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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

More astute Republicans are well aware that their so-called “scandals” can end up damaging them more than President Obama — just as the impeachment of President Clinton wounded the GOP in 1998.

“Watch the way the Republicans are handling today’s controversies and it’s easy to see how their tactics could backfire again,” Bloomberg‘s Ramesh Ponnuru wrote Wednesday.

The very next morning, Ponnuru’s warning began to come true, as Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus lost one of the ardent critics of the Obama administration’s handling of these scandals, The National Journal‘s Ron Fournier.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Priebus suggested the president was engaged in “lawlessness and guerrilla warfare.”

“Based on what we know so far, it is incorrect to say the president is ‘in the middle’ of ‘lawlessness and guerrilla warfare.’ It is also irresponsible,” Fournier wrote. “And it’s bad politics.”

Republicans are counting on the sheer volume of their investigations to eventually chip away at the president’s approval ratings, but they’re likely overestimating — as they did in 1998 — both their case and ability to sway the public’s opinion. And not just because “They’re attacking the president where he’s least vulnerable at a time when they have minimal credibility.”

Even worse, Republicans are likely to taint necessary investigations — like those into reporters as co-conspirators in espionage — with such rabid politicization that any actual discussion will be worthless.

The GOP’s problems begin with the fact that the story they’re trying to tell about the president makes no sense.

“The scandals can’t demonstrate that Obama’s true dictatorial streak has finally been revealed while simultaneously supporting the idea that they’ve shown him to be too weak to control a government that has run amok,” writes The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent. And even if they decide on a narrative — today they’re leaning towards Obama being a tyrant — each so-called scandal ultimately contains issues that undermine conservative ideology and expose their hypocrisy.

Ultimately, the Republicans’ biggest problem is that it’s obvious that they would not consider any of these “scandals” to be scandals if a Republican were in the White House.

Would the right-wing media be blasting a Republican for using bad talking points about a 9/11 terrorist attack to avoid criticism? The Bush administration used bad talking points about a 9/11 terrorist attack to start a war.

But surely they would take on the IRS if political opponents were being targeted! “Under George W. Bush, it went after the NAACP, Greenpeace and even a liberal church,” writes Salon‘s Alex Seitz-Wald.

And press freedom? “These leakers!” Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes told a reporter in 1998. “I think they should all be executed and tortured.”

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73 responses to “How Obama’s ‘Scandals’ Will Hurt The GOP”

  1. docb says:

    The repubs have so many layers of egg on their faces that they will never see the truth.

  2. Ssgt_Flyer says:

    How is this journalism, seems an opinion piece. Seems most of the “news” is all opinion and no fact!

  3. The reason some of these scandals have not gone away by now is because the Democratic party has been doing a lousy job at fighting back. Why haven’t we posted a list of terrorist attacks against our embassies and consulates during W’s tenure? Why haven’t we reminded the public of who was in charge when 9/11 occurred? Why haven’t we reminded the public of what happened to Valerie Plame, Ambassador Wilson, the Dixie Chicks and others? Why haven’t we educated the public on how the FBI gathers intelligence, and how important their work is to our national security? Why haven’t we made a distinction between a coordinated strategy to attack opponents and the work of a few civil servants and, most importantly, why haven’t we highlighted why some Tea Party groups were targeted? I doubt too many Americans would sympathize if they learned that the reason some TP groups were under scrutiny was because they lied in their applications for tax exempt status. Why weren’t Democratic groups targeted? Because they did not lie.

    • Lovefacts says:

      And why haven’t they pointed out how during W’s tenure he or Chaney had organizations they didn’t like audited–the NAACP or example. Or that unlike W/s administration who tapped over 3,500 people, the Obama administration got warrants for their taps of the AP. And these are just two examples.

      • Howard15 says:

        There were no taps they only got the phone records. Bush listened to others conversations , Obam did not- big difference.

        • Lovefacts says:

          You’re right. Another big difference, Obama’s DOJ got a warrant before accessing the phone records. Whereas, “W’s” DOJ did get warrants to wire tap 3,500+ US citizens. Now, who’s really an example of Big Brother?

          • bryancarpen says:

            what ticks me off the most is the fact the media will not question the eligibility of these right wing 501-4c groups. $250 million were funneled through them and they were overt political groups, not social welfare charities. when John Boehener asks “whos going to jail” the answer should be his tax cheating buddies

    • sugarstaker says:

      I agree, I would say, they are not nearly as effective at implementing constructive Democratic policies as the Republicans are at destroying them.

    • lana ward says:

      The IRS and Obama stole the election. watch and see

    • plc97477 says:

      Because doing so would sound whiny and I don’t think it will do us any good to do that.

    • The Democrats don’t need to fight back. The Republicans are digging their own graves by pissing and moaning about these “scandals” nonstop and the Democrats are more than happy to let them.

      Really, nothing would benefit the Democrats more than if this stupid song and dance lasted all the way until 2014. Even reliably red states and districts may wind up dumping their representatives just to shut them up.

  4. JDavidS says:

    How can it not hurt them… When you’re up to you eyes in bullshit some of it is bound to stick to you.

  5. itsfun says:

    So far Carney has given 5 different time frames on Benghazi. A government official has taken the 5th. Obama said the Justice Department will investigate itself. A reporter may be sent to jail for doing his job.

    No wonder people are asking questions.

  6. latebloomingrandma says:

    Now that they have declared that the president is a tyrant and a dictator, how can he then be a weak leader? Dictators are usually strong leaders, since everyone is scared of them. Yet, they continue to trash talk the dictator, which in other countries, they would have been “eliminated.” I guess the last sentence in this essay sums it up well–they are trying to destroy someone they could not defeat.

    • You got it! He’s popular and Black! They cannot fathom that! So they will try their darnest to destroy whatever it is he has! Pond scum!!

    • no1special says:

      Dictators aren’t leaders. No one follows them, they obey them. If they don’t, they are punished. Using the IRS to punish opposing political groups is punishing those groups. That is dictatorial behavior.

      • charleo1 says:

        While I’m sure, “l b. grandma,” is very capable of defending
        her comment. I’ll add, I don’t think anyone approves of the
        behavior of the IRS, here. And, to be fair, there’s been nothing
        that points to something the Democratic Party ordered, or ask for.
        Nor, has it been shown, in any way, to have been successful in
        helping Democratic Candidates. If that indeed was the intention.
        In fact, who ever had a hand in it, was not too bright. Because,
        it is the type of thing that is always found out. In fact, if I was a
        supporter of the T-Party, there is hardly anything that could be
        done, that would have given the T-Party what it lacks the most.
        Credibility. But, who is calling for what needs to be done. Which
        is clear up the intentional vagueness, purposefully written into
        the law, to allow tax exemptions, for what, are political operations.
        And I don’t hear anyone disagreeing on their political nature.
        So, let’s fix it.

        • no1special says:

          100% of tea party related tax exempt applications were either denied or not processed. Nothing even close to that can be said about liberal groups. Quite the opposite in fact. If you want to lie to yourself and say that there is nothing that points to political motivation on the Democrat’s behalf, then there is no point in having this conversation, because the evidence so far is overwhelming and your denial of it is ridiculous. The Tea Parts is responsible for the Republican majority in the House. I’d say they not only have credibility, they’re a force to be reckoned with.

          • charleo1 says:

            Okay, I get it. You’re going to bring your own false facts.
            And call everybody that disagrees you, a liar. In fact, none
            of the requests were denied. They were flagged, and the
            process of granting tax exempt status, was held up.
            So, your overwhelming evidence, is in your head. Which
            is obviously full of Right Wing propaganda. In other words,
            impervious to any and probably all, connections with the
            real world. Which you most likely, haven’t seen for years.
            And wouldn’t recognize it if you did. But your contending
            that none of the requests were granted. And that helped
            the Democrats. Would mean their applications should
            have been denied. Because, they are not supposed to be
            political organizations anyway. But on the positive side.
            I always appreciate it when posters remind folks it was
            the T-Party that is responsible for Democrats losing the
            House in 2010. How much has that cost the Country
            already? In jobs? Investments not made? Problems
            not addressed? The dysfunction, the T-Party thrives on?
            18.5 billion was the number economists estimated the
            T-Party cost the Country, in insisting the entire Country
            knuckle under to their ignorant, and impossible demands.
            Proving, they not only looked stupid, and talked stupid,
            that by God, they were stupid! So, feel free to call me
            anything you want. Just don’t forget to mention the T-Party!

          • no1special says:

            You’re a funny person. Let me help you out free of charge. Holding up the tax exempt status indefinitely IS a denial. Same as Chicago’s not having a ban on handguns, but refusing to grant licenses that allow you to own one. It is the same as a ban. Real simple concept. Repeat it 3 times and you should start to understand it.

            Tax exempt groups on the right and left help to get out the vote for their side. Pay attention here, because this is important. They can do that, but their main focus has to be on social welfare and not politics. See how that works? Again, very simple to understand. Try repeating it to yourself a few times or ask a friend to help you to understand it.

            How ridiculous is your party if you believe that unless Democrats control the presidency, the house and the senate, they can’t get anything done and the country will suffer. How ridiculous are you to believe that and still support such a stupid party? Seriously, thanks for the laugh. Your party attacking the Tea Party did a lot to motivate their members to work even harder to get control of the senate in 2014. Maybe it’ll happen, maybe it won’t, but Democrats did themselves no favors in attacking them with the IRS.

          • charleo1 says:

            I wasn’t joking. But, I’ve got some GOP humor, coming
            right up! But, you don’t get to leapfrog to conclusions the
            Democratic Party had anything to do with the IRS. action.
            I Know it’s hard to control yourself. But, wishing in one
            hand, and crapping in the other, doesn’t mean you have
            two full hands. It only means you have a hand full of crap.
            You remember the GOP campaign, for President? What
            most of the Country called the Clown Car? Speaking of
            side splitting humor! They got this little running, joke they
            would use to warm up their lilly white, audiences. You
            know the GOP base, is 98% White. Average age 50/55.
            Okay, and they loved this! Newt would start of with his riff
            on Food Stamps. Always a good thing to bash, in the midst
            of, oh, maybe, 15 million unemployed by a deep recession.
            Then, they would get to the fence joke. And Gov. Perry,
            so hopped up pain pills, they had to walk him to the mike!
            He would be shuckin, and jive’n, feeling good! And he’d
            say, “And I will finish the dang fence!” meaning of course,
            the one between the U.S. and Mexico. Then Michelle
            Bachmann. a hoot, and a half, in her own right. Would say,
            “I’m gonna build the fence, and build a moat around it!”
            Which got even more cackles, from the, “Real Americans.”
            The next one up, would say, “I’m not only going to build the
            fence, and put a moat around it, but I’ll put some alligators
            in the moat!” Funny stuff eh? Then they lost the Hispanic
            vote by 70 percentage points! Now, I’m laughing my ass
            off! So, we take our humor where we can. Right?

          • no1special says:

            “What most of the Country called the Clown Car?”

            You mean most of the media and little more than half of the voters.

            “GOP base, is 98% White.”

            Ok, so you’re a racist. It matters to you the race of people. Libs are pretty racist in my experience.

            You’re funny/ U assume that liberals don’t get old and die. You assume that young liberals don’t get older and become more conservative. (I was pretty liberal as a kid)

            You can be a liberal if you want. I need something ridiculous to contrast my point of view to.

          • charleo1 says:

            No, Understanding that Hispanics don’t think a group
            of politicians, laughing at poor people from Mexico, who
            are just trying to survive, is funny. And they’re right.
            And, neither did the majority of voters. And it’s not a PR
            problem, caused by the media. The problem the GOP has.
            They have created, all by themselves. One of their most
            glaring shortcomings, is their failure to recognize the value
            in simply respecting people. And, it’s a case of people
            requiring their leaders to be better, than those candidates showed themselves to be. And to be better, not just to win elections. But be better, because they are better people,
            inside. And better, and smarter people don’t tell jokes like
            that. And, smarter people, if you follow the logic, make better decisions. Plus, nobody likes a bully. And, since losing the
            Presidency, and allowing the T-Party take over.
            Bullying seems all they care about doing. They stomp, and
            push. And name call. And they’re furious, with anyone
            who disagrees with them. And, to one’s surprise, but theirs,
            few of even their Republican colleagues likes them. Or,
            likes to be around them. They are thoroughly, nasty people. As has been my conversation with you. I disagreed with you. And you tried to run over me. Then, when that failed, you tried talking down to me, and mocking me. Then gave your permission for me to remain a Liberal. Like I give a rat’s
            ass. Do we fully understand one another now?
            Well, laugh away little man. Theirs never been a bully that’s run over me yet. And it damned sure, won’t be one of you
            T-Bag Bastards.

          • no1special says:

            You liberals make up so many lies it’s sickening. No one laughs at Mexicans. That is just how you operate politically. You have nothing worth selling to people, so you pretend that there is a war of some kind going on and that you’re on the side of the weak or the less numerous. Completely transparent to anyone who pays attention. Liberalism requires that the unwashed masses don’t pay attention though. If they did, they’d see that as you advocate for them, you’re actually herding them into the poor house. When they realize what you’re doing to them & they break free of it & make a non union success of themselves, you call them evil Republicans. Liberalism is a disgusting and evil philosophy that hurts people as it blames others for doing the harm.

          • “No mention was made of the Inspector General’s findings that
            that not a single Tea Party group has been denied 501(c)(4) non-profit
            status, and that more than two thirds of the scrutinized Tea Party-like
            groups had engaged in political activity that would usually disqualify

          • no1special says:

            Yeah right. Did you just make that up just now?

          • plc97477 says:

            The only group that was denied was a left leaning group.

          • no1special says:

            cough cough BS cough cough

          • Yappy2 says:

            The Tea Party organizations and/or organizations for Republicans/Democrats should not have been applying for tax exempt status in the first place because the bill that Congress passed said that this status should be given exclusiviely to organzations that were using the money for social welfare.. The IRS changed without any authority the word exclusivly to primarily.

          • no1special says:

            If that were true, all of the left wing organizations would have lost their tax exempt status. You happen to be wrong about that.

          • Yappy2 says:

            That’s what I said. The Tea Party and /or organziations for the Republican/Democrats should not have been given tax exemptions unless it was exclusively for social welfare. This is the way Congress wrote the bill.

          • no1special says:

            The law allows tax exempt status for most, if not all, of the groups currently being discussed as having been targeted by the IRS. They were not denied for legitimate reasons or else there would be no story here. People would not be resigning, or being supposedly fired, or apologizing. The left or Democrats were not being targeted. Conservative groups were being targeted. It seems that you’re trying to say that Dem & Repub groups were equally targeted and legitimately denied. If that’s what you’re implying, it’s simply not true.

          • Yappy2 says:

            The law as passed does not allow tax exemption for most or all. In 1959 the IRS without authority changed the word exclusively to social welfare organization to primarily social welfare. Besides you are assuming that everyone who works for the IRS are left leaning Democrats. That is highly unlikely. If the Supreme Court hadn’t said that a Corporation is a peson, we wouldn’t have this problem. I personally would like public funded elections and then the person who won wouldn’t owe a ton of favors to special interest persons or organizations.There is too much money and money powered groups involed in our elections.

      • latebloomingrandma says:

        OK–dictators aren’t “leaders” in our definition of the word, but there’s no mistake as who is in charge, thus the designated “leader” of the country.
        By the way, our “dictator/tyrant” was elected by a comfortable margin—twice.

        • no1special says:

          I’d say that the IRS attacking opponents of the President is one way of showing who is in charge, right? I never said Obama took over the presidency by brute force. He was elected twice. I’m sure the IRS attacks on his opponents was a big help in retarding the Republican turnout. I could be wrong about that, but I doubt it.

          • Drudgetard Destroyer says:

            The Republican party is a dinosaur on its way to extinction. Every election cycle from here on out, the Republican party will get smaller because every four years a sizable chunk of their constituents die off. Take 2016 for example, forget about the 2012 swing states, now Republicans are going to have to play defense in Arizona and Georgia. And if Hillary runs, add Arkansas, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Louisiana. Money spent on going on the offensive in states such as Ohio and Florida will dry up defending traditionally red states. The final nail in the coffin will be 2020, when Texas comes into play. Then the Republican party will be nothing more than regional party with very little national influence.

          • no1special says:

            Pay attention. Every single time a particular political parts gets elected to the White House or gets a majority in either house of congress, the story goes “This is the end of the road for X party.” Have you ever noticed that? If so, how can you continue to buy into that silly line?

            How do you destroy Drudge? It’s just a collection of stories from various sources. For example, we’re commenting on a story from the national memo written by Jason Sattler. Not by Drudge.

      • plc97477 says:

        So you are saying the person bush put in the irs that was behind all this was a dictator?

        • no1special says:

          Yeah, pretty much. I am a slave to principle, not party. When the taxing arm of the government attacks citizens who want lower taxes, that is tyranny. I don’t care who put who in what position.

  7. no1special says:

    So he thinks Republicans would not think these are scandals if a Republican was president… and Democrats would agree with the Republicans in that case? That’s absurd. Lets also not forget that several Democrats are also accurately calling this a scandal. Parts of the administration are blaming this office or that office or apologizing. If it’s not a scandal, then why blame anyone? Why apologize?

    • No one wants to ruin their chances of re election, DEM or GOP! They have no alliegences! It’s all about getting re elected! They have no moral compass or anything that is even recognizable as governance!

      • no1special says:

        I agree to an extent. Democrats do protect each other more than Republicans do though.

        • charleo1 says:

          Oh I know. That’s why Clinton was impeached for lying
          about an adulterous affair. And G. W. Bush, is perfectly
          safe, as long as he don’t travel abroad, and get locked
          up for war crimes, aganist humanity.

          • no1special says:

            Clinton was impeached for a crime and the media did their best to deflect and protect him. We’ll see if Obama committed any crimes. It’s still early. Bush committed no crime and cannot be arrested anywhere in the world for a war crime. Democrats didn’t even attempt to impeach Bush. Your comment is absolutely silly.

          • charleo1 says:

            We’ll see whether Bush or Cheney takes any overseas
            trips. Okay, smart guy? What was Clinton’s crime again?
            The GOP Congress spent hundreds of millions of dollars
            on one investigation after the next. That went nowhere.
            And my point? You’re covering for Republicans, right now!
            “Bush committed no crime!” “He can’t be arrested!”
            While claiming Democrats always protect each other,
            more than Republicans do. What are you doing, besides
            making my point for me?

          • no1special says:

            I am sorry if you are having trouble understand what I said. First, have you forgotten what Clinton’s crime was, do you really not know what it was, or are you pretending that he didn’t commit a crime? He lost his law license for 5 years ya know. He lied under oath to cover his butt.

            Name the crime for which Bush can be arrested for and the country that is seeking his arrest please. Aside from the fact that no country would dare arrest a former US President, no country is even wanting to. That’s just a bunch of nonsense that you libs like to pretend is true.

            Democrats do protect each other. Republicans tend to call out wrongdoing by other Republicans because Republicans tend to be more principled than Democrats. I recall Democrats & the media saying “big deal, everyone does it” to Bill Clinton banging women other than his wife.

          • plc97477 says:

            Would you like to tell me what party sanford is in. You call that principle?

          • no1special says:

            Sanford didn’t lie about it under oath. That is where Clinton’s crime was. It was in lying after taking an oath to tell the truth. If Sanford had lied under oath, he would have committed the same crime as Clinton did, but Sanford was not under oath and therefore did not commit a crime.

            I don’t care what party someone is from. Wrong is wrong no matter who you are.

          • Yappy2 says:

            If all the men that committed adultry were arrested there wouldn’t be enough jails in the world to hold them, and I’m pretty sure that some of them would be republicans.

          • no1special says:

            Clinton’s crime wasn’t cheating on his wife. It was lying about it under oath and trying to cover it up.

          • plc97477 says:

            Try to give baby bush a ticket to greece then.

          • no1special says:

            And you honestly think that the government in Greece would arrest a former American president? Are you completely out of your mind or just flat out stupid?

          • darkagesbegin says:

            Clinton was the subject of a witch hunt and if they hadn’t finally found something resembling a crime they would have tried to impeach him for using too much toilet paper, or not enough. and they will try and try the same with Barak Obama, as they have done, throwing crap after crap hoping that something will stick, and if nothing does, they will trump up something. Not because there is something there, but because they believe they should be in power and that the reason they are not is because there is something illegitimate about any Democrat who beats any republican.
            Democrats didn’t try to impeach Bush because they still believe that America is a democracy, and shouldn’t be wracked by partisan politics at every turn.

          • no1special says:

            Nice try, but that is complete nonsense. Clinton did commit a crime. He paid for it. Bush committed no crime and that is the only reason Democrats did not go after him for impeachment. If Bush did commit a crime and the Democrats let him get away with it, then that would make them corrupt. So you’re arguing that Democrats are corrupt. I agree, but Bush did not commit a crime. That is pure nonsense.

            I believe Obama is supremely corrupt. I have no proof, but some may come out. Calling this a witch hunt is beyond absurd. Are the Democrats who want answers on a witch hunt? Did the IRS decide to apologize for doing nothing wrong or for doing something wrong? Did the Bengazi whistle blowers come forward as part of a witch hunt or because they wanted the truth to be known? Are far left liberal organizations, news outlets, & websites upset over the tracking and listening in on James Rosen part of a witch hunt on the left’s part or a legitimate concern of media people?

            Get real!

    • The problem with Democrats during W’s tenure was not that they opposed W’s policies and actions, but that they either remained ambivalent or supported them. The latter makes them complicit in what took place, particularly when it comes to foreign policy. That’s the only concern I have about Hillary Clinton’s potential nomination, and the reason I am leaning towards Elizabeth Warren.

      • no1special says:

        Warren is a socialist and she has no chance at the presidency whatsoever.

        • darkagesbegin says:

          you guys are running out of pejorative adjectives to call Democrats. You already used ‘socialist’ for President Obama and everyone can see he isn’t. And it didn’t work. Are you going to stick with socialist, or maybe move on to ‘martian’ or something even more absurd?

          • no1special says:

            Democrats usually don’t think socialist is a pejorative term. They don’t even try to hide their socialistic tendencies. I was not using ti as a pejorative either. I was trying to be accurate in describing what she is. You’ve got to be a complete economic illiterate to not see what she is from hearing her speak.

    • maximillyun says:


  8. sugarstaker says:

    As a liberal, I welcome GOP created scandals. Every aspect of our society – education, healthcare, banking, government, voting rights, Social Security… are peppered with scandals. So bring it on, we’re just getting started.

    • lana ward says:

      Dems created these scandals, haven’t you been watching?? Republicans are just trying to get to the truth of who is involved–and they will!!!

      • Yappy2 says:

        Republicans would not know the truth if it hit them in the face.

        • no1special says:

          Funny, Libs said the same thing, that Repubs were lying, during the debate over the health care law. Now Libs are coming out against the law. The Unions are in full revolt and agreeing with what the Repubs said during the debate.

          • Yappy2 says:

            What you are saying is not true. I find that Republicans say something over and over and think it is true just becasue they have said so over and over. What they have done is told a lie over and over.

          • no1special says:

            It is true and it’s common knowledge. If you’re going to lie about it or purposely remain ignorant to it then I’m done with you.

          • Yappy2 says:

            You are done with me because you don’t want the other posters to read what I have said and know that you are wrong and I that I am not ignorant and that what I said is true.

          • no1special says:

            Yeah, ya got me. That’s why.

  9. howa4x says:

    Problem for republicans is that they have not put forth an agenda to help all Americans and not just the 1%. This has lead the public to have a jaundice view of them. Trying to shift the public to scandals only works when all the public is angry at Obama like we all were at Nixon. This made it easy to Impeach him since his acts were believable given his character. Obama is not a believable villain so it is harder to get the non republicans excited about any of it. Instead the public is more angry at the congressional republicans for putting a roadblock on background checks and not being willing to negotiate to prevent the sequester from hurting people. Drone strikes are actually a republican national security Idea put to use by W, and he, and John Hawk McCain wanted to close Guantanamo. People want bi partisan cooperation, decent paying jobs, quality heath care, good schools, same sex marriage and are concerned about climate change. If the republicans can’t come up with anything meaningful to say about these issues than the public sees them as background noise, and doesn’t take them seriously.

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