I suspect, hope, would like to believe, that just about every last man/woman/child admires President Obama as a man/husband/father. (Unlikely to the be case with the next guy… ) His only vice seems to be sneaking a smoke every now and then in defiance of the trouble&strife.
That’s not to be confused with being a “scandal-free” administration, as is being suggested in many quarters here in the final days. As two different pieces today argue, there may not be “a stained blue dress” and we should be glad when any president “lives up to the standards of Gerald Ford,” but the Obama administration had plenty of scandals that were quietly dropped by a press corp who now seem to be in the process of rediscovering their fastball. (Just as SNL seems to be doing. Funny, that.)
Not only was the Obama administration marked by scandal of the most serious sort — perverting the machinery of the state for political ends — it was on that front, which is the most important one, the most scandal-scarred administration in modern presidential history.
For your consideration:
Under the Obama administration’s watch, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies from the BATF to the NLRB were illegally used to target and harass the president’s political enemies. The IRS targeting scandal was the most high-profile of these, but others are just as worrisome. Federal investigations and congressional oversight were obstructed, and investigators were lied to outright — a serious crime. The administration protected the wrongdoers and saw to it that they retired with generous federal pensions rather than serving federal sentences for their crimes.
The Obama administration oversaw the illegal sale of arms to Mexican traffickers for purposes that to this date have not been adequately explained, and those guns have been used to murder American law-enforcement officers.
President Obama’s secretary of state was involved in a high-profile case in which she improperly set up a private e-mail system to evade ordinary governmental oversight; she and her associates routinely misled investigators, obstructed investigations, and hid or destroyed evidence. These are all serious crimes.
The Obama administration made ransom payments to the Iranian government and lied about having done so.
Under the Obama administration, the Secret Service has been a one-agency scandal factory, from drunk agents driving their cars into White House barriers to getting mixed up with hookers in Cartagena.
Under the guise of developing “green” energy projects, the Obama administration shunted money to politically connected cronys at Solyndra and elsewhere.
Obama’s men at the Veterans Administration oversaw a system in which our servicemen lost their lives to bureaucratic incompetence and medical neglect, and then falsified records to cover it up.
Under the flimsiest of national-security pretexts, the Obama administration used the Department of Justice to spy on Fox News reporter James Rosen. It also spied on the Associated Press.
The Obama administration’s attorney general, Eric Holder, left office while being held in contempt of Congress for inhibiting the investigation of other Obama administration scandals.
Reacting to the news of the pardon for Manning, Andrew McCarthy writes:
(T)he degree to which Obama has wielded executive power in favor of America’s enemies and against his own political opponents and scapegoats is breathtaking. The treasonous Manning gets an 80 percent shave off his sentence. Now we learn Oscar Lopez-Rivera, an unrepentant FALN terrorist convicted of waging war against the United States, has also had his sentence commuted. Taliban commanders are released, replenishing our jihadist enemies even as they continue prosecuting a terrorist war against our troops and allies, in exchange for Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter who may, at least indirectly, have caused the deaths of American soldiers. Iran is enriched and empowered with tens of billions of dollars – including ransom cash – and a mammoth nuclear energy program (with the certainty that it will yield a nuclear weapons stockpile) even as it remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism calling for “death to America.”
But if you are Dinesh D’Souza, a conservative Obama critic, the Justice Department inflates an administrative violation into multiple felonies and aggressively advocates (thankfully, without success) for a stiff prison sentence. If you are a tea party group gearing up to fight Obama’s re-election, here comes the IRS. If you are “anti-Muslim video producer” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Obama needs a scapegoat for his derelictions in Benghazi, you end up in the slammer. If you are a deep-pocketed financial institution that Obama wants to make the culprit for the government-driven financial meltdown, or to raid so the radical left’s legion of “community organizers” can be funded, prepare to pony up a 9- or 10-figure “settlement.” If you are a police department, be ready to be scandalized as a practitioner of racially malicious enforcement. If you are Israel, brace for the “international outlaw” smear.