Monday, August 5, 2013

Hey, Whatever Happened To...

Hey, whatever happened to Benghazi?

This was going to be the scandal that brought down the Obama administration. Or prevented the Hillary Clinton administration. Or both!

Darrell Issa, super patriot, self-made multimillionaire, blah blah blah, was going to get to the bottom of "the cover-up". Remember? It was worse than Watergate! The worse scandal ever, etc etc. The Republicans were licking their collective chops, with both John "Maverick Is My Name" McCain, and his BFF, Lindsey "Belle of the South" Graham howling from the rooftops.

Then it turned out that the Republicans had gutted the State Department budget--including security--and maybe, just maybe, Benghazi was a CIA outpost. And you know how them foreigners love the CIA. Hmmm.

Hey, whatever happened to the IRS scandal?

This was going to be the scandal that brought down the Obama administration.  Worse than Watergate, etc etc.

Darrell Issa was going to blow the roof of it, expose the seamy inner workings of a corrupt President and his corrupt minions. Corruption!

Turns out the IRS is underfunded, understaffed, and swamped with requests for 501 c4 status from both left and right leaning groups. So the Tea Party wasn't being singled out for persecution after all. Hmmm.

It also turns out that Darrell Issa is kinda like one of his car alarms. Loud, repetitive, and ultimately an empty annoyance.

OK, but what about the NSA scandal! Surely this will bring down Obama...won't it?

But wasn't the Patriot Act pushed through by the Bush administration and a panicky Congress in the aftermath of 9-11? And, with all apologies to Edward Snowden, haven't people (at least those paying attention) known for years that the NSA--and our other intelligence agencies--gather massive amounts of information. On everyone, everywhere. Hmmm.

Now, we can and should have an open and informed discussion about whether this is the sort of thing that an allegedly "free" society should engage in. And how to best protect our right to privacy while still protecting the nation's security. But to pretend that this behavior is somehow unique to the Obama Administration is the sort of half-baked palaver that, well, people like Darrell Issa indulge in.

No, when the history of the Obama years is written, the biggest scandal will be how the Republican Party was held hostage by reactionary extremists, funded by a handful of greedy billionaires, and in return, how they held a country's future hostage because of their intense hatred of one man.

Now that's scandalous.

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