It has not been a particularly good week for our President. For the past six years or so, the President and his supporters have been under constant siege from the right. They talked about his birth certificate, his college records, his family trips, about fast and furious, Black Panther-gate and so many other so-called “scandals.”
Nothing ever stuck. Some undoubtedly will say that this was a result of Obama’s ability to avoid the consequences, or the lack of national media attention, or the utter incompetence of the House GOP. I don’t think it was any of the above. I really think that if there was any substance to these “scandals” the House GOP would never have backed down until articles of impeachment were being drawn up and voted on. In addition, with Fox News and other right wing media enjoying an indisputably large market share, it is pretty hard to keep anything anti-Obama out of the news. In the end, it is safe to assume there just was not much of any real ‘scandal” during the four years of the Obama presidency.
However, like a broken clock being right twice a day, the anti-Obama crowd has gotten it right twice in the past week. The IRS targeting of Tea Party groups is unacceptable. The people responsible for it need to be held to extraordinary consequences. The same goes for anybody who ordered this action and for anybody that attempted to cover it up.
At the same time, if it is proven true that the CIA attempted to find out information about a terrorist attack by illegally obtaining the phone records from Associated Press reporters their needs to be dire consequences. Those who did it need to be held accountable.
President Obama needs to learn from both President Reagan and President Clinton on how to survive this. Reagan survived having members of his administration sell arms to Iran (just a few short years after the hostage crisis had ended), and having them illegally funnel money to other armed groups. He survived because he forced those responsible out of his administration and held them accountable.
President Clinton survived his impeachment because in the end, it became clear that the only thing the American people hated more than a President who was unfaithful to his wife, was a political movement obsessed with removing him from office for lying about it.
The key to Obama getting through these scandals is hold those responsible accountable and then sit back and let the GOP self-destruct. If President Obama does what Reagan did with Iran-Contra, the Republicans will create the backlash and the results the Clinton got. The GOP will be so excited about finally having a scandal with some truth to it, that they will over play their hand and it will come back to bite them. The sooner this happens, the better for the President and for all Democrats.