Does our chief tax extorting agency view conservatives less favorably than pedophile clergy and those who protect them? With a nearly $20 million settlement awarded to victims of abuse in Chicago that raised questions of what church officials did to stop a pedophile priest, we should ask whether our legacy of hands-off religious tolerance has reached the same level of absurdity as what happened at the Internal Revenue Service.
Conspiracies and Scandals
It is easy to believe that conspiracies and scandals are how our local, state, and federal governments do business, but more often they come from the simple failure of government to perform its duties and ensure that its employees are only doing what we pay them to do. When public officials try to cover up mistakes that can’t be explained away, a scandal is created. Headline-grabbing, career-ending crimes are the exception, unless you live in a state like Illinois, where elected officials know corruption better than they know how to run government. Our conspiracies and scandals are the real thing. We raise the bar for the rest of the nation.
The Obama administration has taken some big hits in the conspiracies and scandals department. Some problems have been with us for years. If there is blame to be placed for problems like the neglect at the Department of Veterans affairs, it is for doing nothing about problems that needed to be fixed and were kicked down the road until they became someone else’s headache.
Other nightmares plaguing this president, like the Benghazi scandal, seem more like cover ups that come from a fundamental failure of leadership. The Obama administration’s relationship with the Muslim world has always been a bone of contention with conservatives. A televised apology from our president and Secretary of State to Pakistan after Islamic violence exploded in response to a supposedly anti-Muslim video didn’t help. Neither did apologies for the Iraq war that go back to the beginning of Barack Obama’s first term. After 9/11, apologies to Islam should be off the table.
Every once in a while, talk of conspiracies and scandals leads to the real thing. The IRS harassment of conservative groups gave us deleted emails, an IRS employee taking the Fifth, and other trappings of covering up a conspiracy that resurrect memories of Richard Nixon and Watergate.
Do we learn from conspiracies and scandals, or does government just get better at spinning its ethical lapses? This category begins with the Anthony Weiner embarrassment and, for the moment, ends by questioning how we ended up with a government that shuns accountability. Check back soon. The list is only going to get longer.
Conspiracy theories are for people with too much time on their hands and too little in their heads. Real conspiracies, like the two now occupying our headlines, are the stuff of congressional investigations and impeachment hearings. They cost time and money to sort out when lawmakers should be doing something other than policing our wayward government.
Who could have predicted that the Supreme Court decision on SB 1070, the Arizona law that kicked off the furor over state immigration enforcement, would coincide so perfectly with the heat being turned up on Eric Holder over Fast and Furious? Under Holder’s direction the Justice Department has had quite a romp going after states to enforce Obama administration policies on illegal immigration, whacking states for common sense voter ID laws and blocking their efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants that the Federal Government admits it does not have the resources to control.
To those in Washington who used to call yourselves friends and colleagues of Anthony Weiner, and have been publicly lambasting him for his alleged indiscretions, you can stop now. Enough sanctimony. Whether we are talking extramarital affairs, campaign fund abuses, influence peddling, White House trysts, lies, drugs, prostitutes, or any of the other unsavory behaviors engaged in by public figures over the years, this is a much bigger deal for you than it is for us.