Thursday, May 16, 2013


With unintended help from a stumbling Administration, the GOP seems to be succeeding in changing the subject. There ought to be outrage over the GOP’s extreme attack on the people, its total blockade against anything and everything government should be doing in critical times.  Instead, it’s Darrell Issa time, time to go for blood against Obama.

It’s not beside the point that the Administration has made itself vulnerable. Still it’s the people who suffer the consequences if the GOP can call the shots, shifting public attention away from the most urgent problems and from its obvious commitment to political sabotage.

Obama’s vulnerability stems in part from his loyalty to the “national security” state. He has failed to challenge effectively past violations of civil liberties and international law made in the name of “homeland security”. In the main, his administration has carried those policies forward, claiming executive powers to cover unlawful detentions, illegal surveillance, and even targeted assassinations. As in the past, government conceals inconvenient facts; secrecy prevails over the public’s right to know. (Look what’s happening to Private Manning who dared to blow the whistle.)

Of course, these are not the things Darrell Issa and John Boehner want to investigate. It seems the IRS’s selective and stupid offense to the Tea Party is what matters, not exemptions granted wholesale to superPACs to legitimate their money laundering scam.

Discredited as the rightist Congress and the GOP have become, they see witch hunts and obstruction as the tested way to force the Administration into unending crisis and collapse. If Obama only plays defense and appeasement in the face of “scandal”, inflated or not, the glimmers of remaining hope in his presidency may be overwhelmed. But the people and the country will suffer the heaviest defeat if the fight against the “sequester” and the austerity disaster is derailed.

We’ve seen this sort of thing before, but the stakes get higher all the time. Corrupt and racist political demagogues have been thwarted and beaten back many times in our history, often when expectations were dire. 

Huge majorities of Americans want gun control, oppose the “sequester”, and distrust war mongers; still Congress says “No”. It should be possible, with struggle, to bring things into better balance.


  1. I'm confused (no surprise). Why are political groups tax exempt, but my contributions to political causes not? Tea Party groups should receive no different treatment from the IRS than other groups of the type, but should any of them, left or right, get tax preference?

  2. Just as a sidelight to this minor aspect of current problems: why do any political groups, left, right or centrist, get tax exemption from the IRS? My contributions do not.