Skip to comments.What Happened to Obama?
Posted on 05/20/2013 3:45:06 PM PDT by nickcarraway
You know things are getting rough for President Barack Obama when even The New Yorker, that bastion of liberal thought, starts ridiculing him. Reacting to how the president is distancing himself from his administrations three emerging scandals the mishandling of the embassy attack at Benghazi, the targeting of a right-wing group by the IRS and press snooping by the Department of Justice the magazines resident humorist, Andy Borowitz, wrote a post on its Web site titled, Obama Denies Role in Government.
To milk his point, as humorists are wont to do, Borowitz put words in Obamas mouth: Right now, many of you are angry at the government, and no one is angrier than I am. Quite frankly, I am glad that I have had no involvement in such an organization.
Well, just how involved has the president been in the blunders of his organization?
For Obama supporters like super blogger Andrew Sullivan, the heated criticism against Obama such as the charge that this is the worst scandal since Watergate is over the top and undeserved. To put things in perspective, Sullivan asks:
"Has this president broken the law, lied under oath or authorized war crimes? Has he traded arms for hostages with Iran? Has he knowingly sent his cabinet out to tell lies about his sex life? Has he sat by idly as an American city was destroyed by a hurricane? Has he started a war with no planning for an occupation?
Fair enough, but if you listen to Conor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic, Obama has been involved with serious scandals-- only theyre not the ones you think. Theyre worse.
The scandals that Obamas critics are presently touting, as bad as they are, he writes, aren't even the worst of Team Obama's transgressions. These other scandals, he says, are proven and ignored.
He starts with Sullivans first question: Has this president broken the law, lied under oath, or authorized war crimes?
Yes, he answers, President Obama has broken the law on multiple occasions. Despite clearly stating, in a 2008 questionnaire, that the commander-in-chief is not lawfully empowered to ignore treaties duly ratified by the Senate, Obama has willfully failed to enforce the torture treaty, signed by Ronald Reagan and duly ratified by the Senate, that compels him to investigate and prosecute torture."
He adds that Obama also violated the War Powers Resolution, a law he has specifically proclaimed to be Constitutionally valid, when committing U.S. troops to Libya without Congressional approval. He quotes Sullivan himself, who wrote in 2011: "The war in Libya becomes illegal from now on. And the imperial presidency grows even more powerful."
Friedersdorf, whom I consider a moderate centrist, has his own list of questions about Obamas record, which he says add up to a scandalous presidency, such as:
Has he ordered the assassination of any American citizens in secret without due process? Has he waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers? Has he spied on millions of innocent Americans without a warrant or probable cause? Did he sign a bill that enshrines in law the previously merely alleged executive power of indefinite detention without trial of terror suspects"?
Even Sullivan, who today defends Obama, has written previously that the president is "a clear and knowing accessory to war crimes, and should at some point face prosecution as well, if the Geneva Conventions mean anything any more.
So, how do you explain Sullivan defending a president he has castigated so harshly in the past?
Friedersdorfs answer speaks to the hyper-partisanship that often infects politics. Sullivan hasn't internalized the worst of what Obama's done, he writes, because his notion of scandal is implicitly constrained by whatever a president's partisan opponents tout as scandalous.
In other words, because Republicans didnt go bonkers on those previous Obama transgressions (presumably because they were security related), Sullivan felt free to take on the president. But now that Republicans are going to town on the current scandals, Sullivan gets hit with a sudden attack of amnesia, going so far as to write: So far as I can tell, this president has done nothing illegal, unethical or even wrong."
Friedersdorfs snarky response: Yes. He. Has.
The truth is, even accounting for partisanship, there is a growing realization among liberal circles (see Maureen Dowd, Chris Mathews, Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart) that this president, for all his charm, eloquence and accomplishments, has gone too far. The evidence that he has abused his presidential powers is cumulative and disturbing.
Its not only about the scandals du jour, such as Benghazi, the IRS and the press snooping, however troubling those are. Its also about the general pattern of the Obama presidency and the setting of precedents for future presidents.
To hold the president accountable and reaffirm the boundaries of the Oval Office, Congress should begin a bipartisan investigation of all areas where there is evidence of presidential abuse of power -- including areas where Republicans have let him off the hook, such as torture, war powers and assassinations of U.S. citizens.
Yes, it would be messy, but so is a vibrant democracy.
If you ask me, its a sign of progress: Our first African-American president is being strongly challenged and occasionally ridiculed by the mainstream media, which means hes being treated no differently than any white president from Texas.
God bless America.
In other words, because Republicans didnt go bonkers on those previous Obama transgressions (presumably because they were security related)...
No, it wasn’t security related. Just Republicans being Republicans. Weak, timid and fearful. Its how they roll (downhill).
As opposed to "Standing athwart the wind yelling STOP!"?
To be fair, he did lower the sea level...
as explained in here:
I disagree to an extent. I think some Republicans and conservatives ignore some of things Obama does on defense/terrorism related issues.
Yes - in every case.
Not to worry. I’m sure he’s firing up AF1 to head to Oklahoma to show he “cares”
I suppose a investigation of the Peace Prize Award, without ever having achieved peace is out of the question.
And, he had sex with a Wookie
Republicans just don’t play to win. They love their role as spectators with good seats watching Dems on the field of play. The only time they ever get on the field is to serve as waterboys for the Dems.
The only time they ever get on the field is to serve as
waterboys buttboys for the Dems.
“You know things are getting rough for President Barack Obama....”
What does he care. He still gets his 8 years of rent-free living in the WH and then a mansion on Hawaii and a main thoroughfare in Nairobi named after him.
A nasty sight to watch liberals coming down off the dumberol..
Probably looking for a little of the hair of werewolf that bit them..
Does this mean they doggedly.. care about anything..
Of course NOT!.. Giverment is their God!..
They are drones in the collective..
Note: the reality of what the BORG was a sci-fi metaphor for...
Wind and solar power... pulleeese.. science twaddle..
Huh? He's some kind of libertarian. Maybe if you balance his left-wing views against his right-wing views they balance out, but it doesn't make him a "moderate centrist." He's probably still more trustworthy than Andrew Sullivan, though.
Rand Paul went bonkers on drone assassinations. Others did as well. People didn’t cover it or wouldn’t listen.
This is a full-blown Constitutional Crisis.
If We the People cannot figure out how to rid ourselves of the corrupt and corrupting Obama Administration on the basis of what we now know about their pervasive and massive high crimes and misdemeanors, not to mention their trashing of the Constitution, we are in deep trouble.
The Administration has challenged us it is up to us to respond appropriately.
Do you have a link for this article? Yours goes to a Mel Brooks article. Thx
Cut the Prez some slack. Even I would not wish that on him. My books are in order for my expected audit.
Except of course for the four year grace period.
You should check out the Mel Brooks article, hilarious excerpts from his movies.
I think the main reason why Republicans haven’t gone after the president is because they have their own skeletons in the closet.
Maybe what we need to do is pick a couple from each side to prosecute the president, his cabinet, other legislators and high-ranking officials and grant them (the prosecutors) immunity. I’ll bet if you offered a blanket immunity in exchange for prosecuting these people, member of congress would scramble to get in line.
But with things as they are now, many of them fear their own exposure if they press the issues.
Right now, we have a condition of mutually assured destruction: If you expose me, I’ll expose you. Everyone has dirt on everyone else, therefore gridlock.
I think the main reason why Republicans havent gone after the president is because they have their own skeletons in the closet.
Absolutely agree with you. Very good post.
I belive a lot more of that goes on than is known. First try to get them to “compromise” at the political level. If that doesn’t work, maybe a little bribe or two. Failing that, bring out the dirty evidence. Remember, Dems are ideologues and belive that the end justifies the means. They play to win and will do anything to advance their cause.
The sad reality is the Republicans are going to have to change their tactics and start playing true hardball. They need to adopt a winning mentality which they just don’t seem to be able to develop.