“Keep the faith with cynicism. Cut the opposition down!” –Largely Unclear
In wake of the multiple scandals roiling the federal government, there have been bipartisan denunciations of heinous government actions and broad support for thorough investigations to flesh out the full extent of wrongdoing and determine means to prevent recurring malfeasance. Yet against this sober-minded harmony, a chorus of voices on the Left fringe, including in the media, is aligning to deflect narratives they rightfully interpret as ruinous to the Obama administration. Presumably, all that effort invested in promoting, electing, and defending Mr. Hope & Change™ has left them too far gone to embrace an honest assessment of a broken world with painful circumstances now.
Among these deflections is the rather odd refrain that Republicans are somehow responsible for the sins of Eric Holder’s Justice Department. (To be fair, this is a liberal step up from prevaricating on or avoiding the question of whether the DOJ was wrong to begin with.) E.J. Dionne Jr. sums up the essence of this subterfuge rather succinctly in The Washington Post:
“Isn’t it odd that many Republicans who demanded a thorough investigation a year ago are now condemning the Justice Department for doing what they asked for?”
In other words, according to the unsullied liberal defenders of the White House, the Republican Party—by pressuring Obama to properly secure sensitive information—is the real force behind the covert, internal decisions of a Democratic administration to undermine freedom of the press. If you’re already confused as to how this claim could possibly hold water, I have a confession: this impish attempt at political legerdemain will never make more sense that it does now.
Across the scandal-verse, the usual suspects of MSNBC are scurrying to shield the president from the escalating probability of disaster (to borrow from the Architect) that is the IRS fiasco. As Joe Concha reports over at Mediaite:
“I do not believe what the IRS was reported to have been doing is an outrage. I believe that the IRS agents in this case did nothing wrong. Let me say it again, you won’t hear it anywhere else: the IRS agents did nothing wrong. They were simply trying to enforce the law as the IRS has understood it since 1959.” – Lawrence O’Donnell on the IRS.
“Conservatives still want to change the subject to the fake, ginned up scandal they’ve been pushing month after month.” – Chris Hayes on Benghazi.
“So now they’re (Republicans are) viewing an actual real world abuse of power scandal (the IRS Scandal), not as its own outrage, but as a means of supporting their preexisting witch hunt on Benghazi, which they really struggled to turn into a scandal in large part because they themselves cannot seem to settle on what the scandal even is. It’s a cover-up. Just don’t ask what’s being covered up…” – Hayes on the IRS Scandal being used for political gain for Republicans on…Benghazi.
“Does this mean that the IRS is hereby forever neutered from doing what is, after all, the very important work of making sure that political fundraising groups are not making a laughingstock of the rules that are supposed to limit what they do? Will we ever really have an IRS doing that important work again, giving how badly they screwed up trying to do it over these past couple of years?” –Rachel Maddow on the IRS Scandal and its potential ramifications for the agency.
Add to this Chris Matthews bloviating about how the innate racism of criticizing Obama is somehow to blame for the federal government misbehaving. (Curiously, Matthews has offered his own criticisms of the administration—for reasons that presumably don’t include racism.) The indomitable Melissa Harris-Perry topped it all off just minutes ago (with a spirited assist from Alex Witt) by reading into the late unpleasantness a GOP plot to depress the vote by inciting blanket disgust with government.
Of course, the risibly petty last stand of the Lean Forward campaign came after The New York Times sank to infamous new lows of self-parody by running the headline (on page A11): “IRS Focus on Conservatives Gives GOP an Issue to Seize On.” You would be forgiven for thinking our national “paper of record” should be more interested in the IRS asking organizations to detail the content of their members’ prayers than in taking backhanded swipes at a political party it dislikes. Did I mention that the same IRS official—Sarah Hall—who oversaw tax-exempt organizations at the time when her unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for overseeing Obamacare? I wonder if anybody will find that tidbit problematic.
Many in the media are in a rather odd place having to brutally criticize the administration of a president they have so long supported and identified with. Some pundits, columnists, and institutions are taking it all admirably in stride, as it seems the president never properly learned how to build and sustain political goodwill—a mistake that may haunt him from now on.
Others are reverberating through MSNBC and progressive echo chambers—a sadly amusing reminder that loyalties bite as fiercely as they were held, and champions fall with as much energy as they were praised. However long any of these scandals last, we would all we wise to brace ourselves for what will likely be several long lame-duck years contorted in frothy progressive fury at the perpetual injustices of a world too cruel to ever allow Barack Obama to be the great savior the Left campaigned campaigns for him to be.
As a wounded messiah wilts before the alien glare of ineluctable inquisition, and his agitated fans thrash about with in obstreperous indignation, let us all take this moment to consult the Gospel according to Flaubert:
“Never touch your idols: the gilding will stick to your fingers.”
And all taxpaying American patriots said, Amen.