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Wisdom from my 19 year old son on the Obama scandals

Wisdom from my 19 year old son on the Obama scandals

According to Roger L. Simon, Benghazi is the most damaging scandal plaguing the Obama administration.

The White House and the State Department were on the brink of serious humiliation before an election. They had screwed up royally. What were they going to say? They had to figure it out and at some point they decided to lie, downplaying the heavily armed terrorist attack and Ansar al Sharia and placing the blame on a video trailer almost no one saw.

To blogress, Bookworm, it’s the IRS scandal.

The IRS scandal, by contrast, is a direct attack on the American people. Right now, Progressives throughout America are pretending that this scandal doesn’t matter: “Obama wasn’t involved.” “Tea Partiers had it coming because they’re all corrupt.” “Obama would have won the election anyway.” “It was just a coincidence that the only groups that had their applications scrutinized, sometimes for years, were politically conservative. It means nothing that, when one group changed its name to sound Progressive, its application was approved in only three weeks.” “This is just a bureaucratic snafu.” “It’s a few rogue agents in Ohio.”

But when discussing politics with my 19 year old, he had a different take. He thinks that the AP scandal is the worst.

Benghazi, he argues, is in the past. People won’t get exercised by something that happened eight months ago. (I disagree slightly. The mistakes that led to Behghazi came from the administration’s flawed view of the Middle East and those remain in place. Those who don’t learn from history …)

The IRS scandal has been contained for now. There will be fall guys (and gals) but corrections will be made. Though it’s an abuse of power it is from an agency that has a negative relationship to most Americans. People aren’t overly outraged.

However the AP scandal has expanded. Now it includes James Rosen too. And maybe Sharyl Attkisson. If three news organizations have been targeted, it suggests a government that resents criticism and is fighting the criticism by expanding its power. A government hungry for power is never satisfied.

This is a continuing threat to our freedoms – regardless of the party in power.

It is also a threat to a free press, which may be why the New York Times has come to Rosen’s defense.

A threat to one’s own power and influence can focus the mind.

This supports another part of my son’s argument. Republicans have a better chance politically by criticizing the Justice Department over its intimidation of journalists, because it is a cause that might actually gain traction in the mainstream media.

When my son argued that the AP scandal is the worst of this administration, he’s not just making the case on account of its severity, but also on the Republicans’ ability to benefit politically from the administration’s overreach.


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Your son is correct, the attack on the press is the big issue here.

Benghazi is just an example of State and the CIA doing something that they should never have done that is probably both illegal and a violation of international law and then having it blow up in their faces. When it came time for the Executive Branch to act the President voted present and went to bed. This will eventually all come out and careers will end but that is it.

The IRS has always been suspected of playing favorites and being tilted liberal. There are no real surprises here for the informed, just confirmation.

The only surprise is the direct attack on the press.

It makes no difference if the wheels have come off. If the democrats sneak amnesty through we have lost and Obama or who ever is behind him will have irreversibly transformed America.

Who ever is behind amnesty learned from the weapons ban fight and will throw inflammatory distraction it has to keep attention off their plan till the deed is done. They do not care if Obama’s presidency goes down in flames because they are planing the future. Test it and see, try to get everyone to focus back on immigration and see what they leak next.

General P. Malaise | May 23, 2013 at 9:16 am

the son is clever but mistaken.

the Benghazi scandal is obama’s personal problem hence the reason that the IRS scandal was created by the obama administration to dilute the news …same for the other attacks on the reporters. THEY are all extremely damning and serious WORTHY OF CRIMINAL TRIALS AND JAIL TIME AS WELL AS IMPEACHMENT OF OBAMA AND HOLDER.

“…..The IRS scandal has been contained for now”….

how does one contain the IRS when those who direct it are still directing it? rhetorical!

nothing is contained. the RINOs in congress starting with chief RINO Bone-her are willing participants in stopping conservatives and the tea party. the dems in congress seem more upset.

..the take away point is nothing will happen to the obama administration (…other than more names yours and mine being added to the enemies list).

the government in the USA is a full blown criminal operations. get on with it! there are probably close to 100 articles of impeachment of obama yet the conservative pundits are now saying it is not the time to impeach or even talk of impeachment.


Mr. Gerstman, BOTH of you are correct, imho. The Barry Administration trashes most all of the other parts of our Constitution. Our “media” just found the one part that pertains to them.

The AP/press scandal isn’t the worst. In a sense it is the best because it is what is getting the media off of its collective butt to take a look at the vast corruption of this administration.

But when all is said and done, one purpose of the First Amendment is the free flow of information — not merely because information is interesting (and sells newspapers and advertising), but because it is necessary to a free society, to thwart the potential for governmental tyranny and the individual evil or stupidity of those who would abuse power.

Unfortunately, the collective psychotic euphoria of most of the media over the past some years is what has allowed Benghazi and the IRS corruption, along with a multitude of other buried wrongs (that should have been, but weren’t, front page scandals) to perpetuate. This may have emboldened the Obama administration in connection with its media suppression, but that media suppression originally was self-inflicted.

Your son is a wise man. If the press had not allowed itself to be manipulated and intimidated into playing follow the leader with the Axelrod Administration, the other scandals would not have been able to continue.

This administration has bullied the press since Day 1, was verbally abusive, publicly derisive, and unprofessionally manipulative toward individuals and eventually the whole pool. The former press person – whose name should rightly be lost to history – was rude, kept the pool waiting for hours, lied to the pool about where they should be, denied them access, screamed at them over the phone, made fun of them in person. Those early days of arrogance showed the dismissive, disdainful habits of abuse that have characterized everyone associated with this White House.

Apparently the reporters were all too young or too ambitious to fight back, never realizing that bullies never stop until you ignore them, so they behaved like sheep. Shame on the leaders of the news organizations that watched this happening and didn’t stand up with their people before this.

moonstone716 | May 23, 2013 at 9:46 am

You may be a little biased toward your son (perfectly normal) by proclaiming words of wisdom from a 19-year-old.

Maybe in a just world, suppression of the press would be the biggest problem…however, before long our press will go back to happily being suppressed, and in plenty of time to execute the plan to put Hillary in office.

Who cares which is better or worse? There are enough critics around to devote full attention to ALL of the Øbama scandals (so grouped because it is his administration) and keep the issues alive.

Death by a thousand self inflicted cuts…

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was worth at least $3.9 million in 2012, according to her financial disclosure report released on Wednesday. Warren reported holding several TIAA-CREF assets, including one holding worth at least $1 million.

Warren listed one liability: an education loan to Harvard University worth at least $15,000.

The former Harvard Law School professor has an agreement with the school to hold the honorary title of emeritus professor as well as the use of storage space for “teaching and research materials,” according to Warren’s 2012 report. Warren also earned a $4,000 salary and $59,417 in royalties from Aspen Publishers last year.

if the press itself didn’t say the AP/Rosen stuff was the worst then it would not be considered the worst. they call it that because its the only one that affects them.
they all are bad, but bhengazi is the most dangerous one.

Take a step back and look at all this.

Now, let’s talk about the Manchurian Candidate enough of us warned everyone about. The tactic: let’s start zeroing in on Obama’s past, and just how he got elected president.

THAT, will be the nail in Obama’s coffin.

average josephine | May 23, 2013 at 10:41 am

Nineteen-year-olds don’t know what they don’t know.

Put it to your son that the IRS scandal means that,

if you consider that the First Amendment right to free speech means that every American can be his or her own “journalist”, investigating, speaking, writing, just in the course of living and loving and trying to find meaning in life…

and the IRS can “shut you up” by threatening audits. The DOJ won’t come after you. The IRS can come after you.

You will watch what you say, who you donate money to, what you post on Facebook etc, because when you have a job, and children who depend on you to go to your job to work to earn money to buy food to feed them…

If I were you I’d point out to your son that the AP and the IRS scandals are one and the same. He needs to imagine himself in the future. Has he experienced campus speech codes yet? Same thing.

average josephine | May 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

One more thing — the first casualty in Benghazi was our Ambassador.

The last casualty in Benghazi was this attack on our First Amendment right to free speech: our president stood up at the United Nations and expressed his absolute support for Islamic blasphemy law:

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Henry Hawkins | May 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

This reminds me of the game where people discuss whether it’s worse to die by hanging, firing squad, or electrocution – the determination is in the mind of the beholder.

It is far too soon for meaningful judgments on which scandal may be worse. The IRS and Benghazi scandals are incomplete as yet. If the roots of either end up tied directly to the White House – and they very well might – the balance changes drastically.

The AP scandal is the most politically exploitable, in that the GOP would be the avenging champions for the 1st Amendment, hence the MSM, loathe as they’d be to admit it. If it causes a sizable share of the MSM to start committing acts of journalism, it only helps the GOP. They may even temper their history of knee-jerk condemnation of anything GOP or conservative.

Dear House GOP – please retire Issa from his chairmanship and promote SC Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) to that position. He was a tough-as-nails prosecutor before he ran for congress.

Those of us who enjoy watching Discovery Channel crime procedural shows remember him from a number of cases/shows he prosecuted.

Succeeding scandals have a progressively shorter half-life. The problem is not only managing multiple scandals, but the saturation caused by the extent and number of these scandals.

That said, I would still identify Gosnell’s abortion clinic as the greatest scandal. The basis for all the scandals is cultural corruption, which is caused by denigrating individual dignity and devaluing human life. The basis for its progress is dissociation of risk.

There is nothing surprising in a kid of only 19 thinking that 8 months is a long time. It is saddening that his father missed the opportunity to teach him that he is short sighted and failing to see the bigger picture of a government turning against its citizens, while the media are so corrupt they can only be roused to show interest when personally threatened.

The scandals of the last year (to include the ancient history of 8 months ago) aren’t merely an opportunity for one side to score points on the other. They are History with a capital H. The future is defined here. Teach him to think about it before giving such a shallow analysis.

Ummmmm . . . Sorry, but we should listen to your 19-year-old son-becasue?

I know how proud parents are of their offspring but honestly, dragging them into the conversation is an intrusion.

Suggest you keep your kids out of your commentary. We know all to well how parents who listened to their children back in 2008 saddled us with the POS in the WH.

If he has something to say let him comment.

Just a pet peeve.

    Sanddog in reply to wyntre. | May 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    It’s helpful to know what concerns younger voters. Obama certainly depended on them in 2008.

    David Gerstman in reply to wyntre. | May 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I had a series of discussions with my son and he acquitted himself very well. He defended his positions and even if I didn’t agree with him 100% I thought he made a good case. Better than most people 2 or 3 times his age.
    The post was distilled from those conversations but in my words. Is it really that different from blogging about my favorite columnist?

I think there is something else that people are missing here. Take a more abstract view of the entire environment here where you have Fast/Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal (that is actually even larger than the IRS scandal in the case of “True the Vote” where multiple agencies harassed them) and the AP scandal. Add to that the DoJ apparently coordinating a smear campaign against the F&F whistle blower.

Now even add things that aren’t part of the Obama administration such as Joe the Plumber’s personal information being leaked by local government to discredit him when he embarrassed Obama by saying (on live TV) that he didn’t agree with “spreading the wealth around”.

Now add the corruption in state and local governments involving Democrats over the past four years, the latest being the Arkansas state treasurer arrested yesterday for accepting bribes. The scandals going on in New York both at the state and the NYC level and scandals in other location.

What emerges is a pattern of an entire Democratic Party that has gone rotten. Corruption is perfectly acceptable to them if it advances them politically. Using the departments and agencies of government to “get revenge” and to “punish” their enemies is justifiable to them.

Forget the notion that “someone needs to be fired” for these scandals, that won’t fix the problem. We have a larger systemic problem within the Democratic Party. One fired activist partisan administrator is likely to be replaced by a different one. The problem is that the Chicago Machine has literally taken over the Democratic Party and that culture of corruption is spreading out through the party to every part of the country. What we see happening in Washington and elsewhere is the same sort of stuff that goes on in Chicago city government.

What we need to do is fire the Democrats and purge them from positions where they have their hands on the levers of government because they can’t be trusted to deliver basic government services in a fair and impartial way. Until control of the party is wrested from the Chicago faction, the party must be assumed to be as corrupt as the machine that runs it.

We need to fire the Democrats from all levels of government; federal, state, and local. This isn’t a “liberal” vs “conservative” ideological battle anymore, this is a very partisan right vs wrong battle and the Democrats have placed themselves on the dark side. So stop using the word “liberal” or “liberals” when criticizing their policies and behaviors and use the word that appears on the ballot — DEMOCRAT. I heard someone say yesterday that they don’t like “liberals” so they vote for Democrats. There are apparently a lot of low information voters out there who think there is a political party out there called “liberal” and from what they hear, they don’t like the “liberal” party but apparently aren’t concerned because they have never seen one on the ballot.

Lets start calling it what it really is — an entire party gone corrupt.

I disagree, with a twist. I don’t think ANY of the scandals matter. That is, “matter” in the sense of affecting the electorate in a politically earth-shifting way. They matter to us, of course. But we knew these things already. They only confirmed what we sensed about Obama. But in the larger world, they really don’t matter to people. Obama might take a few nicks to his approval rating. Republican candidates running in 2014 might have some more ammunition for their campaigns. But that’s it.

1. Your son is right about Benghazi. It’s old news. These revelations have no impact on American society to most people dealing with the new normal of the economy. Benghazi is over.

2. The IRS scandal matters less than we might think. For one, fewer people than ever before have actual interactions with the IRS. To them, it’s a bureaucratic abstraction. Some idiots behaved badly. They’ll get fired. What’s it got to do with my life?

3. The AP story? Do Americans really care that much — beyond their notional concern for the issue as a poll question — that some reporters were given the 2nd degree by the government? People like to say they care about the First Amendment in the abstract. But again, what’s it got to do with my life? These essential connections, in a civically illiterate culture, have been breaking down for decades. Who’s going to make the connections? The media? The GOP? Don’t make me laugh.

But here’s the real reason why none of these scandals will ever amount to anything — the MSM won’t let them. Sure, the random liberal journalist will conceded the wrongness of what happened in different instances, but the MSM will never follow the stories back to Obama. It will die with underlings.

My prediction: six months from now we’ll be back to business as usual, with Obama still around 50 approval. The GOP, sensitive to media charges they’re beating dead horses, will close investigative shop with a whimper.

    J Motes in reply to raven. | May 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    “The GOP, sensitive to media charges they’re beating dead horses, will close investigative shop with a whimper.”

    That’s exactly what they did with the Fast and Furious investigation. Have they kept pushing the White House to release documents being withheld from Congress under the phony claim of executive privilege? Have they done anything to make Holder feel the consequences of being held in contempt of Congress? Have they done anything to bring justice to the dead border guards, or to the dead Mexicans? Nope, nope, and nope.

delicountessa | May 23, 2013 at 11:59 am

The common thread running through all three of those scandals is this administration’s disdain for the First Amendment.
The AP scandal is obvious. It is a direct attack on the freedom of the press.
The IRS scandal was stifling dissent but is less obvious to those who aren’t really able/willing to connect the dots.
The Benghazi scandal is the least obvious but with the UN trying to make it illegal to criticize Islam, the video was the perfect fallguy and, had it worked the way they hoped, it would have planted the seed for anti-blasphemy laws. (Remember also, Obama’s speech “The future does not belong to those who criticize Islam…”)
Taken all together, is is appalling and insidious. Ask your son to not look at each incidence in a vacuum. There is a common thread.

    crosspatch in reply to delicountessa. | May 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    It isn’t “this administration”. Lois Lerner was doing the same thing to conservative groups when she worked at the FEC in the Clinton administration. This is a cultural issue in the Democratic Party. This is a culture of activist partisans in government service and it spans Presidential administrations.

    Limiting the scope of criticism to just the Obama administration is NOT going to fix the problem and it is just going to return the next time a Democrat is in the WH.

Isn’t it ironic that the Tea Party now stands for the rule of law and
that elements of the United States government and the Washington
establishment have become the rogue, criminal element in America?

    raven in reply to Neo. | May 23, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    The full piece.

    The other reason these scandals will go nowhere meaningful: the GOP Establishment doesn’t want them to. These scandals are only useful to them to gin up outrage and win seats in 2014, not to fundamentally degrade the premises of big government or unseat Obama. They intend to exploit us in 2014 just as they did in 2010.

      delicountessa in reply to raven. | May 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm

      Yes, but the irony of that is that we vote for people who will actually do things to change what ticked us off. The reason the Wacko Birds got elected is because they are agents of change. That’s also the reason the establishment GOP hates them. So, they ‘gin up outrage’ at their own risk. If we continue to “fall for it” they’ll be hoist by their own petard.

If the reputation of the presstitutes weren’t already in the dumper your son might be right. I don’t see people feeling sorry for reporters right now or even more than mildly perturbed at what the White House did.

The scandal that will bring down Obama is Benghazi. Never, ever lose sight of that.

It’s early yet. I still expect the “journalists” to go back to protecting Obama within another month.

    crosspatch in reply to Aitch748. | May 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I don’t think the journalists are protecting Obama, per se, as much as they are protecting “progressive” socialism and Obama was simply the champion of that ideology. For the press it is ideological. Once Obama is a detriment to advancing their ideology, they will cast him aside. The press is fighting an ideological battle. The Democrats are fighting a political power battle. The goals are different but do overlap in some areas.

    crosspatch in reply to Aitch748. | May 23, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    In other words, the Democrats are pursuing “progressive” politics because they see that as the popular path to power. If that were to become a political burden, they would drop that ideology in a heartbeat. The press is aligned with the Democrats because because they are pursuing “progressive” socialism and if the Democrats became an obstacle to that path, they would drop support of the Democrats in a heartbeat. So the Democrats would suddenly become “conservative” in a heartbeat if they thought it would gain them the urban votes and if the Republicans followed a socialist path, the press would be reversing their spin as fast as they possibly could.

    The relationship between the Democrats and the press is symbiotic but fickle. The press will support socialism no matter who is pushing it. The Democrats will support anyone who advances their desire for complete political control. Historically, total control and socialism do tend to go hand in hand, though.

David Gerstman | May 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I’d like to respond to a few of these posts. Generally my son’s argument was there are two aspects to the Obama administration scandals: the seriousness of the scandal itself and the likelihood it will gain enough traction to damage the administration. In a nutshell, the combination of the severity and traction is the way to judge the scandals. I wish that I’d expressed things so succinctly in the post.
janitor – I don’t think we disagree except about terminology.
Avg. Josephine – again my son’s argument is based partly on perception. The fact that the IRS is generally not viewed favorably means that the administration will take less heat for the abuse.
Irv – My son doesn’t think that 8 months is a long time ago, but that it is in the eyes of most voters. I can’t disagree.
Raven – you might be right. (I hope not!) But again my son wasn’t predicting what would happen, just identifying which scandal he viewed as being most damaging to the administration.