Obama Tries To Stop The Bleeding

by William Teach | May 16, 2013 7:19 am

If our supposedly fair and independent press would have done their jobs over the past 4+ years there would have been quite a bit more bleeding from Mr. Chicago Way

(Politico[1]) In recent days, Democratic strategists have all but begged President Barack Obama to take control of a deepening public relations disaster that threatens to derail his second-term agenda.

On Wednesday evening, Obama did just that. The White House released 100 pages of emails and documents showing the evolution of the administration’s talking points about the Benghazi attack. Just over an hour later, Obama himself came to the podium to announce that he’d directed his Treasury secretary to request the resignation of the acting IRS commissioner – and had gotten it.

So did two decisive actions on one rapid-fire news night stop the bleeding?

Well, ah, no. That resignation of the acting IRS commish? He was leaving in June anyhow[2]. His was a temporary appointment lasting from November 2012 through May 2013.

The 100 pages of Benghazi emails[3]? First, they start September 14th. The attack occurred three days earlier on 9/11. Where are the emails from those days? But they do show the heavy hand of the State Department[4] watering down the original statement. Oh, and quite a few pages are simply the same email sent to someone else, rather than any sort of deep chain. They also show that the State Dept (hey, don’t they work for Obama?) wanted no part in letting people know that they had received warnings about the attacks beforehand[5]. Really, the release is a deflection and an attempt to misdirect.

But after days of anxiety, Democratic operatives said the White House has found its footing. But happy as they were to see Obama win a news cycle, they insisted he’s far from being in the clear – Republican adversaries feel that they’re only just beginning, and they’ll have another chance to lay into the administration at Friday’s hearing on the IRS.

Much of the rest of the Politico article is about Team O and Dems wanting to win the news cycles, rather than following the law, doing the right thing, fixing the issues, and holding people accountable. Team O cares about the optics, not the issues.

But, the O admin will also have to deal with the burgeoning scandal regarding the phone records of AP. He wants the Senate to pass a shield law (via The Lonely Conservative[6])

(Free Beacon[7]) However, the bill will likely contain a large carve-out for national security matters. The 2009 version of the legislation contained national security exemptions, which were included at the request of the White House.

Such a provision would likely not have shielded the AP from the Justice Department subpoena.

And someone correct me if I’m wrong, but this law would be unconstitutional, since it would consist of breaking “Congress shall pass no law….abridging the freedom of speech, and of the press…”. One would think Mr. Constitutional Professor would know that.

Then there is the matter that the DOJ obtained phone records from inside the House of Representatives[8], which, while targeting the press, could have involved members of Congress. Can you say violation of the separation of powers, and yet another stunning overreach?

I wonder what revelation we’ll be treated to today?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[9]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[10].

  1. Politico: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/obama-irs-benghazi-ap-91463.html?hp=t1_s
  2. leaving in June anyhow: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325223/Obama-fires-acting-IRS-commissioner-pressure-grows-surrounding-political-targeting-conservative-groups-sought-tax-exempt-status.html
  3. Benghazi emails: http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/15/white-house-releases-100-pages-of-benghazi-e-mails/
  4. heavy hand of the State Department: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/16/white-house-releases-100-pages-e-mails-notes-related-to-benghazi/
  5. received warnings about the attacks beforehand: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/05/the-benghazi-emails-what-do-they-show.php
  6. The Lonely Conservative: http://lonelyconservative.com/2013/05/hey-what-do-you-know-obama-suddenly-a-champion-of-the-first-amendment-sort-of/
  7. Free Beacon: http://freebeacon.com/white-house-shamed-into-defending-first-amendment/
  8. inside the House of Representatives: http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2013/05/15/would-you-believe-the-administration-bugged-the-phones-in-the-house-of-representatives/
  9. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  10. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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