Obama Scandals and the Standards of Outrage
Debra Heine gives some thought to the repeat-it-until-it’s-true nonsense that the Obama Administration “hasn’t had a scandal”:
This lie was already an insult to the American voter in 2011 with the Dealergate, DOJ Black Panther whitewash, Obamafication of NEA art, Sestak affair, politically expedient IG Gerald Walpin firing, misspent stimulus funds, DOJ’s secret astroturf propaganda unit, Shorebank, oilgate, Blagojevich/Rezko /Obama corruption, Obama’s unaccountable czars, Fast and Furious, the Gibson Guitar Raid, Pigford, Solyndra and LightSquared scandals already on the books. …
Obama’s second term began with an explosion of them: DOJ spying on the media, IRS, NSA, State Department war on whistleblowers, four EPA scandals, Obamaphones, and the “gag order” at the Department of Energy.
As time went on we saw the VA scandal, Benghazi, massive ObamaCare lies, skewing of ISIS intel, Iran deception and ransom payment, Bowe Bergdahl, the EPA’s polluting of the Colorado River, the GSA scandal, the Secret Service sex scandal, “government shutdown theater,” and of course EmailGate.
What the Obama boosters really mean is that there was no scandal that the news media and political elites were willing to treat as such. Put simply, there hasn’t been an Obama scandal because, by definition, there could not be.
Now contrast that attitude with the obviously coordinated — up and down the political ladder — hyperventilation over a House GOP rules change making an independent ethics commission less useful as a political weapon (which has been a bipartisan, multiracial complaint). Like the law, if application of the rules of scandal are applied in a biased way, people will stop respecting the standards. That’s not good for any of us. (One might even suggest we’re about to install one consequence in the White House.)