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. It’s pretty clear now that Benghazi occurred because we were covertly supplying (or facilitating the supply) of arms to terrorists in violation of 18 USC Sec, 2339A and 2339B. That’s a crime. Hiding it is obstruction, a crime. Lying to Congress about it is yet another federal felony. Getting bamboozled by our al Queda co-conspirator/alies is just bad luck, as is Secretary of State Lurch stumbling into the mud pit.


  2. One can hope the hype ignites both to internal combustion. They are just too toxic for America to survive another meltdown. None of them care, sans the checkbook.

  3. “In a reference to 1998 GOP overreach, Cook concludes:

    Republicans became so consumed by their hatred of Clinton and their conviction that this event would bring him down that they convinced themselves the rest of the country was just as outraged by his behavior as they were.

    In the case of Obama, of course, his personal conduct is not at issue, and there is still no evidence that Republicans will be able to tie the current storylines directly to him. But the widespread conviction among Republican base voters that we’re seeing Watergate-level presidential wrongdoing will require that Republican officials keep chasing after evidence of it. It’s for these reasons that Democratic strategists are betting that GOP scandal overreach will play a key role in the 2014 elections.

    We may be seeing a rerun of the 1990s in more ways than one.” Maybe pollster Charlie Cook will turn out to be correct, bernardo. His track record is pretty good.

  4. Obama is so stupid that he does not need anyone’s help in self destruction. The man is delusional.

  5. Blouise has it wrong. Its Partisan apathy that has allowed our parties to become so corrupt that they are not held accountable because there is nobody to hold them accountable when 50% of the nation turns a blind eye to the doings of their own party.

    Blouise, you are PART of the problem. For example, if you wish to hold Bush accountable(and he should be in prison imo) then how can you turn a blind eye to Obama not doing anything about it(let the past be the past). YOU are an enabler just as the rightwingers where enabling Bush.

    Where is your outrage and demand for the arrest and trial of Obama for killing so many children with drone strikes?

    This is becoming horribly typical of any scandals. Partisan sheep response is ” Oh yeah well the other party did just as bad or worse so I dont care”

    Absolutely pathetic. You are no better than your enemies

  6. Mike,

    While I agree that something needs to be done… Why can’t we start in the present and work back….

  7. There was a big scandal by Bill Clinton himself when “nobody came”. All we heard about from Monica was a smelling cigar. Yuk. This current junk with the Pee Party is nuthing compared to that.

  8. mespo, My point is quite basic. The folks who say it’s Watergate, and the folks who say it’s nothing, are almost all partisans. We don’t have all the information. Ironically, what we seem to know the most about is the AP scandal which involves national security. I saw Ron Fournier on a Sunday show. He worked for the AP for over 20 years. In ~3 minutes he gave a very good synopsis. It REALLY is something. And, since it involves the press, the press is all over it. So, we agree on AP, and disagree on the other two. 1 for 3 makes you an all-star in the show.

  9. I’m with Blouise and Bettykath on this. This stuff is all par for the course no matter which party holds power. The real scandals as usual get short shrift.

  10. nick:

    The AP scandal is a real one and not of the manufactured variety. I’m on record against that fiasco. I was just pointing out that calling something a duck …and wishing real hard …doesn’t make it quack.

  11. I agree with Darren and deny them the generous pensions they voted for themselves and givem Obummer care instead of their health plan.

  12. 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.
    Most IRS examiners are incompetent. They fancy themselves as something to be afraid of, but they’re a bunch of morons.

    “I’m the big bad IRS, don’t mess with me.” Well guess what, you’re too stupid to even balance your own checkbook.

  13. I agree with Blouise. When directives to commit torture and aggressive war don’t deserve investigation and charges, then what is? Lack of interest, in general, is probably tied to the lack of respect (deservedly) for the Congress and the administration as well. What’s one more scandal?

    The scandal of Benghazi is the lack of funding for security (-> Congress). The IRS scandal is business as usual but blown out of proportion. The AP phone records is a serious overstepping, as are the NSA letters that give the FBI a right to do anything regardless of the Bill of Rights (-> Congresss for the PATRIOT Act).

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