Upon hearing that former President Barack Obama recently boasted that he had a scandal-free administration, my first thought after regaining my faculties was: How can I possibly cram all the evidence refuting this into a little bitty column?
Then I read that what he actually said was, “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” At first blush, that sounds better, right? Because I assume he doesn’t mean he’s incapable of being embarrassed. After a little more thought, though, it occurred to me that this construction just highlights the real reason he has apparently deluded himself into thinking he served eight honorable years: The liberal media had his back the entire time, even when he treated them like dirt.
In fact, Obama was a perpetual power-abusing machine. He was so routinely high-handed and selectively contemptuous of the rule of law that people were beginning to think presidential authoritarianism was the new normal. How ironic that so many of Obama’s enablers are now projecting these sins onto President Trump, who — to this point, at least — hasn’t actually crossed the line into flouting the Constitution. The left believes — and acts on the belief — that the ends justify the means, and so, it naturally assumes we will do the same. Obama was hell-bent on fundamentally transforming America as founded, and he was willing to scratch, bite, kick, steal and flush the rule of law to accomplish it — and he did, like no president before him. In other words, Obama’s lies were OK because lies are sometimes necessary for the greater good.
For your review, let me just give you a list of examples, many of them snatched from my two Obama books, which chronicled his two disgraceful terms. Not all technically qualify as scandals, but enough do.
—Benghazi: In addition to the scandalous betrayal and deaths of our people, Obama and his cohorts concocted and disseminated the lie that the attack on our consulate was caused by an anti-Muslim video. Later, Judicial Watch obtained a smoking-gun email from top-level Obama aid Ben Rhodes, sent to a dozen members of Obama’s inner circle, that contained talking points to prepare then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the Sunday talk shows. Three of the four main bullet points Rhodes was advising Rice to convey were patently false, including the lie about the video. They knew, because the CIA made it clear, that the attack was not the result of a spontaneous protest of an anti-Muslim video but preplanned by al-Qaida. The Obama administration manufactured this canard to insulate Obama from criticism two months before the November 2012 election, as he had boasted that he had al-Qaida on the run.
—Obama’s IRS conspired to target conservative and pro-Israel groups for discriminatory treatment in acquiring tax exemptions.
—Obama and then-Attorney general Eric Holder’s Justice Department was never held to account for its actions on the gunrunning scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, in which an American was murdered with weapons this administration deliberately put into the hands of Mexican cartels.
—This same Justice Department was also under a cloud due to scandals involving its massive culling of Associated Press reporters’ phone records concerning a leak investigation, slandering Fox News reporter James Rosen over classified information, and monitoring Rosen’s phone calls and emails.
—Obama’s lies on Obamacare were legion and scandalous: He knew from the jump we couldn’t keep our plans or our doctors and that Obamacare would reduce rather than increase people’s access to care. He knew it wouldn’t reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average family of four. He deceived us when he said no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions. He grossly distorted the picture of the true number of uninsured. His goal, proved on videotape, was always single-payer. He used budgetary accounting gimmicks to grease Obamacare by the CBO, including the double counting on Medicare.
—After Obama’s failure to pass cap-and-trade legislation through Congress to purportedly reduce the global temperature by suppressing traditional energy production and consumption, his Environmental Protection Agency unilaterally and unconstitutionally issued a decree to accomplish his goal administratively. Some called this one of the biggest power grabs in American history, as the EPA had positioned itself to regulate fuel economy, set climate policy for the nation and amend the Clean Air Act — powers never delegated to it by Congress.
—The Obama administration flagrantly defied a federal court order on his moratorium on offshore drilling when his interior secretary, Ken Salazar, said he would just reimpose the moratorium based on information that wasn’t fully developed earlier.
—Obama rigged the playing field to secure for his labor-union friends a bigger stake in his new General Motors than was warranted by their actual ownership interest. He robbed secured creditors of their preferred-creditor status and the value of their investment by using the power of his office to strong-arm a restructuring of the company. When Democratic Party donor and super-lawyer Tom Lauria opposed this plan on behalf of his client, according to Lauria, the White House threatened to destroy his client’s reputation.
—The Obama-Hillary Clinton FISA scandal, the egregiousness of which is being casually dismissed by many, will someday be fully exposed.
—Then, there’s the Iran nuclear deal, Obama’s unprecedented federal land grabs; his dismissal of a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party that had already been won; his bullying of doctors and insurance companies when it served his purposes; his endless stirring of the racial pot; his bullying and fact-starved attack on BP that culminated in his authoritarian command, “Just plug the damn hole”; his stable of unaccountable “czars”; his war on Fox News, which preceded Trump’s battles with the press that Democrats find so horrifying; the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal; the Solyndra scandal; the deliberate targeting of the coal industry; the shakedown of banks; the massive redistribution scheme disguised as an economic stimulus program; the federal commandeering of the student loan program; his public dressing down of the Supreme Court; his whispered hot-mic pledge to Russia to be more flexible on missile defense; his cavalier treatment of Arizona and its immigration laws; and gobs more.
I truly could go on, but I trust you get the picture.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is “Jesus Is Risen: Paul and the Early Church.” Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.