Those old enough to remember Watergate will recall that once major scandals within a presidential administration get rolling, they snowball. The press finds itself reporting new developments daily. That is, assuming the press is reporting anything at all.
That hasn’t uniformly been the case under the Obama administration, though lately the scales have been falling increasingly from journalists’ eyes, making them part of the narrative. The latest to acknowledge the sad truth, NRO’s Andrew Johnson writes, is CNN’s Piers Morgan. Long a denier, Morgan last night broke new ground by characterizing the current behavior of the government as “vaguely tyrannical.” The use of the adverb vaguely is interesting (what would it take to get Morgan to call government action tyrannical without qualification?), but Morgan is new to this. Baby steps, one supposes.
The Weekly Standard notes that NBC’s Lisa Meyers has also awakened and smelled the coffee, reporting “this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election”:
The IRS commissioner ‘has known for at least a year that this was going on,’ said Myers, ‘and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What’s going on here? The IRS denied it. Then when — after these officials are briefed by the [inspector general] that this is going on, they don’t disclose it. In fact, the commissioner sent a letter to Congress in September on this subject and did not reveal this. Imagine if we — if you can — what would have happened if this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.’
The irony of at last hearing so-called elite journalists use the word tyranny in the same breath as Obama is that the president remains as clueless as ever about the extent to which his actions have been unethical if not lawless. Consider his commencement speech at Ohio State University not eleven days ago. He cautioned the graduating class:
Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
It is worth pointing out that a sham — a mockery — is precisely what he has made of our founders’ “brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule.” On his watch, government has become an oppressor unfettered by rule of law, anointing itself with the dizzying power to investigate citizens and groups who happen to disagree with the president’s policies or objectives. His actions are as far from the unique experiment in self-rule envisioned by the likes of Jefferson as any occupant of the Oval Office has ever come.
It is good that members of the press corps are finally seeing what we on the right have seen since the beginning. It is a shame it took them this long, but better late than never.
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