Bad Week For Obama

Socially Urban Obama Blog

This has not been a good week for our president… stating the obvious I know, but he’s taking heat from all sides, both left and right.  Some of it is warranted but most of it only exist in the minds of republicans or manufactured within the 24 hour news cycle to raise a ratings slump that’s been stagnant and/or lagging ever since the presidential election ended in November.  I hate to see the President on the ropes like that so I’m going to break it down and help him out a bit (like he’s going to read my blog or solicit my advice lol).

Late Friday evening a story leaked out accusing the IRS of unfairly targeting right-wing groups who filed for nonprofit status.  After the story broke the IRS released a statement acknowledging the unfair targeting and extra scrutiny these applications were getting.  President Obama held a press conference to address this issue and told the press that they were launching an investigation, and he was very emphatic about finding out who was responsible and promised to deal with them accordingly.  I’m a very liberal democrat (surprise surprise) and I’m not a fan of the Tea Party (an even bigger surprise) but wrong is wrong.  Anyone at the IRS who had anything at all to do with this should be fired and prosecuted in a criminal court.  President Obama also said that he had no prior knowledge of this happening until the day before the story leaked, and it’s pretty obvious that he had nothing to do with the IRS placing extra scrutiny on the right-wing groups applications.  Common sense would tell anyone that the White House and President Obama had absolutely nothing to gain by delaying nonprofit 501c applications.  He’s extremely intelligent and pragmatic so he would never risk his presidency for something as stupid and insignificant (relatively speaking) as this .  But the republicans haven’t figured this out yet.  They’ve alluded to cover ups of mass proportions all week on any media outlet that will give them airtime.  Normally this wouldn’t be such a huge deal.  Admittedly the IRS was wrong and they should take responsibility for letting this happen and be punished.  But the far right-wingers want to make this all about President Obama and they’ll continue to feed these delusional theories to their base buffet style as long as they keep eating it up.  So the quicker the president resolves this situation the better.  He needs to wrap the investigation up ASAP and be brutal quick and indiscriminate with the firings of some top IRS officials and do it in a very public way.  When dealing with political scandals whether they are real or manufactured, perception is everything.  Republicans rarely deal in reality so you have to beat them at their own game.  PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING.  Start demagoguing the hell out of every press conference when these guys start to come for you.  So, that’s my advice on the IRS issue.  On the scandal scale it gets a 2 out of 10 (10 being Watergate or the Iraq war, and 1 being Jimmy Carter lusting in his heart lol).

The second scandal is a lot more serious and actually merits even more attention than it’s already getting.  Earlier in the week the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.  Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama administration did this without a warrant, without honoring the First Amendment, and contrary to normal procedure where they could have asked the Associated Press to cooperate and if they declined then they could take it court and let a judge decide.  Prior to this incident that is the way the DOJ has handled similar situations in the past.  This story troubles me the most, and it’s the most confusing issue I have with President Obama.  I voted for him twice thinking he wanted to do things a lot different from his predecessor.  Obama promised me and everyone who voted for him a more transparent government. Then he does a 180 and instead of walking back some of the civil liberty infringements of George Bush’s Patriot Act, he adds to it with things like warrantless phone taps on law abiding citizens, increasing the number of DRONE attacks, and assassinating secret targets without telling congress and without any due process.  For most of his first term in office he wouldn’t even acknowledge that the drone attacks were coming from us.  That doesn’t sound transparent to me at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I think the President is doing a great job as commander in chief, and I don’t regret voting for him at all.  But when it comes to foreign policy and protecting civil liberties I am extremely disappointed in that part of his administration’s agenda.  So here’s my advice to the president about this.  First of all he needs to do some restructuring at the Justice Department.  He needs to take the DRONE attack program away from the CIA and give this responsibility to the military.  The CIA is a covert organization so they really can’t be transparent about their operations, and they do not answer to Congress so that means no oversight.  The Military handles these types of things best because they have to get orders, show results, and notify Congress of their actions.  My second piece of advice pains me because I like Attorney General Eric Holder, but like I said before, perception is everything.  President Obama needs to replace Holder with someone else, preferably someone outside of his circle of close friends and advisors.  Someone who is passionate about progressive ideas and an advocate for civil liberties.  Eric Holder was great at his job, but someone’s head has to roll and roll quickly.

It will be interesting to see how the President will handle all of these situations being thrown at him all at once.  I have complete faith in him as a leader because he’s been overcoming major obstacles all his life.  So far he’s risen to meet every set back head on and always comes out unscaved as the victor.  I’m not even going to talk about Benghazi because he’s already won that argument.  The republicans just don’t know yet.  When will they learn that It’s going to take more than the GOP to tarnish this man.

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One Comment to Bad Week For Obama

  1. Profile photo of DeMon DeMon says:

    **Editor’s Note**
    STOP TRYING TO COMPARE THE AP WIRETAP SCANDAL TO WATERGATE!! Comparing the Department of Justice and President Obama obtaining phone transcripts from a warrantless wiretap on journalists phones who worked at the Associated Press to find a source who leaked classified information about an ongoing covert operation where an agent had infiltrated Al-Qaeda to thwart a planned terrorist attack here in the US to Watergate is beyond ridiculous. Anyone who makes this comparison clearly does not know what Watergate was. So let me share some facts about Watergate. One of the most shocking facts that really speaks to the sheer size and scale of Watergate is how many people ended up getting convicted that were directly related to Nixon and his administration. 70, yes 70 people were convicted. That included people within his administration, people who worked at the RNC, agents he appointed to the CIA, FBI agents and the list goes on and on. When special prosecutor Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski concluded their investigation into Watergate, and after the Senate held hearings to get Nixon’s staff under oath, they laid out a list of crimes and abuses of power that Nixon and his administration carried out:

    1. Members of the CIA were directed by Nixon to breaking into whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office to get information to discredit him because he exposed some top secret documents that proved Nixon was lying to the country about Vietnam.

    2. Attorney General John Mitchell gave approval to the break-in at the Watergate.

    3. Charles Colson proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution.

    4. CIA agent Howard Hunt fabricated documents implicating John Kennedy in the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem.

    5. John Ehrlichman ordered FBI Director L. Patrick Gray to take possession of the files in Hunt’s safe, keeping them secret from prosecutors.

    6. Gray destroyed the evidence from Hunt’s safe.

    7. Watergate investigator Henry E. Petersen gave John Dean secret grand jury testimony.

    8. Gray at the FBI gave Dean access to all FBI investigation files.

    9. Creation of the White House Plumbers to plug leaks through the use of illegal wiretaps.

    10. Operation Sandwedge: The Jack Caulfield operation designed to orchestrate a massive campaign to spy on the Democrats.

    11. Ehrlichman claimed he did not know in advance about the Ellsberg break-in; he knew.

    12. Gemstone: The Liddy operation to kidnap students who might disrupt the Republican convention in 1972; use prostitutes to compromise Democratic politicians. Attorney
    General Mitchell objected to the plan on the grounds it cost too much; he later approved a scaled-down plan. Mitchell, Haldeman and Jeb Magruder approved of Gemstone.

    13. Hush money paid to Watergate break-in defendants.

    14. Nixon promised clemency to Watergate criminals.

    15. Caulfield sent to Chappaquiddick Island to pose as a reporter to dig up dirt on Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy before all the leaks.

    16. Nixon is heard on the tapes telling Ehrlichman in April 1973 that he should hint to Dean to stay on the reservation because in the end the only man who can grant Dean clemency and save his ability to practice law is the president.

    17. Charles Colson was guilty of offering clemency to Hunt at Nixon’s orders.

    18. Nixon told Petersen to stay out of the Ellsberg psychiatrist’s break-in on the grounds that an investigation would compromise national security.

    19. Nixon proposed to Alexander Haig and Fred Buzhardt that they manufacture evidence—a missing dictabelt tape—wanted by Judge John Sirica; both refused.

    20. Nixon ordered the IRS to audit the tax returns of Larry O’Brien, head of the Democratic National Committee.

    21. Nixon ordered the IRS to stop an investigation of Howard Hughes.

    22. Huston Plan: In June 1970 Tom Huston persuaded the heads of the CIA, DIA, and NSA to approve a plan for black bag jobs against “enemies” of the Nixon administration. (J. Edgar Hoover opposed the Huston Plan; Nixon, fearful Hoover would blackmail him by leaking word of the plan, dropped it.)

    There’s no way anyone can honestly compare all that to Obama and the DOJ tapping the Associated Press’s phones to find who leaked the information that lead to the abortion of a CIA covert operation. Anyone who says otherwise just can’t be taken seriously.

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