Last week, members of the so-called mainstream media joined forces with hysterical conservative news organizations to help fan the flames of political partisanship. As the list of D.C. scandals grew and allegations of wrongdoing surfaced, it didn't take long for comparisons to emerge between the administration of President Barack Obama and the scandal-ridden administration of President Richard Nixon.
George Will, a conservative Washington Post columnist, may have been the first to publicly bring up the issue in a newspaper opinion piece when he referred to the Article of Impeachment against disgraced former President Richard M. Nixon.
Since then other newspaper writers and a multitude of TV talking heads have repeated and expanded on the comparison. Last Thursday during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden, President Obama was asked about comparisons between himself and Richard Nixon.
President Obama declined the opportunity to compare scandals, instead he replied, "I'll let you guys engage in those comparisons. You can go ahead and read the history and draw your own conclusions."
Oops! President Obama's response was a gross miscalculation.
Why? Because it's highly unlikely that ANY reporter (especially members of the press who were not even alive during the Nixon Administration) will take the time to review history.
So let me draw the conclusion for them.
There is no comparison.
President Richard Nixon personally directed from the White House, a coordinated campaign against individual U.S. citizens whom he considered to be his political enemies. In the process he politicized the Justice Department, the FBI, the IRS and many other government agencies. In addition, he corrupted the electoral process in order to achieve his goal. Nixon's subversive actions were overtly criminal.
President Obama has done nothing of the sort.
Let's review the three main "scandals":
Benghazi - The U.S. government failed to anticipate the attack that resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens and those who died alongside him. However there is no evidence of a White House coverup nor is there any evidence of any attempts by the White House to deceive the public about what happened during the event. On the other hand, the U.S. Benghazi mission consisted of seven State Department employees and 30 CIA personnel. If any information has been withheld there's a pretty good chance it resides with the Central Intelligence Agency. Bottom Line: Not a scandal.
Associated Press Phone Records - The broad search of telephone records from the AP appears to be a violation of Department of Justice accepted practice. The DOJ should have worked with the AP to narrow the search. Unless I've overlooked it, the administration has not offered any reasonable explanation for the violation. Bottom Line: Troubling because of its disregard for the First Amendment but not a scandal.
IRS Affair - Reports of special scrutiny of 501(c)4 applications by the Internal Revenue Service are inexcusable. It is still not clear what occurred, when it occurred, and who was involved. Nor is it clear how so many Republican members of Congress managed to come up with so much misinformation concerning this issue. So far there is no evidence of White House knowledge or involvement. Bottom Line: Most troubling of the three but not yet a scandal.
To further support my assertion that "there is no comparison" between the Obama and Nixon administrations, I offer words and cartoons of another Washington Post journalist. Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Herbert Block (Herblock) chronicled the outrageous scandal-plagued Watergate era with his powerful cartoons and commentary.
During the next two weeks I'll post daily installments of Herblock's Watergate cartoons on my Home Page. If you can't wait and want to see all of them now, you can view a PDF file of the entire encapsulated history.
After viewing each installment, ask yourself this question: "Is the Obama Administration REALLY worse than the Nixon Administration? Really!??"