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May 16, 2013
Washington press already declaring scandals over
Posted by Laura
There are signs that the newspaper that exposed the Watergate scandal four decades ago, is ready to declare President Obama's recent scandal troubles over. Consider the story that one of its prominent writers Ezra Klein just filed:

"On Tuesday, it looked like we had three possible political scandals brewing. Two days later, with much more evidence available, it doesn’t look like any of them will pan out. There’ll be more hearings, and more bad press for the Obama administration, and more demands for documents. But — and this is a key qualification — absent more revelations, the scandals that could reach high don’t seem to include any real wrongdoing, whereas the ones that include real wrongdoing don’t reach high enough."

But Klein is missing the whole point here. The point behind these scandals isn't that Obama was running a criminal conspiracy out of the White House, or that he was deliberately running massive cover-ups. The point is that the government is incompetent (Benghazi), dismissive of concerns about basic civil rights (the AP documents), and corrupt (the IRS). The fact that there were not any obvious "bad apples" to be blamed for any of these events doesn't make things better for the Democrats – it makes things worse. Because if the Democrats are right – and no high-ranking people did anything wrong – then what we have is a government that doesn't work properly even when it's doing its best. And if it's the case that the State Department simply doesn't know how to protect its people in Libya, or that the Attorney General doesn't know how to manage the DOJ, or that IRS Agents simply feel free to indulge their political biases, then why would we give any of those agencies – or any other government agency – any more power, much less the sweeping powers that the Democrats want them to have?

It is critical that Republicans approach these scandals with the right tone and emphasis. Trying to impeach Obama or get Holder fired is a big waste of resources. We should keep emphasizing that government doesn't work properly even when the Democrats are doing their best – and that the only answer is a smaller and less intrusive government. When we can't trust the IRS, State Department, White House or DOJ to do the right thing without regard to ideology, how on earth can we trust them to get tough on the border as the Gang of 8 promises in "comprehensive immigration reform" bill? Answer: we can't. This is why sustained and verifiable enforcement of the border before considering what to do with illegal immigrants is the only sensible course. (We should also remind some of our friends on the right that this is why "Big Government Conservatism" or "Compassionate Conservatism" was a huge mistake.
05/16/13 2:02 PM
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