Cryin' wolf

The oh so serious Lindsey Graham

This has been a wretched stretch of brutal press for Barack Obama lately. Battered over and over by revelations of IRS malfeasance, aggressive assaults on press freedom at the AP and Benghazi ad infinitum, the hits keep on coming, amplified by the dual forces of the "Conservative Entertainment Complex" (as exemplified by this great pundit) and a "liberal media" that has realized that Internet hits are their most likely saving grace and revenue stream. It has reached such fevered pitch that the media is making a chilling analogy commonplace!

Thing is, once you get out of the fever swamps of the Internet, where seething Caucasian retirees amped up on Fox n Metamucil dominate debates with wildly incoherent snatches of reactionary-babble that sound like bizarre code to the unintiated, nobody--and I do mean NOBODY--gives a rodent's anus about any of this. Be it at the laundromat, the gym, the coffee shop, kid's schools, diner---general talk in my neck of the woods is a smorgasbord of the usual celeb/weather thing. And why?

Not just because none of this impacts anyone directly (certainly not as directly as this, which affects everyone that breathes, namely everyone alive), but in reality, because the Republican Noise Machine's ceasleless elevation of every Obama falter/failure to a matter of the utmost urgency (requiring Obama's removal) has rendered the public and even a fair amount of the blogosphere numb to their unending pounding. Benghazi--a bloody mess of a tragedy that left four Americans dead has actually been called by one of the GOP's most repellant figureheads as more significant than 9/11. Another has called for impeachment. As the same level of outrage never existed during the Bush years (and similar attacks that left 60 people dead), this is transparent nonsense. Not to mention the hearings themselves over Benghazi, which deliberately leave out testimony from any key players that might deviate off script.

Of greater importance would be the IRS and AP scandals. But even these are revealed to be borderline ridiculous--the IRS didn't single out only Tea Party groups and the AP's claim of political persecution is no more than an attempt to deflect a legitmate inquiry into a serious security breach. Let's get real: Using the IRS to persecute one's opponents is serious beyond serious--but when the campaign finance laws have been upended, the IRS making legitimate inquiries into an organization's status is to be expected.

The real issue at hand here is that for over 20 years, the Republican Party has molehilled into mountains every story that they thought would sway public opinion. And it tends to crest at the same time as well--right after a Democratic incumbent shocks them by trouncing a challenger, as was also the case in 1996. Never mind that the kitchen sink was thrown at both Clinton and Obama, whose policies themselves could barely be described as genuinely progressive, the only thing that mattered was wrecking their approval ratings in time for midterms or for the next presidential election--and as the Democrats gained seats in 1998 and their dreadful candidate outpolled the Republican in the popular vote in 2000, it really doesn't work.

But they'll cry wolf forever, because at this point "conservative politics" are a lucrative racket. And by playing this bait and switch game, the public tunes out even the things that are critical to them. So, "Benghazi" and the others replace "ACORN" or "Jeremiah Wright" for a spell and then roll back into the sea of noise like so many barking seals. But as the media lock that existed 15 some years ago disappears, these stories will hopefully carry less gravity in the future and pass along with the embittered folks whose panic over cultural changes has turned them into easy marks. Can't come fast enough for me.




outrage. If the IRS had targetted liberals and progressives, you'd have been all over it.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:06 am

The acting chairman has been relieved despite having no knowledge of the exact practices being used to assess the validity of the Tea-partiest's tax exemption claims; practices which may have been improper, but which were nonetheless carried out towards the completely valid end of determining tax status.

Compare the bogus foofarah over this with documented Hatch Act malfeasance which went on for *years* under the Bush Crime Family's administration.

From the New York TImes on Jan. 24, 2011:
[The report found that during the Bush administration, senior staff members at the Office of Political Affairs violated the Hatch Act by organizing 75 political briefings from 2001 to 2007 for Republican appointees at top federal agencies in an effort to enlist them to help Republicans get elected to Congress.

Mr. Rove and Ken Mehlman, who was the director of the office until the end of 2003, did not respond Monday to requests for comment.

Former employees of the office in the Bush administration told investigators that they saw these “political briefings as no more than informational discussions about the political landscape.” The investigators found that most of these briefings took place in federal workplaces or while the employees were on duty.

“These briefings created an environment aimed at assisting Republican candidates, constituting political activity within the meaning of the Hatch Act,” the 118-page report said.

According to PowerPoint slides the investigators collected, the briefings highlighted the importance of the “G.O.P. ground game” and talked about the “Republican Offensive,” in certain states, while detailing the “Republican Defense” in others.

The investigators also found evidence that the Bush White House improperly classified travel by senior officials as official government business, “when it was, in fact, political,” and the costs associated with this travel were never reimbursed.]

And as for Benghazi, that was more of a CIA station than an embassy, so the term "terrrorism" is indeed suspect.

The fact is that Obama is not one of us, and the continued Kabuki dance of the rightists pretending so is simply another aspect of the torment they endeavor to promote.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 16, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

about the IRS victimization of right-wing groups?

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:03 pm
Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

But the head of the IRS has quit. The conspirators have thrown him to the dogs, but someone is going to jail for this.

Shades of Nixon and his "enemies list".

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

I thought it was terrible that the acting commissioner was fired for something that happened under his Bush-appointed predecessor's watch.

Again, no evidence of a cover-up? Just certainty that one exists because Obama?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

Tea Party?

When the Tea Party didn't even exist while W was President because, of course, it didn't need to?

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

...for anything. (Except the numerous truly scandalous crimes committed by him and his administration.) I don't think the guy appointed knew this was going on, either. But the guy that just lost his job certainly didn't.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

Good to see someone at SFBG saying that.

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

Again...didn't you say in one comment thread you were an Obama voter, or did I dream it?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

I am "anon".

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

Start addressing the fact that the head of the IRS was a Bush appointee instead of ignoring it with the dumbass LOLs - you only throw out the LOLs because you realize you the fact that the head of the IRS was not some Obama Chicago friend but an appointee of the worst prez in this country's history. I expect more LOLs from you since that's all you got fool.

Posted by Guest on May. 18, 2013 @ 2:05 am

But in the end he could lay down and bare his throat. Obama will never be given respect, cooperation or the benefit of any of their doubts. The Krazy Klown Kult lives to see another day dawn...

Posted by Guest thedeb on May. 16, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

It is highly unlikely that the ehad of the IRS would have ordered this since it is clearly a political witch-hunt. It has to be someone in the White House.

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

There's just no evidence to support that. A couple of Democratic employees of the IRS in a field office seem, at this point, to have acted independently and inappropriately.

You seem awfully quick to want this to be the President's fault and possibly done at his behest. Are you the same anon who said he was an Obama voter? Granted, that doesn't mean you're automatically going to give him the benefit of the doubt, but it does seem strange that you're jumping to such a conclusion.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

The old 'The evidence must exist because it's so cleverly hidden' approach.
That worked well for the 9/11 conspiracy people too.

Posted by chrisfs on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:56 pm

The one's who spirited away the wreckage of the buildings? The one's who gamely attempted to explain why WTC7 fell down in it's own footprint despite never being touched by an airplane?

No. You must be refering to the dancing Israelis in Liberty Park who set up video cameras to film the attacks out of their moving van.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 17, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

And you, presumably, would be cheering them on.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

The only group proven to have lost their tax exempt status over this was a DEMOCRATIC group. Nice try though. Oh and 2/3rds of the groups investigated had nothing to do with the Tea Party.

Posted by MAB on May. 17, 2013 @ 4:39 am

The IRS is mentioned in the first sentence.

"Ever going"?

And it's "targeted".

Thanks for making my case better than I can.



Posted by JohnnyW on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:08 am

But this is the first mention in SFBG.

Obviously because of who the targets were.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:51 am

-- except to the two-faced Repug liars of the world.

Compared to well established Hatch Act malfeasance all during the Bush years, it is completely innocent.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 16, 2013 @ 12:45 pm

That was a policy decision, and could only have come from "on high".

Did you defend Nixon this way?

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

sashay over to imputing to me a defense of Nixon.

When *any* credible evidence comes to light showing that front line IRS investigator practices were directed from "on high," *then* we can compare and contrast such with known law breaking committed over the course of the better part of a decade by highly placed officials in the Bush Crime Family.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

the right, and you hang onto them like a dog on a piece of rancid meat.

But when it is the left conspiring to hurt their "enemies", then all of a sidden you demand credible evidence.

Too late, Lilli. You should have thought of that ebfore you jumped on every conspiracy bandwagon ever mooted here.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

Hard to take a "Guest" seriously. Yeah, it's a real crime those IRS employees in Cincinnati tried to find a way to ease their workload when every rightwing gravy train seeking group in the country tried to get non-profit status to hide their donors and pay themselves out of the money they raised. This was a job the IRS was supposed to do: vet groups applying for 501c4 status, which required that they not be political. Funny that having a political name would trigger scrutiny. You must be a really special snowflake, Guest.

Posted by Citizen Charles Foster Kane on May. 16, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

while pursuing political agenda's. But somehow the IRS ignored them.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

Hey genius: these were groups *applying* for non-profit status, not already existing groups filing tax returns. You just keep blowing smoke though, okay?

Posted by Citizen Charles Foster Kane on May. 16, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

That the groups investigated were all groups with certain keywords in their name.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

"...and could only have come from 'on high'."

Still no evidence.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 5:30 pm
Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

Do you really believe that anyone in the higher ranks of the IRS in Washington, let alone the President, have any hand in the day-today operations of two field operatives in Cincinnati?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

But in every political scandal like this, it's not the crime but the cover-up that kills. And how high up did the cover up go?

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

What cover up?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

involvement in the persecution of their enemies.

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 8:16 pm involved in this cover-up? And how do you know?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

Yes, there is. You're the one who doesn't seem to understand how hierarchies work. The CEO of Tyson doesn't know what poultry plant workers in Pigs Knuckle, Arkansas, do with every minute of their day.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

Same with Watergate, same with MonicaGate, same with RossGate.

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

With those others, there was evidence of a cover-up. There is no evidence here.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:31 pm
Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

...something for which there is no evidence, because you think someday something will emerge. Got it.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

I don't know how these guys expect us to take anything they say seriously after one bs "scandal" after another. Benghazi was awful and steps absolutely needed to be taken to investigate what happened and make sure it never happens again or at least that we are doing everything we can to help make sure it doesn't, but these guys don't have any interest at all in that. They could give a damn about the ambassador or any of the other people who died. They just want an albatross they can hang around the neck of Obama or failing that, Hillary in 2016. It's a disgrace and we should be ashamed at ourselves for letting our Congress get that way.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:10 am

I can only assume that all of this talk of impeachment (the ultimate wolf-cry) is to somehow manage to remove Obama from office and set up Biden as an incumbent president to defeat Clinton in the primaries leading up to 2016. Biden's not going to run against her unless of course he is an incumbent president (though it might not be a bad idea for Hillary to have a sparring partner).

These Tea Party nuts in the house who keep voting to eliminate "Obamacare" presumably think that they can somehow install Biden and prevent the Hillary Tsunami from a landslide of Reagan proportions.

Given the fact that angry white men no longer elect US presidents, you would think that the Republicans would have figured out by now that in a few years Texas will become a blue state and that their status as a presidential party will belong to history....

Posted by David Nivans on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:37 am

than he already is. Probably not necessary, but why do Dem Presidents keep doing this shit?

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

Please, enlighten us.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

Who said that?

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 6:03 pm


Again, because a couple of low-level agency workers in a Cincinnati field office of the IRS acted inappropriately, we impeach the President? Really?

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

the cover-up went all the way to the white house.

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

However, there's no evidence that that's true in this case. Only your fantasies.

Posted by Hortencia on May. 16, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

WaterGate took two years to prove.

Posted by anon on May. 16, 2013 @ 8:15 pm