Machiavellian Miasma

It is interesting to me that the current situation of “scandal overload” works, perversely, in Obama’s favor.

Plame Speaking

A decade ago, the Valerie Plame Scandal (that should never have been) was maintained in laser focus by the media and the Left. Other things occurred, and there was a constant nipping at the heels of the Bush administration in a variety of areas, but the central theme was Bush and Cheney under attack by Wilson and Plame and the media.

The media, of course, was happily disingenuous in their coverage. At one point, the leftist media outlets got together and submitted a “friend of the court” brief I examined at the time  that proved that Plame could not have been a covert agent … while reporting to the public that she was.

And everything related to Plame. WMDs? Bush lied about them, said Wilson, and Plame was outed to punish Wilson for talking about it. And so on. All of this was false; Wilson was utterly convinced that Hussein had WMDs and would not give them up, and said so on national TV months after his return from Africa. But then he went to work for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and the story changed. (That fact isn’t discussed much; but Wilson was chastised by the Senate for lying.)

Plame was “outed” (if the term applies) by a libby from State, not the stated Libby. (Perhaps that’s not quite fair. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage had started out as a Navy warrior, became involved in the CIA, and moved to the State Department. By the time he innocuously leaked Valerie Plame’s name to reporter Novak, his sympathies were clearly with State, which was fairly hostile to the Bush Administration at that time.)

The reality — that it wasn’t Bush or Cheney or Libby who leaked Plame’s name, made no difference.  (Nor was it a crime; as the amicus brief showed, she could not have been “covert” at the time.) Through all of this, the media kept their focus. The leak of Plame was the only game in town as far as they were concerned.

Compare to today

Now, there are so many scandals surrounding the Obama administration, in so many areas, that the result is an amorphous political stink, a sort of Machiavellian miasma, that his opponents cannot seem to get a grip on. Any one of them might have been a significant item to focus on; many were more serious than Nixon’s acts (though perhaps not to the level of Clinton’s deals with Communist China). But any time a focus seemed to be developing on one scandal, the next one popped up. There are too many to even list, let alone maintain a sense of outrage about.

The IRS, then and now

As an aside, Nixon had as an article of impeachment his joking threat to send the IRS after his opponents. It never happened, of course. Obama’s IRS actually did … and did so under the command of someone Obama placed there after her track record of pursuing his opponents and protecting his allies elsewhere. (Besides her earlier pursuit of conservatives discussed in this article, Lois Lerner was head of FEC Enforcement when Hillary Clinton was allowed off the hook for the largest FEC violation in history. One of Hillary’s interns got jail time for Hillary’s perjury.)

Lois Lerner’s fierce partisan pursuit must have been a big plus on her résumé. The result should be added to President Obama’s résumé as well.

That smell…

But Obama, who continually claims to learn what is happening in his administration only from the media, has been adept at keeping final proof of his personal involvement from surfacing. Each time, his approach is the same. For example, did he know about Fast and Furious? Executive privilege prevented us from learning this from what he still insists is “the most transparent administration in history.” The same with Benghazi; the timing of his call to Clinton at 10PM and her release of the “blame the video” State Department press release minutes later provide only a clue as to what they were thinking. (More important to me than the mis-characterization is the lack of military response.)

This collection of scandals still has that Machiavellian smell. So much about his ignorance of his own administration, which doesn’t make sense, is making scents. Perhaps it is one way of keeping people from getting too close.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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