What a difference a crisis makes.
As some of you may know I am a C-Spanaholic. There are three glorious channels now. The Senate is on C-Span, the House on C-Span 2, and any special committee meeting usually ends up on C-Span 3. Zero commercials. It’s freaking awesome. Well, that might be an over-statement, but probably not.
Anyway, it was on C-Span 3 that our body of ineptitude, aka the Senate, showcased their inability to ask one meaningful or probing question during the throw down with Hillary Clinton over the events in Benghazi. She then dashed over to C-Span 2 for a round with the gang who couldn’t shoot straight, aka the House of Representatives. The regaled her with equal doses of false praise and righteous indignation. I leave you to figure out which side dispensed which meaningless emotion.
S0 it was really for some amusing lunch theater that I turned on C-Span 3 to catch Congressman Darrell Issa (R) California, chair a bi-partisan committee meeting which would be looking into the IRS scandal Tony and I talked about on the last podcast.
At first I thought I had turned on the wrong channel. Can’t be, it’s programed into my favorites. Maybe a solar flare was messing with the channel lineup. Whatever was going on, I could not find the usual clown car of American Politics that is our representative body. Instead what I saw, what I heard, was representative after representative, republican and democrat, asking cogent, probing questions; civil in tone, laced with verbiage for quality follow up questions.
So stunned, I almost choked on my sarsaparilla, almost spat out my mint julep.
It really was hard to believe. Especially given their history of mucking up things like this. I can only imagine they all watched the tape of Hill-Dogg kicking their asses up and down the Capital Building steps during the Benghazi hearings and they decided to bring their A games. And truly they did.
When Lois Lerner, the director of the branch of the IRS accused of targeting groups because of political affiliation, decided to invoke her 5th amendment rights and not answer questions, Rep. Issa simply dismissed her. And that was the right play even though his colleagues thought otherwise. Issa had the former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman in his sights as well as J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general. Those boys didn’t take the fifth, they just took a beating. Issa didn’t need Lerner. No reason to cause a lot of drama by forcing her to take the fifth to every single question for the cameras. Thats what a lot of republicans wanted. It looks like Issa is just after the truth. That’s smarts you can play with. That’s how championships are won my friend.
Let me tell you neither IRS man had a friend in that room. No democrat came to the rescue, no liberal would argue for them. Elijah Cummings, (D) Maryland, actually scolded the two men, treated them like school children in the principals office.
This bodes bad for the President. We are way past birth certificates and Reverend Wright. The IRS investigation is just getting fired up, then the mater of the Department of Justice gathering the personal information, e-mails, texts, contacts, of a handful of Associated Press reporters.
Then comes the bizarre issue of the DoJ doing surveillance on and tagging as a flight risk, one James Rosen from FOX News. It seems Rosen is being hounded by the Obama administration for doing his job. In other words he reported on a story about North Korea and cited his sources in the State Department. He may be charged with espionage or aiding and abetting espionage. It truly is absurd. And when I say hounded I mean having search warrants executed on his home and work computers, confiscation of his e-mails, etc…, being followed, not allowed to leave the country. This isn’t just a threatening feeling like Bob Woodward had a few months back, this is an outright threat and harassment against a reporter who works for a network that criticizes Obama most of the time.
In other words this looks bad. Now taken separately the Associated Press and the Rosen thing wouldn’t be a big deal, mostly because the American public tends to loathe reporters just slightly less than they do lawyers. However add them to the IRS targeting Tea Party organizations and you have what looks like for all the world to be a political hit squad operating at the behest of the President.
What does this have to do with the aforementioned congress and their surprisingly good job during the start of the IRS investigation? Good question.
As Tony mentioned in the last podcast, Nixon didn’t really order the break in at the Watergate building, but he failed to react fast enough there-by implying more involvement than may have been true.
Obama has not failed to react, he appears to be saying, “So what?” Much like Nixon, it seems Obama has created this atmosphere in his administration that causes high level officials to believe the full weight of the federal government is there to be used against political enemies.
This is worse than Watergate.
And it appears the Senate and the House of Representatives have found their stride when it comes to investigative hearings and questioning. They also taste blood in the water.
Obama better hope the good old Congress, the one that can’t even ask a simple question without stammering through meaningless diatribe, comes back soon.
That gang I saw doing the IRS investigation hearing will make Obama cry for his momma.