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Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:24 PM

The desperate search for a legitimate Obama scandal

The desperate search for a legitimate Obama scandal

By Steve Benen

There are very few developments the political world cherishes more than a White House scandal...as Paul Waldman explained well yesterday, the bizarre Republican rhetoric surrounding the politics of the Benghazi attack reinforce a larger truth: President Obama hasn't had a legitimate scandal yet, and it's making his detractors antsy.

If you're looking at the Republican harumphing over Benghazi and asking yourself, "Why are we supposed to be so mad about this again?" you're not alone. Let's review: There was an attack on our consulate that killed four Americans, including our ambassador. Amid confusing and contradictory reports from the ground, President Obama waited too long to utter the magic incantation, "Terrorism, terrorists, terror!" that would have ... well, it would have done something, but it turns out that he did say "terror," so never mind that. But that's not the real scandal! The real scandal is that Susan Rice went on television soon after and amid all kinds of "based on the best information we have"s and "we'll have to see"s, said one thing that turned out not to be the case: that after the protests in Cairo, there was some kind of copycat protest in Benghazi, which was then "hijacked" by extremist elements using heavy weapons to stage an attack.

A sane person might say, OK, she was obviously given some incorrect information at that time, but it's not a particularly meaningful deception. As people have been pointing out for weeks now, it's not as though not using the word "terror" or saying there was a protest before the attack gave the White House some enormous political advantage. If you're going to have a cover-up, there has to be something you're covering up.

So what's behind the baseless accusations, unhinged conspiracy theories, and calls for a Watergate-style investigation? Waldman sums it up in two words: "scandal envy."

Republicans thought they had something with the job offer to Joe Sestak (remember the calls for an FBI special prosecutor?). Then maybe the "Fast & Furious" matter. Or maybe Solyndra. Now Benghazi.

Each of these stories was immediately compared to Watergate, and each failed to point to any wrongdoing whatsoever by the president or the White House...since Obama has run a scandal-free administration it means he must be hiding something awful.

Kevin Drum had a good take on this.

Yep. They're just convinced that Obama runs a gang of Chicago thugs who are lying and cheating behind the scenes at every opportunity. It's a foundational story on the tea-party right. Unfortunately, the reality is that whatever else you think of Obama, he's one of the straightest arrows we've had in the White House since ... forever. He runs a tight ship organizationally, and on a personal level he's so intolerant of personal peccadilloes that he sometimes seems almost inhuman. It would be astonishing if he could actually avoid a serious scandal for an entire eight-year term, but if anyone can do it, it's probably Obama.

And yes, it's driving Republicans crazy.

Nixon had Watergate; Reagan had Iran-Contra; Clinton had Lewinsky; Bush had more scandals than he knew what to do with (Plame, US Attorney purge, torture, etc.); and Obama just isn't cooperating in the scandal department. His critics aren't wearing their desperation well.

- more -

http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/11/16/15219142-the-desperate-search-for-a-legitimate-obama-scandal

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The desperate search for a legitimate Obama scandal (Original post)
ProSense Nov 2012 OP
Wait Wut Nov 2012 #1
Wellstone ruled Nov 2012 #2
nichomachus Nov 2012 #3
rock Nov 2012 #4
patricia92243 Nov 2012 #5
JoeyT Nov 2012 #6

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:31 PM

1. Many of us knew this would happen from the beginning.

He was unscandalable. Obviously in love with his wife, compassionate almost to a fault, reasonable, logical and downright decent.

Before the '08 election had finished cleaning up the confetti, we knew they were going to have to make an enormous effort to pin something on him. The birther thing isn't working for them. None of the 'OMG...he's a Muslim' scenarios played out.

They're desperate.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 02:33 PM

2. Faux News needs anything to boost

their Knuckle Dragger's attention. It's all about getting that Guy out off the WHITE House,racist Assholes. Pukes know their F--ed for a couple of generations at best. Can you say OBSTRUCTIONIST!!!!

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:11 PM

3. Legitimate scandal? Is that like legitimate rape?

The GOP doesn't need a legitimate scandal. Hell, they flogged Whitewater for years -- and would have kept it up if Monica Lewinsky hadn't given them what they needed.

All the GOP needs is an issue that people don't really understand -- and the cooperation of the corporatist media.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:28 PM

4. The old saw comes to mind

if they could just catch him in bed with a live boy or a dead girl ... But you know, with the wave he's now riding I don't think either would do.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 03:36 PM

5. Just for curiosity sake, after the 9/11 attack, how long was it before Bush or his reps

said it was terrorist?

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Fri Nov 16, 2012, 07:09 PM

6. K&R

Obama isn't really the scandalous kind, so it's going to be a fruitless search.

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