It turns out that the Obama administration is engaged in a full-blown three-ring circus. After last night's bombshell about the Associated Press, we have the following three scandals involving the Executive Branch. And if they weren't scandals before, they are now — or will be soon.
1. Benghazi. It is now clear that the State Department never told us the truth about what happened in Benghazi. Secretary of State Clinton's "What difference does it make?" dismissal of some of the important facts will come back to haunt her next year, should she decide to run for President.
2. The IRS. It is now clear that the Department of the Treasury was using the IRS as a tool to hound and harass non-profit groups with a clear political agenda — in short, abridging their freedom of speech. It is also clear that higher-ups in both the IRS and the Executive Branch were aware of this practice long before they said they were, and that they allowed it to continue. One could even accuse them of ordering it or mandating it. The IRS and the Treasury Dept. stomped on Americans' constitutional right to free speech.
3. The AP phone records grab. This is brand-new news, and it is developing even as I write this blog entry. But it is already clear that the Justice Department secretly and illegally stole two months' worth of telephone records from Associated Press reporters. DOJ's excuse for doing this was that they were trying to stop an unauthorized leak from inside the White House (as opposed to an "authorized leak"? what a bunch of clumsy idiots!) , but they totally flouted the law to do this, acting imperiously, maybe even dictatorially, and having a potentially chilling effect on the AP's ability to investigate and report the news. This time it was DOJ that stomped on Americans' constitutional right to free speech, to due process, and to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
That's the three-ring circus, folks. And I hear that other acts are waiting for their turn in the ring.
I didn't start out anti-Obama. I was one of the independents who said, "Give the guy a chance." I note with chagrin that presidents Reagan, Carter and (Bill) Clinton had similar problems during their terms in office. Reagan was completely oblivious to what his staff was doing, Carter was too trusting of everyone, and Clinton's staff were merely following the boss's dishonest and conniving example. I don't know what Obama's excuse is.
But we've heard enough of the president and his staff dismissing all of this as partisan bickering, Republican grandstanding, and so on. They have acted unethically, if not illegally, they have used terribly poor judgement, and they have attempted to cover their tracks or to shift the blame to other, innocent parties. It's time for them to stand up and be accountable for what they have done.
And we need to make sure that the former Secretary of State, who once said she would "do whatever it takes" to get elected president, doesn't get that chance in 2016.