“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” United States Congress
Countless analogies are being made between the current controversies facing the Obama administration and the Watergate scandal during the Nixon administration.
Conservatives have called the Benghazi attack of 2012 “Obama’s Watergate”. Two assaults on two separate US diplomatic compounds occurred, including an attack on the United States Consulate, killing four Americans including the US ambassador to Libya.
A second analogy to Watergate has been made by the Conservatives on the issue of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) officials’ admitted application of intense scrutiny to Tea Party affiliated groups which are applying for tax-exempt status.
A third analogy is being made with the associated Press scandal where the Department Of Justice informed the AP that it has secretly seized phone records of reporters and editors apparently to pinpoint a leak on a CIA-foiled terrorism plot.
How similar are these admittedly, scandals and controversies to the Watergate scandal of 1973 in which there was a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and the Nixon administration’s attempts to cover-up its involvement? In this case, there was mounting evidence that President Nixon’s staff and the President himself were involved. This scandal eventually led to the resignation of President Nixon.
A resignation or an impeachment of President Obama is undoubtedly exactly what the Conservatives are aiming for with these accusations and analogies but it is being done with complete disregard to the actual facts. In the case of the IRS scandal, President Obama has condemned the acts and the FBI has ordered an official investigation into the matter. The IRS scandal can only be deemed another Watergate if it is found that the targeting of Tea-Party groups was under direct orders from the White House. There is absolutely no evidence of this.
In the case of the AP phone records, the Obama administration has indicted six current and former government officials on charges related to the leaks, far more than any other previous administration.
Some analysts claim that Washington DC has turned its back on Obama by Republicans for sure but also by some Democrats. These incidents have been seen as some as over-played. The justification of this could be that this is the golden opportunity for the Republicans to start preparing ground for and winning the 2014 midterm elections of the House of Representatives and the Senate. What better way to attempt to set a solid foundation in order to achieve this goal than to bank on and overplay the “scandal” card just like what had been done during President Clinton’s second term which involved his extra-marital relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky? Why this matter, which was entirely a personal issue between President Clinton and First Lady had become a matter of national debate and scandal is
beyond any reason. Once again, the impeachment crusade has started, hopefully to fizzle out just as quickly as it has begun.
However, it is far from time for the Republicans to start celebrating victory. Taking advantage of the current yet temporary setbacks of the Obama administration could only be a disadvantage for the Republicans eventually. The midterm elections are still eighteen months away and it may very well be (if the Democrats’ wishes come true) that the Republicans become so obsessed and occupied with investigating the President that they ignore much more significant and pressing issues that the middle-class electorate cares much more about. In the process, it may seem that the Republicans are searching for a unicorn in a field in their crusade attempts to scandalise the President directly and have him impeached. The reason for this is that neither the President nor anyone in his inner circle have yet to be linked directly to any of these controversies.
To add to this, the US economy has been on the steady road to recovery with retail and car sales on the rise. More than six point five million jobs have been created bringing unemployment to its lowest rate since 2008 and the housing market has seen tremendous improvements. Amidst all these plus points, should the Republicans be
ignoring the growth factors of the Obama administration and concentrate on issues that really, do not concern the common man personally nor put food on the table? This in no way undermines the controversial issues facing the administration at the moment and it is certainly the responsibility of this administration to investigate thoroughly all three matters. But from that for the Republicans to demand impeachment of the President without any shred of proof is simply baseless and no doubt intended for political gains.
Furthermore, how any comparisons can be made between any of these controversies and Watergate, which to this day remains the single biggest political scandal for a US Presidency, in which the President himself was proven to be involved in illegal wire taps, is incomprehensible. Should these controversies not have occurred,
perhaps one could have been found and intensely blown out of proportion like for the “Monicagate” scandal which involved President Clinton!
President Obama has said that he plans to govern for the remainder of his three and a half year term, clearly indicating that he will not weaken his position on any of the issues regardless of what the opposing team throws his way.
Now if only the opposing team could focus on real issues also…