Whenever someone accuses the government of a scandal, it’s almost impossible to disprove it. That’s because the accusation makes headlines. The truth doesn’t.
Nobody understands this principle better than Teapublicans.
When Bill Clinton was elected to the White House, he was forced to disprove a constant wave of scandals created by the GOP. Now it’s President Obama’s turn. That’s why we’ve seen a flurry of scandalous accusations about Fast & Furious, drones, Benghazi, the IRS, and NSA.
The headlines have been damning – based on outrageous claims by Rep. Darrell Issa, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Mitch McConnell and others. The truth has been less interesting.
For example, Issa made claims that Fast & Furious was a large scale gun-running operation overseen by Attorney General Eric Holder. The reality is that it was a small localized operation by a unit of the ATFE frustrated by Arizona’s lax gun laws and the inability to prosecute straw buyers.
Issa and others made the sensational claim that the president and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ignored the danger to diplomats in Libya then covered up their failures. The reality is that Ambassador Stevens twice rejected increased security and the talking points released by Susan Rice were crafted by the CIA and mid-level State Dept. officials.
Teapublicans claim that IRS scrutiny of Tea Party organizations seeking nonprofit status was orchestrated by the White House and President Obama. The truth is, the IRS director was a Bush appointee and, according to testimony by an IRS supervisor in charge (who is, incidentally, a self-described conservative Republican), the scrutiny of Tea Party groups was not ordered by the administration and was not politically motivated.
Teapublicans and many Democrats claim that NSA collection of data demonstrates that President Obama is an authoritarian fascist operating in defiance of the 4th amendment of the Constitution. The truth is, the NSA program began immediately following 9/11 and the Obama administration reigned it in, eliminating warrantless wiretaps and clearing the collection of data through the FISA court and Congress. Interestingly, the people of Europe were aware of our program long before Snowden’s revelations and the overwhelming majority approve of it.
All of this proves that, now that our press is driven by ratings and sensationalism rather than a desire to inform, unscrupulous politicians can take advantage of it. And no politicians are more unscrupulous than today’s Republican Party.