I had started to write a piece about what I was calling the "Republican Opportunistic Crisis Machine" when I read this op-ed in yesterday's New York Times. They say it better than I could, so I have reproduced their editorial nearly in its entirety...with comments, of course.
(This article was published in digital and print Times editions under different titles. The underlines are mine.)"When politicians want to turn scandals into metaphors, actual details of wrongdoing or incompetence no longer matter. In fact, the details of the troubles swirling around the White House this week are bluntly contradicting Republicans who want to combine them into a seamless narrative of tyrannical government on the rampage.
The Internal Revenue Service, according to an inspector general's report, was not reacting to political pressure or ideology when it singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny in evaluating requests for tax exemptions. It acted in appropriately because employees couldn't understand inadequate guidelines."
Having an actual head of the IRS may have helped, but Republicans have refused to confirm any of the President's nominees."The tragedy in Benghazi, Libya, never a scandal to begin with, has devolved into a turf-protection spat between government agencies, and the e-mail messages Republicans long demanded made clear that there was no White House cover-up.
The only example of true government overreach was the seizure of The Associated Press's telephone records, the latest episode in the Obama administration's Javert-like obsession with leakers in its midst.
Many of the Republicans who have added this action to their metaphor blender were also the ones clamoring the loudest for vigorous investigations of national security leaks. But reality simply isn't solid enough to hold back the vast Republican opportunism on display this week...
...'This is runaway government at its worst,' Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said at a Tea Party news conference on Thursday about the I.R.S. scandal. 'Who knows who they'll target next.' Representative Michele Bachmann knew. Standing next to Mr. McConnell, she said the I.R.S.'s next target would obviously be the religious beliefs of people seeking health insurance."
What?! Thank you, Michele, for bringing your own brand of ludicrous paranoia to the table."For Senator Mike Lee of Utah, these incidents proved that the federal budget has to be cut even more deeply...
...(These Republican bloated incidents) obscure the real damage that Republicans continue to do to the economy and the workings of government."
The editorial goes on to point out that while Republicans were chasing Benghazi:
1. No one noticed that hundreds of thousands of defense workers were furloughed this week thanks to the "Republican-imposed" sequester.
2. Republicans continue to call for more austerity, but fail to notice the huge drop in the deficit reported earlier this week.
3. No one seems to think it significant that six months into the President's second term, Republicans are still blocking several of his cabinet nominees."For those who are wondering whether this week's political windstorms will hinder Mr. Obama's second-term agenda, here's a bulletin: That agenda was long ago imperiled by the obstruction of Republicans. (See Guns. Jobs. Education. And, very possibly, Immigration.)"
This Republican obsession for looking at everything and sizing it up for scandal worthiness has become just another side to their obstructionist form of non-governing. If the President fails to eat his soup with the correct spoon at the next White House dinner, should we expect the Republican Party to call for an Investigation/Study/Committee-to-evaluate how declining etiquette is bringing about a corresponding decline in American morals which is why there are no many gay people?
I'm sure Michele Bachmann would be first in line for that parade.