Right's on warpath, but where's the scandal?

Right's on warpath, but where's the scandal?

May 16th, 2013 in Opinion Times

The blame game is in full swing, and politicians - especially conservative ones - are running with their hair on fire from microphone to microphone.

The memo is tried and true: If you tell the big lie enough times and to enough people, it becomes truth -- sort of.

So it seems with the Obama administration's "bad week."

First the Benghazi "cover-up" was stirred up again with release of an email suggesting the State Department and Obama administration made extensive edits on information released after the U.S. embassy was attacked there.

On Tuesday it became clear the extensive edits were those made by those leaking the email from Congress: The leakers edited the email to include information that wasn't in the original.

White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday accused Republicans of editing the email to serve their political agendas.

As the president said the day before, "There's no 'there' there."

Then late Friday, the IRS was accused of profiling and targeting tea party applications for tax-exempt status as "social welfare" groups. Remember, the tea party doesn't want to pay taxes and mouths plenty of anti-government statements.

The IRS has apologized, and the president, who already had said, "I will not tolerate it," made good on his statement Wednesday by asking for and accepting the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner. The GOP's chief mudslinger, House Speaker John Boehner, just hours earlier, had said he wouldn't be satisfied with resignations or firings. "My question isn't about who's going to resign -- my question is who is going to jail over this scandal?"

Where was 12-term Rep. Boehner's indignation in 2004 when the IRS conducted a two-year audit of the NAACP threatening to dissolve that group's tax-exempt status after a Julian Bond speech? Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander was one of several Republicans who had requested the NAACP audit. Apparently Alexander and the others had no qualms with the GOP's political use of the agency.

The IRS letter to the NAACP read: "We have received information that during your 2004 convention in Philadelphia, your organization distributed statements in opposition of George W. Bush for the office of presidency."

By the way, three liberal groups were targeted, too. And the only group denied tax-exempt status was a liberal one.

Finally there was the news breaking Tuesday afternoon that the U.S. Justice Department told The Associated Press that officials had obtained, without notice, the phone records for more than 20 telephones lines of AP offices and journalists, including home phones and cellphones.

AP was not told the reason for the seizure, but has said the timing and targets suggest they are related to a continuing government investigation into the May 2012 leaks about the CIA's disruption of a Yemen-based terrorist plot to bomb an airliner.

Today, Republicans and conservatives are crying foul over this, too, as are journalists and liberals. The Justice Department claims American lives were put at risk by the leaks.

It's important to remember that when the leaks occurred, it was Republicans crying loudest for a complete investigation to find and stop the leaks from what they intimated was a loose-lipped Obama administration.

Now, in practical terms, two of three headline "scandals" about White House interference -- all termed by right-wingers as being "bigger" than Watergate -- have crumbled.

Still, the conservatives line up to claim Obama isn't taking "ownership."

What they really are doing is filibustering the American people and holding hostage any hope of negotiations on budget, sequester, immigration, safety -- any form of real governing.

Talk about ownership. These guys own disruption and divisiveness in this country.

Why? This tight, ultra-conservative knot of mostly old, mostly white guys is starring into a future of a new nation where a majority of citizens will be of color and already more women and blacks vote than whites and men.

Two in three eligible blacks, 66.2 percent, voted in the 2012 presidential election. And women have voted at higher rates than men in every presidential election since 1996.

So the scandal-mongering would seem a shotgun approach to diversionary tactics.

If the obstructionists keep the focus off of their own inability to govern, maybe no one will notice and the other side will get blamed.