Often times when people discover that I do political work they are compelled to ask a variation of this question: “Won’t participating in this activity create a political scandal for you at some point?” This question comes up enough that I have a stock answer that usually gets at least a chuckle. It’s that if playing poker, or over imbibing, or anything else I’m doing is the kind of scandal that I would leak to distract from a more significant scandal.
Like most things that are humorous they are based on some kind of reality. So when the political world seems to be alight with more scandals than baseline it’s important to figure out why there are so many scandals at once. This isn’t to say that all of the scandals aren’t important but only to spend time contemplating which issues are mere “bumps in the road” and which scandals could be really damaging. I’ve ranked the scandals based on a scale from “oh shit” to “spin master manageable”.
Spin master manageable: Spying on the AP. From what I’ve read it seems clear that this falls under the damaging but probably not illegal category. It also seems custom made for diverting the attention of the self-absorbed American press from other things. Does anyone really think this is going to swing any votes in a close House or Senate race in 2014? I don’t, so I’m going to mostly ignore it.
Oh shit: The IRS intimidation story. What do you call using non-partisan agencies of the government to attack perceived political opposition during a Presidential election. Remember the 2012 election was supposed to come down to Ohio, the State where the attacks are said to have originated. When I was Chief Strategist at TheTeaParty.net we received one of the questionnaires and referred it to our attorney and I remember writing at the time about how this would impact the groups that weren’t large enough to retain a high-powered Washington law firm. I also remember many people including our own Dan Backer offering their services to groups under fire, free-of-charge.
Not enough information: Benghazi. The things I’ve heard about Benghazi are really disturbing and I’m convinced that this story has only scratched the service of what happened. The people who’ve been tirelessly pushing this story have instructed me to research “Extortion 17″ but I haven’t gotten to it yet, so for now I’ll let the experts be the experts. I think we’ve only just started asking the right questions.
Fast and Furious should be right at the top with these but it’s gone back to being mostly ignored.
They are all a bunch of manipulative crooks, we all know it. Every once in a while someone takes it over the line and are made an example of, let’s hope it’s this whole damn administration.