Guns-Why

Guns-Why

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Scandals Schmandals: Republicans, Shut Your Mouths

Karl Rove*

Republicans need to clean up their own backyards before blaming President Obama for the antics of some horny but tight Secret Service Agents and for the General Services Administration clowns who spent $823,000 on a Las Vegas training session for which mind readers and bonafide clowns were hired.

The powers-that-be acted swiftly and definitively in both cases but according to the Republicans - who always take the moral high ground, don't-cha know - those actions were just an attempt to score political points. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) questions whether the president has the capability of leading the government. I don’t sense that this president has shown . . . managerial leadership.”

Sarah Palin, the mechanical talking doll, says Obama "has got to start cracking down and seeing some heads roll" - proving to all the world that she really doesn't read the news after all. This empty headed Barbie even offered up some free advice: "You know, the president, for one, he better be wary there of -- when Secret Service is accompanying his family on vacation. They may be checking out the first lady instead of guarding her."

Given their track record Republicans should tread softly, however.

As scandals go, and up until this point, the Obama administration has been relatively free of the taint of criminal conduct or scintillating sexual affairs. At least compared to the nearly 27 cases during the George W. Bush years or the 10 during the Clinton administration. George H. W. Bush's administration with only three scandals to its credit was almost squeaky clean compared to his son's. Ronald Reagan's administration birthed eight scandals of note and Jimmy Carter's only had one.

Except in a few cases where misdeeds spilled over to members of congress - such as in the Jack Abramoff   affair involving Tom Delay (R-TX) during George W.'s reign and the Savings and Loan Scandal involving five senators (four Democrats and Republican John McCain) during the Reagan years -  the above scandals are limited to the executive branch.

Of course, numbers alone don't tell the whole story but they do offer a quick method of comparison. For example, during the past 35 years, the number of Democratic scandals adds up to 14, about half of those during the entire George W. Bush administration and just under a third of the total number of Republican misdeeds.

“For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.” --- Norm Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post 9/11 World


Source: Wikipedia, which details the scandals and the principle players in the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

*Image: Karl Rove was investigated by the Office of Special Counsel for "improper political influence over government decision making" and for his involvement in other scandals: Lawyergate, Bush White House email controversy and the Plame Affair. Resigned in 2007. The photo shows him being arrested for failure to testify before Congress.

22 comments:

  1. The second the news broke about the secret service scandal, I wondered how long before the right crafted the incident into a metaphor of what's inherently wrong with Obama and the rest of us socialist, Maoist, Luo tribesmen with anti-colinial sentiments.

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    1. Unfortunately, the MSM has been just as hysterical.

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  2. Anything for a news story. Have you seen the flicks of the prostitutes? Sort of explains it.

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  3. Whike these agents should -- and,hopefully will -- take responsibility for their actions, the often skewed logic of the right can't resist blaming Obama.

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  4. Of course they do - for everything under the sun.

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  5. Go all the way back to the Nixon administration, and it's absolutely striking how more scandal-ridden Republican administrations are. Not just in the number of scandals, but in the severity. Nixon was the first president to resign in disgrace. His attorney general, John Mitchell, wound up doing hard time in prison, along with several key Nixon aides.

    In Bush's administration, Karl Rove tried to subvert the Justice Department, turning U.S. attorneys into political hitmen who would go after administration foes. Eight U.S. attorneys who wouldn't let themselves be used that way were fired. The whole thing blew up. Gonzales wound up having to resign. Karl Rove and Harriet Miers ended up thumbing their noses at the Senate and House judiciary committees and getting away with it, thanks to Bush.

    Those are the kinds of things that bring down governments in other countries. The kinds of things that result in overthrows and revolutionary movements. Big deals, IOW.

    Wrong as they are, the GSA and Secret Service scandals are relatively tame stuff. Neither strikes at the stability of out government or heart of our democracy, Neither involves abuse of power for outrageously devious and criminally wrong political ends.

    As full of it as he is, Sessions should take some milk of magnesia and practice keeping his mouth shut when he has nothing to offer but hypocritical, politically self-serving nonsense. Who knows, maybe he could start a trend among Republicans.

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    1. Actually, I considered going all the way back to LBJ but decided not to for several reasons, mostly arbitrary. While LBJ had a couple of scandals (Bobby Baker and the infamous Billy Sol Estes) and Nixon, of course had the massive Watergate scandal and a corrupt VP in Spiro Agnew among others, Ford was relatively clean. His pardon of Nixon was more controversial than an outright scandal in the true sense of the word, although no doubt people thought is was "scandalous."

      Ford's Secretary of Ag did have to resign after commenting,"I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit." Not much has changed, eh?

      You're right about the differences in severity, of course, but that would take a book as thick as "War and Peace."

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    2. You're right, Leslie, nothing much has changed. However, I forgave Earl Butz just a tiny fraction, when he opined of the Pope's encyclical on birth control, "You no play-a da game, you no make-a da rules!"
      Camilla B.

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    3. Hah! I'm not familiar with that one. Wonder what he'd say about Pope & Co., if he were still alive today.

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  6. The Republicans can put David Vitter in charge of investigating the prostitution scandal. Maybe Ted Haggard can assist him.

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    1. Hahaha. Yes, when it comes to matters of prostitution, Republicans really do need to keep their mouths shut.

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  7. This isn't taking off as the Goopers had hoped. As S.W. Anderson rightly stated the scandal doesn't strike "at the stability of our government or heart of our democracy, Neither involves abuse of power for outrageously devious and criminally wrong political ends."

    Meanwhile, Sarah Palin remains true to herself as a blithering nincompoop. She reminds me of a sister-in-law at a family gathering who never shuts up about her uninformed opinions and whom we all wish had stayed home to take care of the sick cat.

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    1. The Goopers are trying awfully hard but to anyone with a brain the size of a pea, they can see through all the crap. And I think the reason they have nothing but hot air is because Obama acted so swiftly.

      Schiefer even showed that footage of Palin this morning. I'm really fed up with him. He also had Lieberman on. I'm swearing off the Sunday morning talk shows.

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    2. That should be Schieffer. Some of my keys are stiking.

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    3. The Sunday morning talk shows are nothing but platforms for Republicans to do talking-points dumps and try to grab a news cycle or two for their advantage. It's been that way for years.

      That's not my opinion, BTW. Various groups have kept close track of their guests, of who's given more time to talk, etc. The slant toward Republicans/conservatives is blatant and unrelenting, although they all have a token Dem on from time to time. As an after thought or maybe as a fig leaf to use when challenged on the shilling those programs all do. (CNN, BTW, does it all week long, especially in election years.)

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    4. I just read a recent report about this and the results are staggering. Maybe even worse, Arthur Brisbane, public-editor of the NY Times, wrote a column lambasting all the favorable Obama coverage by his paper!!!

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    5. And Media Matters just published this:

      http://mediamatters.org/blog/201204240009

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  8. For me the big turning point in scandals came with Iran-contra. Not only did the GOP get away with secretly selling arms to the Iranians AFTER they held US hostages for a year (!!!), but very likely after breaking laws about subverting US foreign policy (October Surprise, negotiating arms-for-hostages deal that kept them hostage until Reagan was sworn in). And after all that Reagan is deified by the GOP! It's astounding.

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    1. Being a bit of a relic, Spirow Agnew and the Watergate scandal were my turning points, although I also remember the Bobby Baker affair - small potatoes compared to Watergate, Iran-contra and the Abramoff scandals. The fact that the GOP deifies Reagan is a sign that they either have selective memory or they simply don't really know anything about the man. Remember Bachmann's famous statement that if she were elected president she would adopt Reagan's economic policies, forgetting that he raised taxes a number of times - even for the rich.

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  9. When are Conservatives going to recall that many of them live in glass houses? ... or particularly the "family values" Repubs who get arrested for soliciting sex in a men's public bathroom.

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