Obama Scandals vs. Watergate
By Matthew Vadum
How does President Barack Obama compare to Richard Nixon who was nearly impeached in 1974 for corruption and egregious abuses of power?
The short answer? Not well.
Obama’s serial acts of malfeasance have cost hundreds of lives while Nixon’s caused no loss of life. Both attacked their political enemies using taxpayer resources and tried to rig the system to favor their side.
But Nixon, unlike Obama, didn’t come from what bestselling author Michelle Malkin termed a “culture of corruption.” Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election to Democrat John F. Kennedy probably because Democrats committed massive vote fraud. In a move some consider noble or patriotic, he refused to put the country through a drawn out fight over the election result. Nixon was not a so-called people person. He was a political outsider who fought hard and bitterly for whatever political victories he achieved. He wasn’t regarded as much of a dirty trickster, at least he wasn’t until he ascended to the presidency.
Obama, on the other hand, might as well have been heir to Chicago crime boss Al Capone. Obama was a community organizer who taught left-wing activists how to blackmail and pressure governments and corporations into doing their bidding. He preached class warfare and hatred against productive members of society. Obama specialized in having his political opponents knocked off the ballot. He unsealed court records to embarrass his adversaries. He launched his career in electoral politics in the
home of unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
When Obama does something noble or on the straight-and-narrow it’s probably a mistake on his part.
Let’s recall the bad things that Richard Milhous Nixon actually did while in the White House:
The Watergate scandal began in June 1972 when five men connected to the Nixon reelection campaign broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters then located in the Watergate office complex in the nation’s capital. With Nixon battling Democratic nominee, Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.), in advance of the approaching November election, their goal was to spy on the Democratic Party’s political operations.
Of course, Nixon didn’t need to spy on McGovern. McGovern was a terrible, radically left-wing, out-of-touch candidate, and the Nixon campaign had no difficulty painting him as such. Any information illegally obtained from the DNC office wasn’t needed to help Nixon go on to one of the most impressive election victories in American history.
But in July 1973 a congressional committee discovered that President Nixon had a tape-recording system throughout his offices. Although Nixon had apparently not been aware of or authorized the DNC break-in before it was carried out, recordings revealed that he attempted to cover up the incident and other illegal activities that had taken place during his administration. After extensive litigation the Supreme Court unanimously held that the president had to produce the recordings for investigators. He complied. As the saying goes, it wasn’t the burglary that sealed Nixon’s fate; it was the cover-up in which he participated.
The Watergate break-in wasn’t the only thing President Nixon did that rankled lawmakers on both sides of the partisan divide.
With bipartisan support, in late July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment that accused Nixon of obstructing the congressional inquiry into the Watergate scandal, misusing law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political advantage (including using the IRS to harass his political adversaries), and refusing to comply with subpoenas that had been issued by the committee.
Facing seemingly certain impeachment in the House and removal from office after a trial by the Senate, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.
To briefly summarize, Nixon was guilty of lying, covering up wrongdoing and obstructing justice, and using government agencies against rivals.
How does Nixon compare to Obama?
First off, no one died as a result of Nixon’s misdeeds. With Obama, the dead bodies keep piling up. Obama lies habitually to the American people, pretending to be an innocent by-stander who is never responsible for any bad things done in his name. Even some of Obama’s most ardent supporters are beginning to realize that Obama is more Hugo Chavez than Bobby Kennedy.
Obama’s IRS targeted conservative “social welfare” nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status under section 501c4 of the Internal Revenue Code. Evidence establishes that hundreds of groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement were bullied and intimidated from engaging in constitutionally protected political activism.
Even now Obama, the thuggish Chicago-trained politician who employs the brutal in-your-face techniques of Rules for Radicals author and neo-communist Saul Alinsky, is feigning ignorance about the nasty political harassment dished out on his behalf.
He seems to have just realized his presidency is in jeopardy, so Obama made a dinner-hour appearance on television last night. His speech was replete with tedious damage-control boilerplate and empty promises to do the right thing.
The conduct of the IRS is “inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” Obama said, pretending to be angry.
“I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives. And as I said earlier, it should not matter what political stripe you’re from — the fact of the matter is, is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity. The government generally has to conduct itself in a way that is true to the public trust. That’s especially true for the IRS.”
The president vowed to
“do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards, and going forward, by making sure that the law is applied as it should be — in a fair and impartial way.”
Now House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is being uncharacteristically blunt in commenting on the IRS saga. “Who’s going to jail over this scandal?” he asked reporters.
“There are laws in place to prevent this type of abuse. Someone made a conscious decision to harass and to hold up these requests for tax exempt status,” he said. “I think we need to know who they are and whether they violated the law. Clearly someone violated the law.”
The scandal over the Islamic terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 last year, which was the 11th anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, isn’t going away.
The impeachment of President Obama over the Benghazi saga remains a possibility, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told CNN. “I would say yes — I’m not willing to take it off, to take it off the table.”
Four Americans, including a sitting U.S. ambassador, were allowed to perish at the hands of Islamofascist terrorists while the U.S. military did nothing.
Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who hopes to succeed Obama as president, knew from the beginning that the Benghazi consulate was under attack but lied about what happened there. They blamed a goofy YouTube video nobody saw that lampooned the Prophet Mohammed for inflaming Libyans and causing them to launch violent protests that led to American deaths.
The incurious Obama-worshiping media largely ignored the scandal to ensure their favorite candidate won reelection.
Both the IRS targeting of opposition figures and the Benghazi saga are worthy of dictators in Third World banana republics, not the president of the United States of America.
As commentator Michael Barone observes, the Benghazi cover-up and the IRS scandal “were both about winning elections under false pretenses.”
With Benghazi, “[a] deliberate effort to mislead the voters was launched,” Barone writes. “Clinton, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and the president himself talked about a spontaneous protest of an anti-Muslim video — even though no evidence of that came from Benghazi.”
The CIA’s talking points on Benghazi were manipulated by the White House and the Department of State and Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice was wheeled out to peddle the lies on television.
“This attempt to mislead the electorate worked,” Barone concludes. “It seems a stretch to say that it determined the outcome of the election. But it certainly helped the Obama campaign.”
Barone notes that IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit organizations began in March 2010 when it “questioned the tax-free status of one group after another with ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their names.”
That is reminiscent of the notorious Department of Homeland Security memo that warned “of the potential of such groups to engage in terrorist-type violence — which of course hasn’t happened.”
The targeting, Barone adds, “continued into 2012, when the criteria were changed to ‘political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement.’”
Then there is the scandal surrounding the surreptitious confiscation of telephone records from the Associated Press, which does not appear to be related to Obama’s 2012 reelection effort.
The U.S. Department of Justice secretly procured two months’ worth of telephone logs for journalists at AP, the world’s largest news-gathering organization. Apparently the records were seized as part of an investigation into national security-related leaks.
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), an Obama ally, appeared to urge embattled U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute AP for publishing classified information.
“I would argue that the Espionage Act of 1917 would authorize the prosecution of anyone who disclosed classified information and perhaps that’s another area that we may need to take action on here in this Congress,” said Johnson.
President Woodrow Wilson, a progressive Democrat whose aggressive use of government power against domestic dissenters was admired by European fascists such as Benito Mussolini, used the Espionage Act to imprison his political opponents.
If nothing else, these scandals are performing a valuable function. by allowing the public to see the totalitarian face of the modern Democratic Party. Nothing matters to them but power.
Quite apart from the IRS, Benghazi, and AP scandals, Obama has a long record of abusing government power to harass those he perceives as political enemies and reward his allies. He lives and breathes corruption.
In 2011, he sent armed federal agents to raid Gibson Guitars in Memphis, Tenn., over specious environmental infractions. Obama’s National Labor Relations Board targeted Boeing for daring to open a facility in right-to-work state South Carolina. Obama rigged the GM and Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings to unfairly enrich his friends in the United Auto Workers at the expense of higher-priority creditors such as bondholders and suppliers.
Obama invaded Libya without congressional authorization and on a flimsy pretext. He unconstitutionally recess-appointed Richard Cordray as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He refused to enforce the provisions of the presumptively constitutional Defense of Marriage Act. In the Fast and Furious scandal, Obama supplied Mexican drug cartels with guns to encourage a wave of violence that would create a public clamor for tougher gun regulations. Hundreds of Mexicans and a U.S. border patrolman died as a result.
This is not an exhaustive list of Obama’s abuses and more are certain to be uncovered.
Earlier this month during a commencement address Obama mocked those who question government:
“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
As interest in his impeachment grows in Congress, Obama may live to regret his remarks.