Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Feeding the paranoia

The Obama administration is having a real problem right now with scandals of their own making.  

The right wing of the Republican Party has always seen Obama as a totalitarian in the making, and they have been screaming that his long range  design was a Big Brother Socialist take-over of the country.  The latest paranoia from the hard core Right Wing was that he was coming after their guns under the guise of background checks and limits on magazine sizes, that he was taking over the medical industry to create a socialist Utopian dream, and using government to destroy personal freedoms in order to empower his Socialist totalitarian state. 

This has always seemed silly to me, and just some combination of paranoia and political scare tactics to advance a political agenda.

But…what on earth is going on with this administration?

The Bengazi attack was spun for political purposes to look like it wasn't a terrorist attack, right in the middle of the presidential campaign.  The truth came out, and only three days after the infamous Susan Rice’s Sunday shows talking points that the attack was a response to an American anti-Muslim film, so I can easily write that off as the government message being muddled by inter-departmental fights over who was to blame for the disaster (C.I.A. vs State Department).  OK.

Then, we have the IRS scandal where obviously right wing political groups are targeted by the administration, again, in the middle of the presidential election cycle.  This is the kind of thing that Nixon was famously accused of doing back in his abuse of power days. 

Then, we have AP reporters’ phone logs being tracked by the Justice Department trying to track down sources of a story that the administration didn't like.

All of a sudden, the paranoid Right Wing has all the evidence that it needs that the government is mushrooming into the totalitarian monster that they have been warning of for the last four years plus. 

Obama needs to respond very quickly and harshly to punish these abuses of power.  The IRS and the AP scandals at least must have full investigative disclosure and people responsible must be removed, and perhaps prosecuted for criminal activity.

I understand that what the administration did seemed fully justified in their minds - preventing life threatening leaks and taking short cuts to weed out the legitimate from the illegitimate tax exempt and donor disclosure exempt organizations.  But, they appear to have crossed the line.  And it certainly feels like political persecution to their political opponents, who now have justification for their claims of persecution and suppression by the state.

What I have been writing about for some time is that if a party does not have a viable opposition, it will become corrupt and abuse power.  It is the nature of power to justify corrupt tactics to crush those who oppose it.  Power assumes it is doing good, and assumes that crushing opposition is good because it is part of pursuing the good it is trying to do. 

Obama needs to crush the abuses in his own administration in order to keep his legitimacy.  It is bad enough that the opposition is paranoid about his intentions, without having proof that he is abusing his power for political advantage.