Stung by the Scandal will Obama survive?

Vishnuguptha | Published on June 8, 2013 at 2:11 am


“Scandal is an importunate wasp, against which we must make no movement unless we are quite sure that we can kill it; otherwise it will return to the attack more furious than ever.”

~Nicolas Chamfort

The first Constitutional Professor-President of the United States of America has been stung, as almost all US Presidents in the last five decades have

Images like these have cropped up all over the American media as Obama defends spy policy

Images like these have cropped up all over the American media as Obama defends spy policy

been, by not one but three distinctly different scandals. Barak Obama, the first African-American President of America has had quite a scandal-free first term. Winning the White House in 2008 despite unmerciful attacks on all Democratic hopefuls by the Fox News and inheriting an ailing economy from George W Bush who ran the country’s economy like that of his personal Texas Rangers Baseball team and allowed unemployment to run up to unprecedented percentages since the ‘great depression’ in the thirties, Obama was clever and tactful enough to navigate the troubled waters of American politics with the able assistance of some brilliant minds at the Department of Commerce, of the Treasury and the Office of Budget Management. What was put in place after the colossal abuse of the economy by the Bush Administration which launched the country into two expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while offering tax cuts to the richest in the country and deregulating most of the stringent laws and policies that were adopted up to the time, had slowly but surely began working towards the benefit of the greater United States of America in general and the Middle and lower Middle classes of the country in particular.

In the 2012 Presidential Elections, driving on a higher gear after the resounding success by the Tea Party faction at the mid-term elections in 2010, the Republicans were overconfident that the 2012 Presidential Elections would be theirs to lose. In fact they lost badly to a superior campaign launched by Barak Obama and his campaign team. Mitt Romney and the Republicans have still not recovered from the hangover of that defeat and the civil war that started in the wake of that defeat in the Republican Party threatened to tear apart the American Conservative Movement and making a comeback by those who ran the country’s economy to the ground five years earlier, almost impossible.

The Republicans’ success at the 2010 mid-term elections were made even more credible as the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, an arch-conservative of the Republican Party, declared days after the Obama victory in 2008 that his sole aim was to make Barak Obama an essentially a obamabush1single-term President. Mitch McConnell became the leader of the Republicans in the Senate after his predecessor Trent Lott vacated the Senate for a more lucrative job in the lobbying industry, a critical player in Washington politics. However, McConnell’s declaration of making Obama a one-term President assumed an ethnic tinge, especially when the entire Conservative establishment in the United States was gasping from a humiliating defeat in 2008, not only in the Presidential race, but also at the Senate and the House of Representatives. To rub salt into the wound, the Conservative movement of America had to put up with a San Franciscan arch-liberal Speaker in the House in the person of Nancy Pelosi. The liberal political machine began to roll relentlessly and the hard nuts of right-wing America couldn’t do anything to retard its pace.

Yet, the 2010 mid-term elections proved disastrous for the Democrats and Obama. Given the slow pace at which the American economy responded to the various government bailouts and other regulatory measures introduced by the Obama economic team, the ‘Tea Party’ faction of the Republican Party launched a massive campaign against government’s ‘intervention’ against the free market and individual freedom that prompted an impatient electorate to turn the results of 2008 upside down and send a majority of Republican congressmen and women to the House of Representatives. Despite this setback in 2010, the Obama White House made a remarkable recovery to retain the White House and the majority in the Senate with ease, much to the dismay of Fox News and Radio-pundits of the Conservative movement.

But once the White House started to settle down to the nuts and bolts of the second term administration, along came not one scandal, but three in one single week and, whatever the country thinks, the media pundits and the ever-so-greedy Republican stalwarts jumped at the Obama Administration, some even going to the extent of mentioning the ‘I’ word-Impeachment.

The three scandals that hit the current Administration are 1. The Benghazi Talking Points, 2. The Inland Revenue Service’s probe into Tea Party Political Action Committees and 3. The Subpoenas issued to Associated Press journalists.

Benghazi Talking points

This is not a new issue that the Republicans have been trying to use in order to throw mud at the White House and also to derail Hilary Clinton’s prospective run for the White House in 2016. When hearings came up last year, just before the Presidential Elections, Hilary stood her grounds at the Senate hearing and exposed the true nature of the mud-slinging campaign launched by the Republican Senators, especially John McCain and Lindsay Graham. But an over-zealous Congressman from Southern California, Darrel Isaa, sometimes much to the disapproval of his own Republican Senators, started to go on a one-man crusade reminding one of McCarthyism that flourished in the fifties against the would-be communist sympathizers. However, the White House is still not out of the woods on the Benghazi issue.

IRS probing Tea Part PACs

The probes initiated by the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) into Republican-leaning Political Action Committees (PACs) received universal ObamaBush3condemnation. The hearings that began soon afterwards, however, revealed no evidence that either the White House or Barak Obama were involved in any way, shape or form in directing the IRS to go after the Republican-leaning political organizations. In general, as most pundits predicted, Obama’s ‘big government’ concept does not seem to suffer. The government intervention in the flow of the free market economy since the departure of the Bush era, was one of the main bones of contention for the Conservatives during the election time and commented on by Conservative politicians in the caliber of Rand Paul, Marc Rubio and Ted Cruz etc. and ably buttressed by the gun lobby spearheaded by the National Rifle Association (NRA). But somewhat impressive numbers in the job market and almost total recovery of the auto industry boosted the acceptance rate of the Obama economic policies.

Subpoenas on AP journalists’

Subpoenas by the FBI and the Department of Justice on the telephone records of five journalists and Attorney General Eric Holder’s personal signature being given in evidence have created this issue, yet the Attorney General seems to enjoy President Obama’s trust and confidence and the hearing committees’ persistence does not seem to have paid any dividends at least up to now. This is mainly because no evidence has been unearthed as to the President’s direct or indirect knowledge about all these three scandalous incidents prior to their being executed by the respective parties.

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, released on June 4, 2013, finds Obama’s stature unhurt and unaffected by these scandals. In the Gallup Poll as at June 5, 2013, Obama’s approval rate stands at 44-48 in his favor. One of the chief reasons for that consistent rating: Most Americans don’t hold President Obama primarily responsible for the controversies. That coupled with the slow but definite recovery of the economy, favorable numbers reflected on the job market and the soaring stock market are helping him.

Almost all American Presidents have met with scandalous events in their second terms. Nixon’s Watergate, Reagan’s Iran Contra episode, Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky affair and George Bush’s economic meltdown and disastrous war in Iraq are but a few examples. Apparently Barak Obama too could not evade the Scandal-bug and whether one likes it or not, he has been stung by it. However, it is more likely that he will recover from it sooner rather than later.


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Stung by the Scandal will Obama survive?

  “Scandal is an importunate wasp, against which we must make no movement unless we are quite sure that we can kill it; otherwise it will ...