It turns out that the Benghazi matter was not really a scandal at all. Congress voted well before the tragedy to cut embassy security budgets which caused a ripple effect for all embassies, consulates and missions. Who in Congress pushed for these cuts? The GOP-led House. So as the anniversary of 9-11 was approaching, the military offered additional security to Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens for the embassy and consulate. In fact, according to a variety of news sources, including ABC News, Stevens turned the offer for additional security down TWICE. So much for the GOP created notion the Obama Administration arbitrarily left the Benghazi consulate without adequate security on the anniversary of 9-11! Does this FACT sink in for partisan politicians? Of course not. Does the partisan base accept them as fact? Of course not, it deflates political rhetoric. Does the Media use this fact to tamp down its news reporting? Of course not, it would mean turning their backs on sensationalized news, and every customer of the Media loves a "hot scandal." It drives their audience.
It also turns out that then CIA Director David Patraeus, was actively engaged in the development of the "talking points" for release by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice that is now driving the "Scandal" probe by the GOP-led House Oversight Committee. CIA Director and Former General Patraeus objected when the final talking points did not include more information about the actual attack itself. According to NBC News, it can be seen clearly from the 99 emails released by the White House that the "tug of war" on the talking points were exclusively between the CIA and the State Department. The emails never reveal any involvement by the White House or the President in shaping the publicly released report presented on the News Shows by Ambassador Rice. The emails also reveal that State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland expressed concern that the talking points favored by Patraeus might prejudice an ongoing investigation into the tragedy by the FBI. Gee, since the emails reflect actions taken in "real time" and not within the scope of 20-20 hindsight, they actually might make legitimate sense. Does this make the GOP leadership wary of continuing their loud claims of a White House cover-up? Does this dampen the GOP demands that include some suggesting Impeachment? Does this sway the Media to stop pushing heated sensationalized rhetoric? Of course not! Even though the evidence suggests there has been no coverup and no measurable "wrongdoing" by the White House or the Administration, Republicans believe it is the worst scandal in American history! Forget about Slavery, Trail of Tears and the Indian Agent scandals, Credit Mobilier, The Red Scare and the Palmer Raids, the Veterans Bureau thefts, Tea Pot Dome, the internment of Japanese Americans, McCarthyism, Bay of Pigs, Gulf of Tonkin and Watergate...If Obama is involved, Benghazi is the WORST in our history! How shallow can these people be? As shallow as the irresponsible Media and GOP leads them!
As I have mentioned, the IRS matter is despicable. Does anyone in America like the IRS? Has the Media ignored the fact that Democratic leaders have also been in front of this matter to investigate who was engaged in this matter in the Cincinnati office of the IRS? Yes, they have. But have they informed the public that the IRS is a quasi-independent federal agency in which only two people out of at least 93,337 employees are political appointees? The Inspector General J. Russell George is a political appointee. So is the Commissioner of the IRS, who during the improper targeting of all groups seeking 504(c) exemptions, was Doug Shulman. BOTH were political appointees of President George W. Bush (See timeline published by The Wall Street Journal at http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/05/17/irs-timeline-what-we-know-so-far/). All other employees, all 93,000 plus are career bureaucrats hired and protected by Civil Service. Since it happened under Obama's watch, he must shoulder some blame, but not to the extent that the Media claims as "White House Scandal". According to law, the IRS is vested with the authority under guidelines created by Congress to scrutinize political groups applying for tax exempt status. In order to qualify under the Tax Code for the status they sought, groups are required to focus on "Social Welfare" issues. Do "Social Welfare" issues include elections and political fundraising? Since this is a real problem, will Congress ever get around to reforming the Tax Code? Does the American Public understand that according to the Constitution (Article I, Section 7), the GOP-led House has the sole authority to initiate changes to the Tax Code and in the almost three years they have had the power in the House, they have done nothing? Will the GOP ever get around to reforming the Tax Code? Of course not, their plan is to continue to use it as political rhetoric against Democrats and Obama, and they will hit that chord over and over in preparation for the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. Will the Media call them out on it? Of course not! The Media loves political squabbles! Where else do they get the big money for advertising if they don't suck it in during election cycles? You think they make more money advertising cars, beer and "As Seen On TV" products? How much of the $8 Billion spent on the last election cycle was taken in by the Media for political advertising? As I mentioned in my book, is the Media a watchdog or a lapdog when it comes to the modern political landscape? I'll let you decide. Bottom line, the IRS went too far. We all know it. According to GOP Speaker Boehner, some should go to jail! Instead of demanding "heads roll" in the IRS (see http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/05/15/stalag-america-boehner-wants-someone-jailed-despite-no-evidence-of-an-actual-crime/), and before he embarks on his publicly stated goal of making Benghazi his top priority, perhaps Boehner should be directing his caucus to begin work on revising the Tax Code!? Nah, that would require real work and attacking Obama is now seen as some sort of Republican centered "ritual!"
What about the Justice Department scandal? No one likes having the "free" press hindered in their effort to inform the public. Yet, the GOP has routinely supported any efforts to stop leaks relating to National Security, and maintained that position throughout the Bush Presidency. The Supreme Court has continuously rejected "Shield Laws" that protect confidential news sources from being compelled to reveal their source of leaks. Regardless, Obama has proposed that Congress enact some form of Shield Law in order to insulate the Media from Subpoenas demanding the source of leaks. Will the GOP-led House actually take up this initiative? Of course not, they will continue to focus in on Benghazi, the IRS and the AP stories until they ride into the 2014 Mid-Term Elections. Want proof of this phenomena? GOP Representative Michele Bachmann publicly attempted to tie the IRS matter into the enforcement of Obamacare provisions! According to Bachmann, "Under Obamacare, the average American will pay more, they'll get less, and now they have to worry that their government may punish them because of their beliefs!" Thank you Ms. Bachmann for your keen observation. And Republicans wonder why most folks can't take them seriously! According to the Associated Press, "IRS agents will not be setting up health insurance markets, and they will not have a say in which health plans people get to pick or what doctor they see."
With the GOP-led House leading a third of Congressional Committees to investigate Obama, former GOP Senator and Tea Party Favorite Jim DeMint's Heritage Foundation's letter to GOP leadership makes it clear what the real Republican agenda should be in Congress. "It would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama Administration...we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the (GOP) conference." So what does the GOP-led House do when they are not conducting their "Investigations?" They hold a vote again to repeal Obamacare! As The Washington Post's Dana Milbank wrote, "Republicans have already begun overreaching, turning legitimate areas of inquiry into just some more partisan food fights."
So where do we go from here? Unfortunately, nowhere. We are stuck in partisan fed quick sand. Instead of offering America the insight needed to pull ourselves out from the current quagmire known as Washington, the Media instead continues to capitalize on sensationalized political scandal designed solely to inflame passionate partisans in both parties. Will Americans learn that politics is a game, played by established rules that emphasize holding onto power when it has been obtained, and/or doing everything possible to regain power if it has been lost? Will America learn it is up to US to change the rules of the game by changing our leadership in Washington? Will Americans ever learn that the following of political leadership and the Ideologically Oriented For-Profit Media is at their own risk and peril? As President Abraham Lincoln once said; "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts!" Real facts, indeed!