It's the 1970s all over again

By Paul Moomjean 05/30/2013



What do you remember about the 1970s? Disco music? Archie Bunker? Or the political messes caused by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter? In 1972, Richard Nixon sent G. Gordon Liddy’s “plumbers” into the Watergate Hotel to get dirt on his Democratic opposition. Gerald Ford brought us an inflation nightmare, and Jimmy Carter turned our country upside down with his “wear a sweater” philosophy and the Iran hostage situation. Now, 40 years later, we are looking about as bad as then. The past few weeks have been very troubling for the “Hope and Change” machine. First, there was the Benghazi mess with conflicting reports (think Iran all over again), the news reporters

“investigations” (think enemies list), and finally the IRS targeting the Tea Party. If that ain’t Nixon-esque, what is?
Joe Battenfeld of the Boston Herald may have said it best: “President Obama’s second-term campaign slogan was ‘Forward,’ but instead we’ve got coverups, congressional investigations and the government persecution of political opponents and reporters. That sounds like ‘backward’ to me. All the way to, say, 1972.”


The messes keep piling up, and President Barack Obama, to his credit, keeps demanding that the truth come out, and that every injustice be looked at. Either Obama is really upset with the people around him or he’s the biggest “throw under the bus” president in United States history. Time will tell.


Washington Post conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer is going the non-reactionary route by telling conservative audiences to slow down. “Note to GOP re Benghazi: Stop calling it Watergate, Iran-Contra, bigger than both, etc. First, it might well be, but we don’t know,” Krauthammer wrote on May 16. “History will judge.”


Right now, history is not looking favorably on Obama. With five suspects locked up over the Benghazi situation, investigations mounting and Hillary sweating, at some point we will see how deep this potential “coverup” was before the election went down. The Obama administration’s e-mails are still claiming the protesters were mad about a satirical anti-Islam film, but the Republicans want to know more about the men held for questioning. Fox News is reporting that Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, sees Obama as weak on terrorism.


“The war on terror, I think, is a war; and at times, I get the feeling that the administration wants to treat it as a crime,” McKeon told reporters. This feels a lot like how Carter might have handled this situation.


Meanwhile, the IRS scandal isn’t looking too good either. Lois Lerner, the main focus of the IRS v. the Tea Party, is pleading the fifth before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. But not before stating, “I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other committee.” So which is it? Are you innocent or afraid to speak so you don’t incriminate yourself, Mrs. Lerner?


But the best one of all came on May 23 when NBC News reported “Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a ‘possible co-conspirator’ in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private e-mails.” You know it’s bad when NBC is pointing out how Fox News is getting the shaft. At least, the Associated Press can sleep well at night knowing they weren’t the only ones targeted.


No matter where you stand on the bombardment of bad news — either calling the president a liar and a crook or waiting to see how this all plays out — everyone admits the situations are bad and they are not looking like early summer only news stories. Whether one feels Obama is at the top of these issues or a victim of other people’s mistakes, on some level, we all must look to him to see how this plays out.


If he wasn’t in charge of Benghazi, spying on the press and targeting Tea Party members, then how did so much happen under him? And if he was in charge and ordered cover ups and selective taxation, then when do we call for impeachment?  

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Comments

I am both a progressive and a harsh critic of President Obama. Each one of these "scandals" are noteworthy and important enough to demand reform.

The Benghazi incident should cause us to demand Congressional oversight over all CIA and Pentagon operations. Our air attacks on Libya were NOT approved by Congress until after the fact. The CIA was smuggling arms across the Libyan border without Congressional authorization.

The IRS targeting of TEA party organizations should cause us to demand that tax exemptions NOT be given to ANY political groups. Both Crossroads GPS and the AFLCIO should be considered purely political. Citizens United should be overturned and public financing of campaigns should replace corporate and union bribery.

However, Obama is no "Richard Nixon". The LBJ tapes recently revealed that Nixon sabotaged peace talks in Vietnam. For that crime alone, Nixon's library should be bulldozed and he should be posthumously convicted for treason.

posted by ENVIROSCIGUY on 6/01/13 @ 05:42 a.m.

Obama's "War on Whistle-blowers" should shame all liberals who voted for the man after what he did to Bradley Manning. The Associated Press and Fox News both supported Manning's prosecution and vilified Julian Assage. Now when they face similar treatment, it's a scandal? Manning is a hero. The cowards are the "news" agencies who refused to publish his "leaks". Now they are reaping what they sowed.

posted by ENVIROSCIGUY on 6/01/13 @ 05:52 a.m.

With regard to "It's the 1970s all over again" by Paul Moomjean in the VC Reporter May 30, 2013, all of the vitriol coming from both ends of the political spectrum in this country makes me think that we spend much energy expecting a lot from other people and little energy doing our part. For example, why do we expect so much from the people we elect? With all of the problems here and in the rest of the world, and growing diversity within our population, the biggest problems are of the "wicked" variety: "each is unique, difficult to define, and often inextricably linked to other issues." (Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, 2009). In other words, modern problems often cannot be cured using "tried and true" solutions, it's hard to get to the bottom of what the problem actually is, and taking action on one problem affects or causes a number of other problems. Franklin Roosevelt said "It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." As for "we, the people": in 2010 there were 210.8 million people of voting age in this country. 65.1 percent of those people were registered to vote, and 45.5 percent voted (U.S. Census Bureau). Most of us are missing our biggest chance to affect what goes on in this country. Perhaps we should all examine our own lives and reflect on what and how well we are doing to contribute toward the solution of our problems.

posted by LSinVentura on 6/01/13 @ 01:19 p.m.

"We the people" have more power than those we elect, but "they" have succeeded in dividing us. Our only hope for change is ORGANIZATION.

posted by ENVIROSCIGUY on 6/06/13 @ 06:06 a.m.
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