May 18th, 2013

Benghazi, the IRS, and the 2012 election

William A. Jacobsen connects some dots:

The election of 2012 was tainted by All the President’s Concealers.

[ADDENDUM: John Hinderaker at Powerline muses on some related issues. I'm with Hinderaker on this; although we'll never really know, I don't think it would have mattered, because---well, what he says:

To an extraordinary degree, the 2012 electorate seemed uninterested in the Obama administration’s failures. If voters didn’t care about the economy or about $16 trillion in debt, why would they have cared about Benghazi or the IRS? But the cumulative effect of multiple, mutually reinforcing scandals is hard to predict. It is easy to understand why, last fall, the Obama administration didn’t want to take any chances. They went into full cover-up mode, and carried off their multiple cover-ups successfully. Without doubt, that effort helped to bring about the president’s re-election.

The analogy to 1972 is obvious. Richard Nixon managed to keep the lid on Watergate long enough to enjoy one of the most sweeping electoral victories in American history. After the election, however, his cover-up unraveled; it consumed, and eventually destroyed, his second term. Whether the same will happen to Obama remains to be seen, but already it is clear that scandal will be a major part of the Obama legacy.

As far as that last sentence goes---whether "scandal will be a major part of the Obama legacy"---it depends who wins. The winners get to write history, don't they?]

[ADDENDUM II: Andrew McCarthy is on the mark, as usual, in pointing out a part of the Benghazi story that has thus far been ignored. I don't think I've ever seen an article by McCarthy that wasn't well worth reading, and this one is no exception.]

16 Responses to “Benghazi, the IRS, and the 2012 election”

  1. gcotharn Says:

    re Hinderaker

    for the political junkies in the Obama Administration: the Presidential Election did not have to be at risk in order for them to be moved to corrupt action. For them: the risk of losing additional Congressional seats, or even down ballot elections, would have been enough to move them to concoct lies.

    This is especially true inside an Obama Administration whose political strategy is to accomplish their goals via destroying Repub Party, and thus via controlling all levers of power: Executive, Senate, House, possibly SCOTUS, and as many state governments as possible.

    Therefore, re motivation for coverup: the strict question, of whether or not POTUS was at electoral risk, is moot.

  2. davisbr Says:

    Food for thought:

    Mark Steyn (NRO):

    “Kimberley Strassel began her Wall Street Journal column thus:

    ‘Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.

    Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. . . . The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.’

    Miss Strassel wrote that on April 26, 2012. Five weeks later, one of the named individuals, Frank VanderSloot, was informed by the IRS that he and his wife were being audited. In July, he was told by the Department of Labor of an additional audit over the guest workers on his cattle ranch in Idaho. In September, he was notified that one of his other businesses was to be audited. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never previously been audited, attracted three in the four months after being publicly named by el Presidente. More to the point he attracted that triple audit even though Miss Strassel explicitly predicted in America’s biggest-selling newspaper that this was exactly what the Obama enforcers were going to do. The “separate, sinister entity” of the government of the United States went ahead anyway. What do they care? If some lippy broad in the papers won’t quit her yapping about it, they can always audit her, too — as they did to Miss Strassel’s sometime colleague Anne Hendershott, a sociology professor who got rather too interested in Obamacare and wrote about it in the Journal and various small Catholic publications. The IRS summoned Professor Hendershott to account for herself, and forbade her husband from accompanying her, even though they filed jointly. She ceased her political writing.

    A year after he was named to the Obama Dishonor Roll, the feds have found nothing on Mr. VanderSloot, but they have caused him to rack up 80 grand in legal bills. This is what IRS defenders (of whom there are more than there ought to be) mean when they assure us that the system worked: Yes, some rich guy had to blow through the best part of six figures fending off the bureaucrats, but it’s not like his body was found in a trunk at the airport or anything, if you know what I mean, Kimmy baby.

    Mr. VanderSloot is big enough, just about, to see off the most powerful government on the planet. Most of those who’ve caught the eye of the IRS share nothing in common with him other than his political preferences. They’re nobodies — ordinary American citizens guilty of no crime except that of disagreeing with the ruling party. Yet they were asked, under “penalty of perjury,” to disclose the names of books they were reading and provide the names and addresses of relatives who might be planning to run for public office — a kind of pre-enemies list.”

    Read the whole thing.

    Coupled to Peggy Noonan’s recent thoughts (and who would’a thunk I’d be tolerant of Noonan ever again …pigs taking flight and all that, lol) ….

    Special Prosecuter time. Baby.

  3. blert Says:

    McCarthy is on target.

    Plainly the Wan initiated Fast & Furious — the IRS campaign — and HAD to be the source of the Internet video mendacity.

    The IRS is far enough from the Pink House for its troops to absorb the media circus. Hence, it was released by the Administration, itself.

    This is the ONLY scandal I’ve ever heard of that was ‘broken’ by the perps. It’s been ‘in the bank’ all this time.

    BTW, the Cincinnati desk = the National desk for tax exemption seeking entities. It’s NOT a regional desk; EVERY application in the entire country goes there. And, plainly, all of its decisions are congruent with Obama’s political creatures in the IRS and Treasury.

    The IRS lawlessness was thrown at the media — like a squirrel — to distract all from the personal involvement that McCarthy is highlighting.

    Benghazi sits only in ONE lap: Obama’s. It’s obvious on the record that even Clinton was carrying his water.

    What McCarthy did not bring up is the deeper treason: that Obama, Clinton and the State Department’s wing of the CIA were running guns out of Libya to what are now revealed to be Islamist fanatics: al-Nusrah.

    This backround is behind the Russian spankings delivered to Kerry and the CIA.

    WRT the Russian mock attack activity: Putin has determined that Red China has more throw weight than America and Russia combined. Hence, no further strategic atomic reductions are at all possible.

    The ‘strikes’ against Sweden and Alaska serve triple duty. They tone up the Russian Air Force. They provide a rationale for Americans to resist further strategic atomic reductions negotiations — which is where Putin is already at. They demonstrate to the Red Chinese that Moscow is still a player — with new (electronic) war making technology that permits a long reach.

    Conducting the exact same mock attacks against Red China, itself, would be counterproductive — might rupture the SCO — might trigger a launch-on-warning atomic war.

    It’s been far, far, safer ‘attacking’ those who would never, ever, ever, counterattack.

  4. davisbr Says:

    blert at 4:06 pm
    “…all of its decisions are congruent with Obama’s political creatures in the IRS and Treasury.”

    Precisely phrased …and the exact point the progressives are vigorously ignoring. Kudos.

  5. JJ formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    IMO, this is McCarthy’s money paragraph:
    “Obama and Clinton had been the architects of American foreign policy. As Election Day 2012 loomed, each of them had a powerful motive to promote the impressions (a) that al-Qaeda had been decimated; (b) that the administration’s deft handling of the Arab Spring — by empowering Islamists — had been a boon for democracy, regional stability, and American national security; and (c) that our real security problem was “Islamophobia” and the “violent extremism” it allegedly causes — which was why Obama and Clinton had worked for years with Islamists, both overseas and at home, to promote international resolutions that would make it illegal to incite hostility to Islam, the First Amendment be damned.”

    The Benghazi attacks put the lie to their policy, which was based on the idea that we are causing the Islamists to attack us by our provocative Islamophobia.

    Greg Hicks talked to Hilllary at 10pm Wash. D.C. time and told her that Ambassador Stevens was dead and they were under a sustained, deadly attack. It’s my guess that Hillary called Obama shortly after and that’s when the brainstorming began to find a way to explain the attack that would correspond with their policy. Thus the video was blamed – repeatedly.

    That did three things:
    1.It covered the failure of their foreign policy.
    2. It covered (at least until the election was over) the failure to provide beefed up security in Benghazi.
    3. It covered for Obama’s failure to respond to the crisis with aggressive leadership.

    All these things helped (along with the compliance of the MSM) reduce any questions about Benghazi before the election. Mision accomplished!

  6. Gringo Says:

    Quoted passage:

    The analogy to 1972 is obvious. Richard Nixon managed to keep the lid on Watergate long enough to enjoy one of the most sweeping electoral victories in American history. After the election, however, his cover-up unraveled; it consumed, and eventually destroyed, his second term

    One difference is that Obama had very good reason to cover up, as the election was going to be close. Unfavorable publicity in the fall of 2012 could have turned the election.

    By contrast, Nixon was facing the weakest Democrat candidate of the century. McGovern won only DC and Massachusetts. Had Nixon taken a decisive “I’m going to clean this up” approach from the get go, he probably would have still won. Had ten percent of the electorate changed their minds, Nixon would still have won handily.

  7. parker Says:

    This is my house and it is your house, this is the land where I was born to breathe the air of life, liberty, and the pursuit of what I damn well please. This is where my ancestors struggled to survive and prosper. This is where my children and grandchildren walk upon the earth. The elitists in DC will burn down my house over my creaky dead body.

  8. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I too concur with Hinderaker’s view.

    Andrew McCarthy is among the most insightful and knowledgeable of commentators.

    “The elitists in DC will burn down my house over my creaky dead body.” parker

    And they shall be happy to do so, if and when that time may come. Remember Ayers’ and Dornyn’s speculative 25 million American executions to fundamentally transform America into Amerika?

    Not too mention Homeland Security’s ammo purchases, assault vehicle purchases, etc.

    Then there’s the US Army’s ‘unofficial’ declaration that Christian Evangelicals and Catholics are domestic extremists equivalent to Hamas and Hezbollah. And the Pentagon announcement that it may court martial soldiers who share their Christian Faith, including BTW chaplains.

    Plus the Army Re-Education Camp Manual “Not Intended For Public Release” for Domestic Internment Camps, should they be needed…

  9. parker Says:

    “And they shall be happy to do so, if and when that time may come. Remember Ayers’ and Dornyn’s speculative 25 million American executions to fundamentally transform America into Amerika?”

    :-) Yeah, and the horse they road in on. I remember the weathermen; I was in my early twenties during their days of infamy. A bunch of pampered punks with protection from their daddies’ connections. If this (including their wicked stepchild) is the best and bravest they have to lead their minions into battle, they are FUBAR.

  10. Don Carlos Says:

    John Hinderaker writes (my edits): “I still don’t think the (election) result would have been different. … But the cumulative effect of multiple, mutually reinforcing scandals is hard to predict. … Without doubt, that effort helped to bring about the president’s re-election.”

    Neo agrees.

    John is a highly-credentialed lawyer. Neo was, if memory serves, law-trained. The issue is not just one of “scandals”. It is one of ILLEGALITIES, you Lawyers.

    You cannot have it both ways. Either the coverups, lies, illegalities made no difference, or they “helped to bring about the president’s re-election.”

    If they made no difference, what is the point of these blogs??

    I do not care about individual surmises, guesses, predictions, ego-boosting self-back-pats. I care about the rule of law.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Of course I care about the rule of law immeasurably.

    But I am a realist, or try to be. What I saw in the last election convinced me that Obama has enough supporters that absolutely do not care about such things, and that’s why he won. Whether I’m correct in that analysis I cannot know, but that is my best analysis of the situation.

    What is the blog for? To express my opinions and analyses and to provide a forum for others to discuss the issues (including things that have nothing to do with politics, at times). But I also believe it to be possible that some of what I write (and what other bloggers write) will help people who are on the fence, or just starting to think about these things, or searching for discussions on them, to think more clearly about them and understand them better, and perhaps (if they have been liberals or liberal-leaning moderates) to change the way they look at them.

  12. Don Carlos Says:

    Neo:
    That was exactly why I posted my comment. You cannot have it both ways. Either these were scandals or they were violations of law. As lawyers, or law-trained, how can you and John quibble that illegalities are a ho hum, wouldn’t have mattered. This isn’t a moot court here, this is the life and destiny of a Republic.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    I know you’re an intelligent man, but your obtuseness on this issue is puzzling.

    What matters in the moral or the legal sense, and/or what should matter in any sense to people who are aware of history, tyranny, the constitution, and who are thinking straight, can be (and in this case, IMHO, unfortunately is) quite different from what did matter in the electoral sense to a particular population at a particular time (i.e. a majority of the American voters, 2012).

  14. Don Carlos Says:

    Neo:
    Thank you for the left-handed compliment, which I accept, being an obtuse left-hander.

    I repeat for emphasis my earlier quote from Hinderaker:
    ‘John Hinderaker writes (my edits): “I still don’t think the (election) result would have been different. … But the cumulative effect of multiple, mutually reinforcing scandals is hard to predict. … Without doubt, that effort helped to bring about the president’s re-election.” ‘
    Does he say that the scandals (“effort”) would have or would not have affected the election? Says “No” in the 1st part, but then, “without doubt,” “Yes” in the 2nd.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Don Carlos:

    Now I see what you mean about the Hinderaker quote (when I agreed with him I wasn’t really noticing every little detail; what I mainly agreed with was the idea that Obama would have won anyway, even if the scandals had come out, and that Obama and his aides made great efforts to make sure they didn’t come out, because of their fear about their effect on the election).

    But perhaps what Hinderaker was actually meaning was that, although Obama would have still won even if the scandals had come out before the election, the fact that they were suppressed prior to the election contributed to Obama’s win because that made his win easier. In other words, Obama’s win probably would have been by a narrower margin if the scandals had been divulged prior to the election, although he still probably would have won.

  16. Don Carlos Says:

    Neo: Yep.
    The probability of ‘probably would have won’ would have gotten smaller, perhaps small enough. Why Hussein did what he did when he did it.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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