Fox News and the Conservative Right just keep getting worse. I don’t understand how people actually believe this shit or how ‘reporters’ like Megyn Kelly sleep at night. Do they go out into the real world and talk to actual humans who have not been brainwashed by Fox News or the screaming hypocrisy of the overall ideology of the Right? Just boggles the mind they get paid ridiculous amounts of money to deliver the ‘news’ to people, but they really just spew indoctrinated bullshit and do more harm to the American society than an army of terrorists.
The right continues to make a huge deal out of the ‘scandals’ I wonder how free thinking liberals will ever survive. Fucking idiots. So there are 3 main talking points right now and internet user going by the moniker Kevin Koster provided this great summary:
Granted that there are plenty of political groups trying to game the system – on both sides. The IRS shouldn’t be targeting one side or the other. And yes, they adjusted their flagging after it was initially caught, but that doesn’t make it a good practice by any means.
All that said, this was not something that somehow allowed President Obama to somehow alter the election outcome in Ohio, or anywhere else. The fact is that he was always ahead there by all measures other than pollers like Rasmussen, who was desperately trying to prop up the failing Romney campaign.
The right wing seems to want people to believe that these fringe tea party groups could have somehow mobilized a million voters in Ohio – except this forgets that there was already a deafening cacophony of political ads flooding Ohio for the whole year before the election. Ohio was one of the most heavily lobbied states in the country, if not THE most heavily lobbied one. Romney spent plenty of money there, as did many, many Tea Party groups and other conservative PACs. It made no difference. Obama had a better ground game there and in the end, that was what made the difference.
Notice that none of these people is bringing up the real reasons that several million hardcore GOP didn’t vote for Romney. Romney got the predictable votes of many GOP members who hated Obama on sight, and he got the predictable votes of moderate GOP members who didn’t swing all the way over to the hard right. But he never sold the serious right wingers. They never believed his statements of being a severe conservative and they couldn’t deal with his religion. Past that, Romney badly hurt himself by constantly swinging to the far right and thus alienating some of the moderates as well. And past even that, Romney never appealed to crossover Democrats in any significant manner. But the big wound for Romney was that so many of the “true believers” just wouldn’t vote for him. Which is why you heard all those cries that the GOP voters wanted a “real conservative” rather than Romney. Translation: Romney didn’t appeal to enough people to win – so he lost. End of election, and end of the political trajectory for Mitt Romney, a man who had been groomed since grade school to run for higher office. His epitaph will show that he rose as far as being a Governor, but that he abandoned his duties in search of an even better office he could never achieve.
It’s interesting that the right wing wants to play these items up as much as possible, when they were desperately tamping down much more serious material during the Bush Administration. Further, when people brought up the very real criminality of the George W. Bush presidency, Fox News was on the front lines calling those people treasonous and every other name in the book. Am I the only one who remembers the right wing wagging their fingers and saying “You must not criticize the President during a time of war!” or saying “You don’t support the troops if you criticize our policies!” or best yet, “Americans need to watch what they do, watch what they say!” Of course, now that we have a Democrat president, and one who is not someone these pundits like, all those rules suddenly don’t apply anymore. Now the President is fair game because the right wing “just has some questions”. Right, just a few leading questions that are clearly intended to continue a pattern of disruption, obstruction and harassment that’s been going on since Obama began his 2008 campaign.
Let’s look at these three “huge scandals” and see if there’s any “there there”, as Obama put it this week. There’s Benghazi, which is a situation where our consulate was attacked and where the right wing wants to try to blame Obama for it somehow. So they’re disputing the military assessments (which is a new wrinkle for the right wing – previously they’ve always hid behind the military officers) and they’ve decided on their own that somehow a military force could have magically appeared in this area of Libya at a moment when the entire region was engulfed by rioting over the “Innocence of Muslims” video. As a fallback for that, they want to carp about what “talking points” were given to Susan Rice before she discussed the matter on Sunday talk shows. Which assumes that the right wing wasn’t already disputing anything Rice or Obama said at the time. The “talking points” discussion is flat out ridiculous – if this was a huge cover-up, then why is it that everyone was able to discuss every aspect of the matter openly for the two months up to the election? The answer is that it’s a ruse. Romney and the GOP tried this tack last fall, and it resulted in two humiliating debate defeats for Romney. But for some reason, these guys want to pull the zombie back up off the mat, dust it off, and try it out again.
The IRS matter is one where local guys in Ohio clearly got irritated at the pile of “Tea Party” groups trying to game the system to cheer lead for Romney on the public dime. But the reality is that if they followed the law, those groups do have the right to do this. So the supervisor who caught their behavior made them change the guidelines to include other political groups. And that’s pretty much the story. The “Tea Party” wants to continue to cry foul over this, but there really isn’t any more to discuss. The notion that President Obama was discussing a Cincinnati IRS flagging guideline, much less orchestrating it, is laughable on its face. The fact is that some IRS guys acted inappropriately and were disciplined. And now the Acting Director has resigned as well, showing that there are consequences for this stuff. If that’s a scandal that’s going to bring down an Administration, I’d like to know where it is.
Finally, there’s the AP matter. In this case, you have a serious security leak regarding a terrorism investigation. And yes, it’s pretty scary to have the DOJ getting access to the home phone records of reporters involved in the story. I would absolutely agree that this is one of those things that should cross party lines in terms of people being concerned about it. BUT, and here’s the kicker, this was actually legal. Because the Patriot Act championed by the right wing specifically allows for this kind of surveillance. And the Patriot Act was opposed by the left specifically for things like that. The left said consistently that the Patriot Act was an overreach that could do terrible things to freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and all through that time, Fox News shouted the left down and said this was necessary to protect the USA and “either you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists.” Had such a case come up during the George W. Bush Admin, you would have heard Fox News trumpeting that this was totally necessary and that the reporters shouldn’t be worried if they have nothing to hide. Since this is happening on Obama’s watch, Fox News wants to pretend that they’re now concerned about people’s free speech rights. Once again, is this a serious “scandal” that will bring down a presidency? No. It’s the DOJ conducting an investigation and ticking off a bunch of people, including reporters – but it’s legal conduct whether we like it or not until we do the right thing and repeal the Patriot Act. I would ask the pundits of Fox News if they are now prepared to support such a repeal, and if they have their apology ready for those of us on the left who have asked for this for over a decade. This doesn’t have to be a big deal for Fox News. Just a humble little one, like “We at Fox News are very, very sorry that we supported the Patriot Act. We were wrong to do so and we acknowledge our error. We at Fox News are very, very sorry that we doubted the integrity and good intentions of the people of the USA and we promise not to do it anymore.” Something tells me this apology may not be coming soon.
In the end, will any of these “huge scandals” resonate with history? Will anyone outside of Fox News pundits be bringing this up in a year? Even James Rosen at Fox doesn’t think so. The reality is that none of this will matter in 2016. Fox News will continue to wave Benghazi around for a while, until they find a new “smoking gun” in some other matter to point at. It’s funny that the Fox News pundits accuse the American people of being distracted by “shiny objects”. (And this was clearly another one of those notorious “daily memos”, since the meme was echoed all over the channel) The fact is that Fox News is dedicated to presenting “shiny objects” to its viewers every day – objects that always seem to play to their lowest instincts and their angriest prejudices.