My online Merriam Webster gives the following definitions of scandal: “an occurrence in which people are shocked and upset because of behavior that is morally or legally wrong; circumstance or action that offends propriety or established moral conceptions or disgraces those associated with it.” According to these definitions, many significant events that have occurred during the life of the Obama administration clearly qualify as scandals. The point of this article is not only to summarize the most egregious of the Obama scandals, but also to highlight one – arguably the most serious one – that originates from the first moment of Obama’s presidency.
Benghazi. The administration located, for reasons that remain as yet unclear, a CIA operation in Libya’s eastern port city for which – despite repeated pleas from Ambassador Stevens – it failed to provide adequate security. In a planned and coordinated terrorist attack by al Qaeda elements on the US consulate and a CIA annex, the Ambassador – whose presence in Benghazi also remains unexplained, another member of the embassy staff and two CIA operatives were murdered. For months, Obama and members of his administration knowingly lied by asserting that the violence was sparked by a spontaneous demonstration against an obscure anti-Islam video. This lie was repeated by Obama and then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to the families of the murdered men in front of their caskets at Andrews Air Force base. The speculation is that the lie evolved from the belief that an acknowledgment of an al Qaeda attack before the 2012 presidential election would contradict Obama’s campaign mantra that al Qaeda was decimated.
IRS. Despite stonewalling, misdirection and an improper “taking of the fifth,” it is clear that since about four years ago, the IRS has been engaged in a systematic and sustained effort to harass and deny tax-exempt status to numerous organizations intent on political action on behalf of conservative causes and candidates. Once again, the goal was to maximize the re-election prospects of the president. Whether the motivation to engage in this illegal endeavor came from the White House is unclear, but evidence suggests that the idea originated at very high levels in the administration.
Fast and Furious. In a misguided and reckless attempt to track Mexican drug cartels, US guns were allowed to pass into the hands of numerous miscreants south of the border. Some of those guns turned up at the site of the murder of a US border patrol agent. No one in the administration – not even the Attorney General, under whose auspices this harebrained scheme was carried out – can explain who concocted the operation, what exactly it was intended to achieve, and how it went awry.
Obamacare. Leaving aside whether the nationalization of one-sixth of the US economy is a good idea, and whether Obamacare will help more people than it hurts, there remain three irrefutable points: (i) This is arguably the only piece of major national social legislation in a century to be passed exclusively by one party – using parliamentary tricks, unscrupulous back room deals and subterfuge in the presentation of the details; (ii) Its passage was secured by the promulgation of bald-faced lies – If you like your doctor and your plan, you can keep your doctor and your plan, period; (iii) Since its passage, the president has illegally altered numerous clauses in the statute, usually to shield the administration from criticism sure to reign down failing the alteration.
Veterans Administration. Long delays, callous treatment, and falsification of records to cover up miserable performance – all of these abominable features of the VA have been present for decades. During his campaign in 2008, Obama made a major promise to fix them. Like so many of his other promises – for example, to run the most transparent administration in US history, it was forgotten the moment his hand slipped off the Bible.
AP Phone Records. The administration secretly obtained the telephone records of reporters and editors from this wire service. This represented an unprecedented government intrusion on the press and revealed a total disregard for first amendment rights. No explanation was ever given, and as in almost all the other scandals, the administration set about to “investigate” the event. No such investigation has ever concluded, put forth any results or held anyone accountable. The Obama administration’s investigations are uniformly stonewalling operations.
Illegal Immigration. In his – and in the Democratic Party’s – ardent quest to lock in a permanent electoral majority, Obama proposes citizenship for the 11+ million illegal aliens in our country. Unable to achieve this lawfully, he engages in all manner of deception and lawlessness to bring about the desired end: for example, essentially implementing the DREAM Act by executive order; refusing to deport illegals caught perpetrating crimes; and ensuring lax border security wherever possible.
Quite a record! If the reader googles “Obama scandals,” then a whole host of other major and minor Obama administration scandals come into view. Indeed this administration is more lawless than the Nixon administration; arguably more corrupt (cf Solyndra) than the Harding administration; comparable in incompetence to the Carter Administration (Jimmy set the bar pretty high, or was it low); and even more polarizing than its predecessor. But to my mind the most scandalous act performed by Barack Obama was when he put his hand on that Bible (twice) and swore to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” This was by far Obama’s biggest lie. Not only has he made absolutely no effort to protect the Constitution, he has worked assiduously – and at times quite effectively – to undermine that sacred document. His oath of office was the seminal lie from which flowed all other lies, misrepresentations and scandals.
Based on the books he has (had ghost-) written, the words he has spoken and the deeds he has committed, Obama clearly believes that the US Constitution and the organization of society that it commands are fatally flawed. He seeks to replace them with a creed founded on the ideas of people like Antonio Gramsci, John Dewey, Sinclair Lewis, Cloward-Piven and Saul Alinsky – although his goals are always couched in language that easily misleads all who only see his pleasant visage and hear his soothing voice without paying attention to his character and desires.
In some sense, he has made no secret of his intentions. In short, he pursues a centralized, government-controlled, amoral society in which coerced egalitarianism, multilateralism, collectivism and multiculturalism replace individual liberty, free market capitalism, traditional culture and American Exceptionalism. I reiterate: he scandalously placed his hand on the Bible and swore to protect the system that he is committed to destroying. It was duplicitous, diabolical, even treasonous. While also scandalous, the true scandal is that the American people handed him the keys to the realm, that is, they elevated him to a position from which he can bring to fruition his (only semi-surreptitious) betrayal.
This essay also appeared in Canada Free Press
Ron Lipsman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, writes about politics, culture, education, science and sports at http://ronlipsman.com