In recent days, various members of the Obama administration, including the president himself have decided to ridicule investigations into the plethora of scandals that have been erupting almost non stop since Obama was reelected.
Senior Obama Advisor Dan Pfeiffer got the ball rolling with a White House email to Obama supporters on Sunday:
Dan Pfeiffer, Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications, indulged in the blame game on Sunday evening when he delivered his latest email to White House supporters. Pfeiffer wrote that the lack of discussion about middle-class Americans can be attributed to Congress “trying to score political points, refight old battles, and trump up phony scandals.”
Yes, Pfeiffer seemingly branded the brutal murder of four American diplomats in Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservatives, the uncovering of an invasive NSA program and subpoenaing of journalists’ phone records as “phony.”
Jay Carney started peddling the “phoney scandal” narrative aggressively this week, as well. He tried the line on Joe Scarborough and received some severe blowback.
Not just for calling the scandal “phony,” though. His ire peaks when Carney sneers at him for pushing the GOP party line, which is not something you say to a guy who’s worked very, very hard to build his “no labels” media brand. How much water does this Joe need to carry for gun-control fans before the White House cuts him a break on the “party shill” accusation? Good lord. Oh, and by the way — Scarborough’s right in the substance of his criticism. Carney did indeed initially spin the IRS scandal as a Cincinnati issue back in May, before evidence surfaced that IRS officials in Washington had input too. What makes the scandal “pretend,” apparently, is that Issa hasn’t laid it on Obama’s doorstep. That’s how much Jay cares about the targeting in this case, his lip service to “inappropriate” conduct aside.
You’ve probably already seen this, but if not – enjoy:
After that fiasco, it’s a wonder the president chose to keep the line about phony scandals in his uber-lame economics speech (that is getting savagely panned outside of MSNBC, where I imagine they’re swooning.)
Today’s speech at Knox College, Illinois, was supposed to be the president’s come-back moment, the first of a series of addresses aimed at retaking the initiative by the White House. Instead it was a train-wreck. In an hour-long address, which seemed to last forever (and par for course started 15 minutes late), the president spoke in deeply partisan terms, often with bitterness and anger, lambasting his political opponents, dismissing criticism of his policies, and launching into his favourite theme of class warfare, attacking the wealthy and what he calls the “winner takes all economy.” In a display of extraordinary arrogance (even by his standards), he condemned what he called “an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals,” a direct reference to the Congressional investigations into the IRS and Benghazi scandals, which most Americans don’t see as phony. He also defended his increasingly unpopular Obamacare proposals, attacking what he calls “a politically-motivated misinformation campaign,” while failing to acknowledge that moderate Democrats are “steadily turning against Obamacare” as The Washington Postreported today.
This was a highly defensive speech, with President Obama in full campaign mode. There were no fresh ideas, just a tired rehash of earlier campaign rhetoric. It was also another love letter to big government, with a clarion call for yet more federal spending on environmental measures, infrastructure, manufacturing, and a laundry list of liberal pet causes. There was not a word about reducing the burden of government regulation, and getting bureaucracy off the backs of entrepreneurs. His speech promised more government spending at a time when America’s national debt is approaching a staggering $17 trillion. He rejected tax cuts, and bashed the rich, at times sounding more like Francois Hollande than the leader of the free world.
Steven Hayes discussed the “phony scandals” with Bill Hemmer on Fox’s America’s Newsroom. He said the Regime’s “phoney scandal” narrative is directed toward the Washington press corps.
Trey Gowdy lambasted Jay Carney, last night, on On The Record with Greta Van Susteren for calling the myriad of scandals plaguing the Regime “phony” and “pretend”.
You want to get the firebrand from South Carolina tee’d off? – Just call these scandals he’s been earnestly investigating for the past couple of years – from fast and Furious to Benghazi to the IRS, “phony” like Carney and the president himself did yesterday in their attempt to pivot to a top-down, command and control collectivist vision of the economy.
Gowdy was having none of it. With a voice dripping with disdain, he said, “there is nothing phony about four murdered Americans in Benghazi and if he thinks there is, I would encourage him to look at the autopsy photos. There’s nothing phony about Brian Terry’s murder at the border. There’s nothing phony about the IRS targeting people based on ideology, There’s nothing phony about an NSA program that almost failed on the House floor because people don’t trust this administration. There’s nothing phony about bonuses being paid to IRS employees,….so whether you want to go to Fast and Furious, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, ObamaCare Enroll America — people have begun to lose trust in the institutions of government, If they want to use the word phony for that, they need to get out of Washington more and go to real America.”
Two victims of the Regime’s “phony scandals” conveyed their disgust to Fox News’ Stuart Varney over the Regime’s dismissal of their suffering.
Becky Gerritson of Alabama’s Wetumpka Tea Party and Patricia Smith, whose son, Sean Smith, was killed in the Benghazi attacked appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Your World” Thursday to discuss their feelings.”I think it’s like the captain of the Titanic calling the iceberg phony,” Gerritson said. The only phony thing she said she sees is the narrative the White House is trying to push off on the American people.
Even after her high profile testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee in early June, Gerritson says she still hasn’t been contacted by the FBI. “So, to me, it looks like nothing’s being done,” she said.
“I think a toddler can connect the dots and know that this is not a Republican made-up scandal,” she added. “I’m normally a very nice, calm person, but it makes my blood boil,” she said of hearing Obama’s words. “I was very irate.”
Smith, whose son was one of four people killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound is Benghazi, said she doesn’t believe Obama anymore.
“He’s wrong. My son is dead. How could that be phony?” she said.
Smith said she has been repeatedly stonewalled by the administration when trying to find out what really happened to her son. At the ceremony welcoming the caskets of the four killed, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama, and Vice President Biden all promised her they’d get back to tell her what happened, she said.
Allahpundit asked a good question: Which scandals does Obama think are “phony”?
So, which scandals — plural — are phony? Benghazi is, certainly. The left’s been insisting since before Chris Stevens was laid to rest that there’s zero sign of government malfeasance here, despite the fact that State ignored numerous warnings that the consulate was operating in one of the most dangerous places on earth with only a skeleton security crew to protect it. The IRS scandal’s also phony, despite the fact that Carney himself called it “outrageous” (as Taranto notes), because even though targeting conservative groups was improper, it was mostly career government employees who did it and so that makes it kinda sorta non-scandalous. The “harvesting journalists’ phone records to hunt for leakers” scandal is phony because there are national security interests at stake and Holder tried to be as non-invasive as possible and everyone at the DOJ is really conscientious blah blah.
Noah Rothman of Mediaite asked, When Did Obama Decide That The Scandals He Once Thought Were Serious Are Now ‘Phony’?
During a panel segment on Fox News Channel’s Special Report, The Weekly Standard editorStephen F. Hayes asked a pointed question about these so-called “phony scandals”: “Which of the scandals is phony?”
“The president has already acknowledged the seriousness of two of them – three of them, in one way or another,” Hayes added.
“This is part of the plan to set up an argument for the fall,” he said, identifying how Democrats will counter Republican charges of malfeasance by administration officials ahead of the 2014 midterms. In essence, Hayes implied, Obama and his supporters will accuse the opponents of his administration of a pathological desire to cling to already discredited conspiracy theories.
Flashback to May 18 when Pfeiffer went on all the Sunday talk shows to throw some sandbags against the sweeping tide of scandals flooding the Regime.
Here’s how it went on CBS with Bob Schieffer.
…he had a harder sell on CBS with Bob Schieffer, who recently referred to the Regime as “Dumb and Dumber”.
Pfeiffer dropped the same exact rhetorical turdball on Schiffer, “This is the Republican playbook, here, which is, when they don’t have a positive agenda, they try to drag Washington into a swamp of partisan fishing expeditions, trumped up hearings, and false allegations.”
Schieffer told Pfeiffer his response reminded him of how the Nixon White House responded to Watergate, lol. Not exactly the reaction he was hoping for.
Schieffer also noted toward the end of the interview that the decision to send Susan Rice to go on the Sunday shows with the incorrect talking points was basically a “PR” stunt. And he asked a question that a lot of us have had, ” Why did you do that? Why didn’t the Sec. of State come out and tell us what she knew, and if she knew nothing, tell us, ‘we don’t know, yet.’ Why didn’t the White House Chief of Staff come out?”, he continued. “And I mean this as no disrespect to you, but why are YOU here today? Why isn’t the White House Chief of Staff here to tell us what happened?”
If the White House was looking Nixonian back in May with just Pfeiffer dismissing the scandals, how much more Nixonian do they appear now that the president and his Press Secretary are doing the same thing?
Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!