The White House on Monday distanced President Obama from the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press telephone records.
“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
Previous presidents have claimed amnesia on occasion, but I can’t recall another administration that so frequently professed ignorance about the activities of the various departments within the Executive Branch. Not only does the president rely on the news media to make him aware of scandals, but his department heads are equally ignorant of what goes on in their departments. It’s the “Know Nothing” administration.
President Obama told donors like Jessica Biel, Justin Timberlake (who was wearing hipster glasses), and Tommy Hilfiger that Washington gridlock is pretty much Rush Limbaugh’s fault on Monday evening at a fundraiser at Harvey Weinstein’s house in New York’s Greenwich Village. Obama admitted that his theory — that after the 2012 election, the Republican “fever” would break, and they’d decide to co-sign some of his agenda — was wrong. “My thinking was when we beat them in 2012 that might break the fever, and it’s not quite broken yet,” Obama said, according to the White House pool report. This is because of a certain corpulent radio host. “I genuinely believe there are Republicans out there who would like to work with us but they’re fearful of their base and they’re concerned about what Rush Limbaugh might say about them. And as a consequence we get the kind of gridlock that makes people cynical about government.”
Multiple scandals in Washington DC, Obama claims he knows nothing about any of them, but he’s in New York City fundraising and blaming it all on Rush Limbaugh. If that is what Obama truly believes then he really is ignorant.
Journalist Carl Bernstein said President Barack Obama is no Richard Nixon on Monday, and he would know.
“It’s terrible,” Bernstein said of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Outrageous. Heads ought to roll. Simple as that. … From what we know so far, some high-up heads.”
But Bernstein said that conservatives who are eager to equate the IRS scandal to Watergate should hold their horses.
While the Nixon-era IRS investigated his political enemies and subjected them to audits, it did so at the direction of the president and his aides. No evidence has emerged linking Obama or the White House to the IRS scandal.
“In the Nixon White House, we heard the president of the United States on tape saying ‘Use the IRS to get back on our enemies,” said Bernstein, whose reporting helped lead to Nixon’s eventual resignation. “We know a lot about President Obama, and I think the idea that he would want the IRS used for retribution — we have no evidence of any such thing.”
Obama wouldn’t do a nasty thing like that, would he? This is circular logic – we have an abuse of Executive Branch power but since there is no smoking gun directly linking it to Obama there is no reason to investigate and see if a link exists. That’s like saying that cops should only investigate crimes that were already solved.
I would truthfully be surprised if a smoking gun existed in this case. One of the lessons of Watergate was “plausible deniability”. There won’t be any memos or tapes, and the guys who carry out orders never speak directly to the head cheese.
We are supposed to believe that numerous low-level IRS employees across the country took it upon themselves to inappropriately focus on conservative groups. When their higher-up found out they told them to stop but they just used different criteria to reach the same result. Somehow it continued for two years but the White House was totally unaware. To date, nobody has been fired or disciplined.
Maybe Carl Bernstein should write another book and call it “All The President’s Low-Level Employees”.