Skip to comments.How the white hat got stained
Posted on 05/20/2013 3:42:19 PM PDT by presidio9
Dont let anyone fool you: Everyone in politics is tempted to believe that their noble ends could justify unethical and illegal means.
Those who had hoped that President Obama would usher in a new era of higher standards in Washington must be shell-shocked by last weeks revelations:
-The Internal Revenue Service admitted to delaying conservative organizations tax-exempt status while quickly approving groups that had liberal or progressive orientations. The IRS asked these groups all sorts of invasive questions, including what kind of books they read, and leaked some information to the media.
-The Department of Justice secretly obtained two months worth of telephone records of Associated Press journalists, more than 20 separate phone lines a stunning amount of snooping into the interactions between reporters and their sources.
-The Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly been waiving fees for Freedom of Information Act requests from environmental groups while keeping them in place for conservative groups.
-Gregory Hicks, a career State Department employee whose account of events in Benghazi contradicted the administrations initial claims that it was tied to a YouTube video, said he was harangued and demoted for not toeing the line.
While there are still chapters to be written in the story of how this administration went astray, one element appears clear: Obamas crew in Washington, and those who worked under him in the federal bureaucracy, have bent, broken and ignored the rules all quite certain that they were acting for the greater good. (At this point, it is not clear whether Obama turned a blind eye to all this or obliviously presided over the federal bureaucracys transformation into a partisan cudgel.)
Saul Alinsky, the activist whose writings influenced Obama in his community organizing days, scoffed at those who spent a lot of time worrying about whether the ends justify the means. In his most famous book, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky wrote, One has to remember means and ends. Its true that I might have trouble getting to sleep because it takes time to tuck those big, angelic, moral wings under the covers. To me, that would be utter immorality.
But you dont need to be a devotee of Alinsky to conclude that making an omelet requires cracking some eggs.
Undoubtedly, the men and women who made up the highest ranks of the Bush administration believed in a noble end of a free Iraq: dictator Saddam Hussein deposed, weapons of mass destruction eliminated and a functioning, secular democracy in the middle of the Arab world.
It is indeed a lovely vision, one that drove that administration to overlook questions about the Iraqi WMD programs and whether there were enough troops to keep order after the invasion.
Once the war began, one misdeed after another had to be excused or dismissed as a distraction from that noble end: military contractor profiteering, Abu Ghraib prison, an environment of runaway sectarian violence and so on.
Obama debuted on the political scene with an atmosphere of messianic excitement. A July 2008 column by Mark Morford in the San Francisco Chronicle asked, with no detectable sarcasm, whether Obama was a Lightworker described as that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet.
These moments, when self-righteousness shines from every pore, are probably when politicians should be most careful and since they rarely are, these are the moments when the public should be most vigilant. For almost every scandal is rooted in the belief that what you and your allies are doing is so good, so noble and so necessary that it can justify some moral shortcuts.
The Contras really needed those arms. A President is entitled to a little canoodling with an intern, and its acceptable to lie under oath about it. To quote Nixon, When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.
Good screenwriters know every villain believes he is the hero of his own story. The human capacity for self-justification can be pretty epic even outside a highly charged political atmosphere in which each side sees itself as the living embodiment of everything that makes America great and the other side as a motley amalgamation of petty, corrupt, selfish special interests.
And now, we see what happens when an administration and the ranks of the federal bureaucracy become filled with folks who are convinced they can cut some corners because theyre doing the Lords work. Or, perhaps, the Lightworkers work.
I’m trying to figure out how anyone would think that a protege of William “guilty as sin, free as a bird” Ayers, and a practitioner of Chicago Thug Politics would have a “white hat” at all.
I saw the headline and assumed that there may be a Bill Clinton, or at least a Democrap tie in....
That's not shell-shock, that's drug withdrawal combined with delirium tremens.
Bear in mind that the readership of the New York Daily News is overwhelmingly "BUSH LIED - PEOPLE DIED" liberal. The fact that they can be made to even consider the possiblity that the bloom is off the rose is a step in the right direction.
Obviously only the most gullible could believe that a card carrying member of the Chicago political mob would observe any kind of ethics at all.
Sadly there were many of them in 2008.
By 2012 nobody believed that, but the entitlements gravy was thick enough to buy another election.
Now the excuse is “everybody does it”.
“Stained” is a monstrously inadequate word to describe it. The WH is headquarters to an out-of-the-closet racketeering and corrupt outfit.
If you look on google image, Obama has NEVER
worn a white cowboy hat.
Bunch of rustlers and horse thiefs.
Put’n the Obama brand on every cow
in the county...
Your Ranch? You didn’t build that.
Just so we're clear, not all white hats are of the ten gallon variety, and not all men in white hats are heros.
This confusing, theme-challenged piece is the best the poor now hero-challenged NY Daily News can come up with.
And Eleanor Clift was laughing yesterday on the McLaughlin Group while Rich Lowry challenged her weird points on Benghazi.
Laughter is not appropriate on the matter, not even for her. I took it as a desperate attempt at distraction.
The truth and exposure are awkward and painful for them.
I see it here.
White hat, blue dress, it doesn’t matter.
What matters is that they are stained ;-)
Actually, Jim Geraghty’s day job is as Rich Lowry’s colleague at the National Review...
Did Jim Geraghty write this?
I’ll have to reread it. Maybe I missed the tone. Or he toned it as much as possible for the Daily News.
More than likely.
It is rather scathing in the first third.
Geraghty’s an excellent pundit. He offers a “human condition” explantion that doesn’t excuse the president’s behavior.
No one in Washington with an ounce of common sense expected anything more from Obama than what they got.
All they had to do was take a look at Washington’s former Mayor Marion Barry to see how Obama would turn out.
I have to admit though Bathhouse Barry even makes Marion look good.
Please explain the specific connection between the two men.
Both black, criminally incompetent , Both used Cocaine,Both used their cronies for important positions in their administration, both got almost 100% of the black vote, both racist, is that enough?
I see that.
Sorry if you feel that way, and certainly since you say George bush and Bill Clinton used Cocaine, that makes the use of Cocaine just fine doesn’t it.
Barry’s time as Mayor was covered with corruption, as is Obama’s administration. Did you know that Barry a crack addict and felon now serves on the Districts city council?
You see he is still supported by blacks, just as Obama is.
If it’s a disservice to point that out, I am sorry, but it’s the fact.
Barry was a racist, dashiki wearing Community Organizer, just as Obama was. I assume you have seen Obama dressed in his African garb.
IMO if you ignore the fact that Obama is black you do a disservice to this website, you see it isn’t me who has called him black. He gave himself that label. He used it in a speech just yesterday.
I will give one thing to Barry though, He was a much better Mayor than Obama is as President.
No, nobody said that Chief. The name "Marion Barry" is only known today because he got caught on tape in a motel room smoking crack with a prostitute while he was Mayor of the District of Columbia.
You chose to associate the two because of the color of their skin. That is not helpful to the image of this website.
You have a right to your opinion. I gave several reason, you picked race. That’s fine , you are entitled to your opinion
If I picked Barry because of the color of his skin I could have chosen Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, or Kasim Reed of Atlanta, or Dave Bing of Detroit. No I believe the corruption of Barry and Obama are much closer that and their acceptance among the black voters.
None of the other opinions you picked are very relevant. You picked Marion Barry because he is a disgraced black Democrat. Other than skin color and political party, the two actually have very little in common.
How about the fact that Barry always asked Congress for more and more money?
LMAO —Never mind. You have your mind made up, let it go at that. You have established you Obama Bona Fides.
And that makes him different from other Democrats how?
I get it. You are a racist and you're proud of it. Good for you. Pointing it out to you doesn't make me a liberal or an Obama supporter.
Play that card Babe. LMAO.
Actually, you played it yourself when you chose Marion Barry as the one person to compare the persident to. Truth be told, aside from the womanizing, he has far more in common with Bill Clinton.
Your racism only makes a difference to me in so far as it reflects negatively on the rest of us here. It does not suprise me that you don’t recognize your own views for what they are.