What If They Held A Political Scandal — And Nobody Came?

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

empty-partyThe Obama Administration was rocked last week by two political scandals that Republicans claim makes Watergate look like a jaywalking ticket. Pious GOPers decried the lack of response to the Benghazi terrorist attacks and then blasted the Administration (as well as US Senators Chuck Schumer and Jeanne Shaheen) for sicking the IRS on their lapdog grassroots movement that’s neither grassroots nor a movement, the Tea Party. Seems the Republicans say they can do national defense better and are willing to produce quotes from doctored emails to prove it. On the home front, the knives were out for that whipping boy of the “Don’t Tax Us” crowd — the IRS. Calling for jail sentences, leading Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner,  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and  29 other Republicans who sponsored legislation to really, really, make IRS political retribution illegal (it is already) are shocked … shocked that some politically active conservative groups were scrutinized over tax exempt status when they were forced by two rogue IRS examiners to fill out long questionnaires that went public. Never mind that no group was actually denied the status despite their applications that said that these “social welfare” organization weren’t really social welfare organizations anyway but political ones, or that that “legalest” of tax  dodges –501(c)(3) & (4) status — has become a bad joke used to attack the other guys politics.  What mattered to leading Republicans now (Oh, yeah in less ox-gored days a year ago,  Senator Minority leader Mitch McConnell blasted liberal groups for you guessed it — using tax exempt status to attack the GOP), is that they finally have something to use politically against the Administration. You can almost hear the sighs of relief coming from the parlors at the country clubs and over the lemonade and cookies in the church basements can’t you?

But are the scandals resonating with  the rest of the American people? The answer seems to be: “Well, that depends.” If you’re Republican and conservative, the answer is most assuredly  “yes.” For the rest of America it’s a decidedly “Maybe.”  Here’s the recent polling about who’s watching the scandals:

By a slight majority, Americans are interested but clearly not enthralled. Now let’s see who’s watching by political affiliation:


The other question is, “Who thinks the scandals deserve major investigations to –as those public-spirited Republicans say — get to the facts?”:


Thus, according to Gallup, Americans are paying less attention to the Benghazi and IRS “scandals” than they do to other major news stories. According to the polling service the interest in the two stories is “well below the average for news stories Gallup has tracked over the years.” Are the GOP engaging in more wishful thinking as most of their punditry did in the last Presidential election?

The answer here is another “maybe.” Let’s look at political affiliation since the  2012 elections:


If I’m reading these tea leaves correctly, the number of folks identifying  themselves as GOPers looks to be holding as steady as  Lindsey Vonn (ok I like Lindsey) on a downhill run. So maybe what Fox News claims was an outright theft of the last presidential election and what Republican lawmakers see as their last, best hope to cripple the Obama Administration is fools gold after all.

Of course, things can change in an instant in D.C. as we all know, but do Boehner, McConnell, and their Tea Party cronies look like first place finishers to you?

If so, I’ve got some Triple Crown bets on Orb you might like?

Source: National Memo

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

37 thoughts on “What If They Held A Political Scandal — And Nobody Came?”

  1. Blouise, We disagree on these current scandals being manufactured. My point is time will tell. I’m pretty certain we’ll learn what occurred and what didn’t occur. Have you read anything about the AP scandal?

  2. nick,

    Yep … . Manufactured scandals pale in comparison to the real thing. If you read our contributor, ap’s, postings then you know exactly what I mean.

  3. Let’s just agree that there is too much brokenness in our federal elected officials, vote them all out of office, and start over.

  4. Blouse,

    You gotta start somewhere….. And yes…. That would be a good start…

  5. Would anybody bat an eye if the anti-government groups filing with the IRS, who received additional scrutiny, were called anarchists instead of libertarians?

  6. Blouise, Then you better cover your ears and go, “La la la,” and stop reading newspapers. It’s going to be a long, tough, ugly ride.

  7. Until both Parties are willing to investigate the Bush/Obama/CIA torture program and cover-up, I’m not interested in any of their other scandals.

  8. How come unions get tax exempt status when they contribute heavily to political campaigns?

  9. Steven, Thanks. Right and wrong almost always takes a back seat to the duopoly wars.

  10. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great [people] are almost always bad [people].” –Lord Acton

  11. You know… When they clean up both parties and get rid of the partisianshit stuff maybe I’ll care more…. But until then both sides of the isles need cleansing…. If a Person regardless of what party leaked classified information…. They should be tried…..for the crime….

    I think Holder should be held accountable for the broad sweep with the wiretaps…. And Sh$t rolls up hill….. Obama should be held accountable for the IRS BS…..as well as Holders actions….. Unless both are going rogue…. Then….. Get better folks in office…. Elected and appointed….

  12. Mark,
    Do you ever get the feeling both sides have reached the “pox on both your houses” point?

    The faux poutrage gets old after a while.

  13. nick spinelli – Good comments.

    Mr. Esposito: I get the distinct impression from your column that it depends whose ox is being gored.

    While I appreciate partisanship, right and wrong are moral, not ideological issues.

  14. There is a new scandal brewing with Boehner or however ya spull his name. He got money from the Koch Brothers which he cannot account for and his accountant broke his adding machine on the high numbers being typed in. Coming to a theatre near you.

  15. mespo, The AP scandal is conspicuous by its absence. I see partisans digging in their heels. I’ve lived too long, and seen too many scandals, to make definitive statements about what happened. I am by nature, and profession, a patient man. However, there is an observations that can be made today that is legit. The president has @ the core of his political philosphy said that govt. can solve many of the problems in our society. And, at this point, the spin they’re presenting is the president learns about these issues when they’re published in the paper[Please!], and that these actions taken by his big govt. were merely gross incompetence. That gross incompetence is in the shadow of the IRS being charged w/ enforcement of the ACA. Our politics has devolved into the insane line used by BOTH parties, “We may suck, but we don’t suck as bad as that other party.” Thank you duopoly.

  16. Let others wallow in Watergate. This is ScandalGate! But theyare taking our eye off the ball. The RepubliCons do not want a Palestinian State on the West Bank of the Jordan River nor Cardinal Nation on the West Bank of the Mississippi. Call your Congressthief and tell him/her/it to focus on the important things in life.

  17. And now on PettyPol Radio, a special request from John B. in DC. Little Johnny writes, “Casey, I swear with God as my witness I thought all poo sticks to what you throw it at. Can you play this song for me and dedicate it to my BFF, Mitch the Turtle?” Sorry, J.B.! Not all poo is created equal, but the good news is that here’s your request . . . ”

  18. The way I see it, investigating the tax status of groups that decry taxes as unconstitutional and immoral is somewhat like investigating possible connections to terrorism among Muslim groups that express anger and outrage over American policies in Mideast.

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