Proliferating scandals expose truth about Obama

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass says the recent scandals surrounding the Internal Revenue Service, as well as the Justice Department and Associated Press, prove politics remain a ruthless business. (Posted on: May 14, 2013)

Obama doesn't bother me. I disagree with his politics, but that's not what's galling. What's appalling was the pack mentality of journalists — and I don't need polls to tell me that most are liberals — who were so eager to wag their tails at his approach.

Benghazi is trouble enough for Obama, so troubling that a liberal soccer friend (yes, I do appreciate diversity of opinion) greeted me by sarcastically chanting, "Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi!" as if that dusty, bloody town in Libya doesn't mean a thing.

But it means something to Obama's credibility, which is now in tatters. And it means something to the four dead Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. It means something to the whistle-blowers who say they were pressured not to talk.

And Benghazi means something to the presidential prospects of Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state's snarky comment "What difference, at this point, does it make?" will hang from her neck like the dead albatross in the poem. By 2016 it should be exceedingly ripe.

These days, Benghazi is no longer being viewed as some isolated artifact in a glass jar. The other scandals have joined it, and combine in organic fashion to produce a president on the defensive. The Obama administration insists its fingerprints aren't on this IRS business, and the president himself condemns it as an outrage.

But it is worse than an outrage. And the president was the beneficiary. If he were truly angry, he'd have fired people immediately. The push by the White House for an "independent" investigation is also an outrage.

It is the Congress' job to investigate. Let them ask the IRS why it provided information damaging to tea party members and conservatives to investigative reporters at ProPublica.

Using the IRS to smother dissent and grabbing the phone records of The Associated Press isn't something a gentle Mr. Tumnus would do.

But it is something done by politicians from Chicago, where government is the muscle that shuts the mouth.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

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