Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Republicans Beginning to Mumble the "I-word"

The White House has been beset recently with some unsettling issues.  The Republicans are trying to use them as political coin. Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) was recently quoted as saying "We may be starting to use the I-word before too long."  

what eye thynk:   Republicans are seemingly at a loss to understand why more people aren't calling for the President's impeachment.  While some of these issues are important enough to warrant further examination, not every issue is scandal worthy and even fewer are likely to raise the public ire.

1. BENGHAZI--Really guys, let it go.  Four Americans are dead and we are still hunting for their killers.  Does it really matter if we know which agency decided whether the word “terror” should be suffixed with an “-ist” or and “-ism” or how many words into his speech the President was when he first used the term?

2. IRS--The focus on organizations with “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their titles who claimed tax-exempt status was wrong, but part of the problem was the Republican’s refusal to confirm any of the President’s nominees to lead the I.R.S.   An organization that large without someone at the top is doomed to make huge and stupid mistakes.  And it should be pointed out that the President has no daily input on the way the I.R.S. is run.  Its very purpose makes it an independent entity.

And would targeting Tea Party organizations be unpopular if put to the American people?  I doubt it.  A recent Associated Press Poll found that less than 25% of Americans now support the Tea Party.  Organizations supporting the Tea Party were granted tax exempt status thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision--a decision which an ABC poll showed that 80% of Americans opposed.  

So the IRS issue swirls around an unpopular movement funded by uncountable money supplied by rich donors whose identity is kept secret by an unpopular Supreme Court decision.  Throw in the fact that liberal groups are now coming forward to say that their tax exempt status was also investigated and I don’t see much hope for rampant public outrage on this subject.

3. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS--Of the three issue now besetting the White House, this is the only one that has any credibility, but to have Republicans leading the parade on this is questionable.  After all, they are the ones who have cried the loudest for more accountability over security breaches.  Their sudden about-face attempt to protect the media--the same media they have loudly scorned as liberally biased for the past five years--does not make a comfortable fit for Republican umbrage.

Republicans may be surprised that these three “scandals” have not warranted a tsunami of public pique, but they have overreached on so many issues over the past five years, (for example Michele Bachmann who called for a repeal of the ACA claiming that it “literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens” and who recently said that it was “reasonable” to believe that the President could direct the I.R.S. to use the ACA to “deny or delay” health care coverage to conservatives), that the public is no longer listening. 

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow may have said it best in a recent editorial:

“Furthermore, Republicans have exhibited a near-pathological need to say anything, no matter how outlandish, that would invalidate the Obama presidency.  This has left them with little credibility now that there may be legitimate problems.  This is the story of the political party that cried ‘Kenyan’.”

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