycle in question, one party made it a lot easier on them than the other.
As for Benghazi -- Benghazi was a tragedy. And the Obama Administration gave pretty mixed messages in the days after about whether it was a planned terrorist attack or a spontaneous outburst.
It's entirely possible that the Obama Administration deliberately delayed making a connection to Al Qaeda because it was right before the election. I wouldn't put it past them. And if that happened, then yeah, that's pretty fucking distasteful.
But when the same sons-of-bitches who praised Bush for what great leadership he showed in failing to stop a certain other terrorist attack on a certain other 11th of September, and who praised him for lying about Iraqi WMD's to drag us into war, rant about how the Benghazi talking points are worse than Watergate, well, Darrell Issa can go sit on a rusty rake.
Spying on the AP, on the other hand? Yeah, I can see room for some Watergate comparisons there. Which I suppose is why it's a distant third on the Fox News Obama Scandal Talking Points.
Course, it's kinda hard to act outraged at a governmental war on whistleblowers when you've spent the past three years crying for Julian Assange's head on a platter, but it's not like Fox News has ever let ideological consistency get in the way of cheering for Republicans and deriding Democrats. Trevor Timm at the Freedom of the Press Foundation recently penned an article titled Virtually Everything the Government Did to WikiLeaks is Now Being Done to Mainstream US Reporters; this of course is precisely what Wikileaks' defenders were warning everybody about when this mess started. That's the thing about the First Amendment -- you start carving out tiny exceptions, sooner or later you're going to find out they're not so tiny after all.
So yeah, I'd say the only legitimate scandal here is the one that the Republicans are spending the least amount of time on -- and the only one where nobody's been fired and Obama's said everything went exactly the way it was supposed to.
It would be great if we had a real opposition party; Lord knows we need one. We need politicians who are really willing to stand up to the President's excesses, for the right reasons instead of just to get attention and campaign contributions.
Sometimes I worry that the closest thing we've got in Congress to someone who's really willing to stand up to the President when it matters is Rand Paul. And that thought depresses me so goddamn much I think I'm going to go grab another beer.