Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bored with politics

I have been posting less about politics and current events recently because I am pretty bored by them. If there was anything interesting going on in Washington I would have written about it.  But,  to me, it has been mostly just more partisan wars to no real import other than scoring points by one side against the other.  Dull, dull, dull.

OK, so what about the scandals of the administration?  To me, they are less than meets the eye.

First, the IRS singling out Tea Party political groups claiming to be humanitarian groups in order to qualify for tax-exempt and donor-revealing exempt status.  It was wrong, of course, for the IRS of a Democratic administration to focus on conservative political organizations for extra scrutiny and harassment.  But I just don't believe it was directed by Obama or the White House.  I think it was local decisions.  However, I do think that the White House set the moral tone that permeated the local IRS. By that, I mean that Obama personally did all he could to signal his administration that he thought the law that created special ways for huge political contributions from corporations and multi-billionaires via the Supreme Courts decision on Citizen's United was a bad law and should be overturned.  So, I guess it was no surprise that some in his administration saw that law as not one to be very careful in enforcing.  Bad on them, and bad on the president.

That being said, I think the law is stupid as well.  Indeed, I think that all tax exemptions for political organizations should be eliminated.  The notion that organizations with Tea Party identifiers on the right, or Socialist activist monikers on the left for that matter, should be tax exempt is ridiculous.  Tax them all.  Make them all reveal their donors.  All of their donors.  Citizen's United just gives power to a shadow government of super wealthy oligarchs.  It is fundamentally undemocratic and should be unconstitutional.  While we're at it, tax religious organizations too.  I'm sick of tax exemptions to wealthy organizations that have to be picked up by the middle class.

Next, the Big Brother scandals of the National Security Agency's monitoring of electronic communications in search of terrorists.  Although the potential for abuse is profound, I think that Obama's use of it is understandable and acceptable, just as I thought Bush's use of it was understandable and acceptable when the New York Times exposed his data mining back in his term.  The Dems erupted in outrage when the target was Bush, and now some Reps want to erupt now that they can see a way to target Obama.  As far as I can tell there are a number of checks on the powers of data mining and narrow focusing in on terrorists.  The point is to find people who are, by definition, trying not to be found until after they kill Americans.  It is the job of the NSA and the administration to find them before they kill.  Good job.  Keep it up.

As to Benghazi, give it up.  The administration made a pretty big mistake in not protecting its embassies.  Let's hope it is a lesson learned and will be done better in the future.  Trying to turn this into some kind of impeachable offense is just stupid, as far as I'm concerned.  Trying to use this as a way to destroy Clinton's chances at a presidential run in '16 is just politics as usual, annoying, distracting, and forgettable.  Move on.

I think it is time for the government to govern.  Do the Reps really think all they have to do is vote to overturn Obamacare 37 times that they are governing?  or that all they have to do is hate and oppose Obama and that is the ticket to their future victories?

Clearly, Obama has given up on the idea of finding bi-partisan solutions in Washington.  He has appointed three judges to the D.C. District Court, appointed Susan Rice to be his National Security advisor, and Samantha Powers to be U.N. Ambassador.  He is surrounding himself with more and more like minded people and given up on the "team of rivals" concept that he modeled after Lincoln's administration.  The Reps have only themselves to blame.  Their only goal for the last five years has been to demonize Obama.  They have taken themselves off the political map by offering only negatives rather than visions.  They need a vision, or better yet, a visionary.  But as long as they are in the clutches of talk radio, conspiracy theories, the Washington Times, and the Tea Party, they are lost in a wilderness of their own creation.  I don't know how they survive.