Scandal Fever & The Right’s Nixon Narrative Problem

According to the right’s current narrative, the Obama administration is abusing its power. They claim that recent events indicate plotting and machinations by the President and his advisers that rise to the high crimes of the Nixon era.

Putting aside just how phony these “scandals” are, based on the faux history the right has peddled for decades now, shouldn’t they be cheering?

nixon-helicopterBecause up until recently, the right had Nixon as the good guy. The original sin of the supposed “liberal media” was railroading Richard Nixon out of office, amplifying the break-in and subsequent abuse of power to the level of a “high crime.” This resulted in the only President to resign in disgrace, an eternal blot on the Republican Party.

So thorough was the right’s fake Nixon narrative that several of his co-conspirators – Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy – went on to prosperous second acts within the conservative community.

But now, on a dime, they’ve turned and adopted the mainstream modern narrative on Nixon. Because it benefits them to attack Obama, suddenly Nixon is back to being the bad guy. The same people who wave the bloody flag of bias over the Nixon era have suddenly found value in attaching it to the fake scandals they attribute to the Obama administration.

It’s very much like the party of gutting and killing Medicare attacking Obama for supposedly cutting Medicare. Or the party of not capturing Bin Laden attacking Obama for being soft on terrorism.

It is yet another example of a party and movement untethered from reality and willing to discard its long-built narrative in favor of temporary (eventually fruitless) outrage and rhetoric.

I have no doubt that after these attacks on Obama come up empty (as they did with Clinton), the narrative will reset and Nixon will go back to being the victim, for as long as it is convenient.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Curran/100002510899902 Cynthia Curran

    Up until just a few days ago, the GOP was claiming that Nixon was set up, and they still considered him a hero. My Aunt, a faithful Fox Propaganda viewer, worships El Tubbo Limpblimp, and a life long repuke, still talks about how Nixon was a good man who did nothing wrong and was framed by the evil democrats. She still believes that Watergate was a manufactured scandal.

    Nixon is dislike by most of the right these days, your aunt is an old lady. Nixon did some liberal things because the US was more to the left, affirmative action category of Hispanics, some more welfare spending though not as much as the Democratics of his day. National Review about 5 or 6 years ago considered Nixon more of the fascists right instead of the fiscal Con or Libertarian Right. Believe me reading about his life he was not that far on the right, many on the right were mad at his meeting with China even some Cold World Liberals like Scoop Jackson father of the neo-cons opposed Nixon on China as being soft on communistism. Nixon as a young man was involved with the Hiss case but as an adult he was realpolitik on foreign policy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cynthia-Curran/100002510899902 Cynthia Curran

    After, Reagan the right has dislike Nixon for years over the Epa, wage and price controls and so forth. Nixon was not the model conservative.

  • 1Smith1

    Oliver, I’ve been saying the same thing since this story first broke.

    Up until just a few days ago, the GOP was claiming that Nixon was set up, and they still considered him a hero. My Aunt, a faithful Fox Propaganda viewer, worships El Tubbo Limpblimp, and a life long repuke, still talks about how Nixon was a good man who did nothing wrong and was framed by the evil democrats. She still believes that Watergate was a manufactured scandal.

    I keep asking trolls if they’re finally admitting that Nixon was corrupt, or if they’re saying that Obama is a good man whose done nothing wrong and is being framed by the repukes. It’s strange how the trolls disappear and/or fail to answer.

  • SlapFat

    If the President dropped a marble in a hallway someone would scream and proclaim it “Marblegate.” The sheer hysteria and childish finger-pointing at anything Obama does is tedious and annoying. And we keep falling for it.

  • SaveFarris

    Also using the IRS to investigate those who may be committing tax fraud is no scandal in my eyes.
    Cool. Hope you enjoy getting audited 8 ways from Sunday simply for committing the “crime” of being a registered (D) under a future President (R). That’s a hell of a precedent your team is setting!

    • Zython
    • dbtheonly

      Wrongo Farris. We’re talking about the Tea Party applying for tax exempt status. The Tea Party would never engage in politics or run candidates, or hold conventions, or do other political stuff. Tax exempts are restricted in their political activities, remember?

      • SaveFarris

        The Tea Party would never engage in politics or run candidates, or hold conventions, or do other political stuff.
        Neither would Media Matters! (wink, wink)

        • dbtheonly

          Oliver would be the one to explain what he is and is not permitted to do at work. Always assuming Media Matters is a tax-exempt.

        • 1Smith1

          When has Media Matters endorsed any particular candidate? Please provide credible proof. A link to an actual Media Matters article will do. I doubt you’ll do so. You’re perfectly content to just believe what your Fox Propaganda masters tell you. Bill O’Loofah tells you that Media Matters is bad and you stupidly and blindly believe him. Honestly, how sad for you.

      • Cthulhu0818

        Nor do they have to reveal their donors, which I suspect is one of their primary reasons for registering as a tax exempt.

        The IRS suddenly sees hundreds, of tax exempt applications from right wing tea party groups, and decide to do their job, which is look into these groups and see if everything is on the up and up. NOT ONE GROUP WAS DENIED. So wheres the scandal?
        And there aren’t any real scandals here. What we have is a bunch of Rethuglicans throwing more of their monkey feces against the wall trying to see what might stick. They’ve been desperately trying to find something, anything, they can use to impeach Obama over since he first took the oath of office.
        It’s scandal of the week with these yahoos, trumped up, overhyped stories that fall apart under the weight of their own irrelevance (Or end up back in the lap of Obama’s predecessor, the guy the GOP pretends never existed, remember the “Fast and Furious” debacle?) and despite Republican pearl clutching.

        • dbtheonly

          Disagree only is so far as I still call them the “Scandals du jour”. Week is far too long.

    • http://frothslosh.typepad.com/ Ol Froth

      Future President (R)? It happened under the LAST President (R)! Still doesn’t make it right, although this smacks more a buraucratic hamhanded bungling. From Salon: (links seem to be landing posts in endless moderation) While few are defending the Internal Revenue Service for targeting some 300 conservative groups, there are two critical pieces of context missing from the conventional wisdom on the “scandal.” First, at least from what we know so far, the groups were not targeted in a political vendetta — but rather were executing a makeshift enforcement test (an ugly one, mind you) for IRS employees tasked with separating political groups not allowed to claim tax-exempt status, from bona fide social welfare organizations. Employees are given almost zero official guidance on how to do that, so they went after Tea Party groups because those seemed like they might be political. Compare that to this:

      “I wish there was more GOP interest when I raised the same issue during the Bush administration, where they audited a progressive church in my district in what look liked a very selective way,” California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on MSNBC Monday. “I found only one Republican, [North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones], that would join me in calling for an investigation during the Bush administration. I’m glad now that the GOP has found interest in this issue and it ought to be a bipartisan concern.”

      The well-known church, All Saints Episcopal in Pasadena, became a bit of a cause célèbre on the left after the IRS threatened to revoke the church’s tax-exempt status over an anti-Iraq War sermon the Sunday before the 2004 election.
      The important thing is that the IRS should never be used as a bludgeon to quash dissent, and there IS a difference between investigating if a group applying for tax exempt status, and threatening to revoke the tax exempt status because a church is opposed to war.

      • http://frothslosh.typepad.com/ Ol Froth

        Eh, not my clearest writing.

        • dbtheonly

          I understood. & agreed. Enjoy the +1 vote.

  • Dennis

    Feds Seize AP Phone Records

    Obama’s got no patience for any if this. He won’t tolerate it. There’s just no ‘there’ there. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    Yeesh.

    The Chicago Way.

    Right about now Obama could use a blogger posting a picture of him as Superman yelling “I GOT THIS!”

    • dbtheonly

      Investigating leaks about a terrorist plot is now bad?

      It’s
      Bad
      If
      You’re a

      Democrat.

      IBIYD

      Or, We’ve seen this before.

      • 1Smith1

        Yep. Just a few months ago the repukes were up in arms demanding that President Obama get to the bottom of a leak that supposedly came from an anonymous White House official. Now we find out that the DoJ is trying to get to the bottom of a leak and the repukes are clutching their pearls and pooping their panties. Or they’re doing what Dennis is doing…bringing up Chicago and trying to equate this to “the Chicago Way” or “Chicago politics”. I wonder if it’s El Tubbo Limpblimp or Batshitcrazy Beck feeding them this latest talking point bullshit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jasper.crockett Jasper Crockett

    LOL. You’ve got your work cut out for you trying to cover this **** up now don’t ya?

    1) part of the reason Nixon was impeached was using the IRS to target political enemies
    2) he was, and always will be in the wrong, and “the bad guy.”
    3) heads need to roll for this, and if Obama knew anything about this, or worse, condoned it, he’s unworthy of holding the highest office, and should suffer the same fate as Nixon. Time will tell.

    And um….if I remember right, Clinton was disbarred, perjured himself, and damn near kicked out of office. I think saying the charges came up empty is just a wee bit off base.

    Nonetheless, good luck in your quest to excuse the IRS for acting like a poor man’s Gestapo because the guy in the White House has a (D) behind his name.

    Gawd, I just love politics.

    • JozefAL

      Gods, just how fucking stupid are you?

      #1–Nixon was NOT impeached. Never. DID NOT HAPPEN. That’s on the record. He resigned BEFORE the House could begin the impeachment process. (Additionally, his resignation was tied in to the Watergate scandal, NOT any malicious use of the IRS.)

      #2–Obviously not, as Oliver’s pointed out the right-wing spent the better part of the last 40 years claiming that Nixon was targeted by liberals.

      #3–Why? No heads rolled during Dubya’s term despite the MANY lies that he and Cheney and Powell and Rumsfeld and Rice told to the American people. And the only person who got any wrist-slap during Dubya’s entire administration was Scooter Libby, who fell on the sword to protect Dubya (possibly) and Cheney (probably) over the Valerie Plame “scandal.” You mean, you don’t remember the “scandal?” A real-life CIA opeative whose very identity and MIDDLE EAST CONTACTS were jeopardized as political retribution because her husband wouldn’t go along with the Bush-Cheney lies about the “yellow-cake uranium.” Yet, Darrell Issa and the rest of the current GOP “investigators” who were serving in Congress then DID NOT GIVE A RAT’S ASS about the Executive Branch’s outing a CIA operative.

      As far as Bill Clinton, you might want to remember how the Clinton investigation began. It started off as an investigation into a REAL ESTATE DEAL that certain right-wingers decided was shady, despite having any actual, you know, evidence. Once Whitewater started, the GOP went off onto whatever tangent it felt MIGHT turn up something incriminating against Clinton–no matter how completely IRRELEVANT it was to the office of President or Clinton’s overall performance of that job.

      Considering you don’t seem to have the slightest fucking grasp on politics, I don’t see how you can “enjoy” it. Granted, idiots who get their “political knowledge” from the likes of FoxNoise shouldn’t be expected to know anything more than what their masters tell them. An audience that can think for itself is NOT what FoxNoise wants.

      • JozefAL

        Forgot to add a major scandal under Dubya that was largely ignored by FoxNoise and the rest of the right-wing: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. His connection with the unusual terminations of more than a half-dozen US Attorneys; his belief that there’s no right to habeus corpus; his support of “enhanced interrogation techniques”; his wholehearted approval of NSA domestic eavesdropping.

        I can safely say that, if current AG Eric Holder either advocated or had been involved with ANY of the above activities, there would be non-stop congressional “hearings” on Holder’s “suitability” as AG. It’s worth noting that, had Congress been in GOP hands in 2007, Gonzales would’ve served until Dubya left office. It was only outrage on the part of Congressional Democrats that led Gonzales to resign before articles of impeachment could be brought against him.

      • dbtheonly

        Jozef,

        Nixon was impeached. The House voted articles of Impeachment & passed them on to the Senate where the issue became moot when Nixon resigned. Check the timing. Some of us are old enough to remember seeing the House vote on TV.

        • ranger11

          I don’t think he was impeached by the full House. Just by the Judiciary Committee. I believe he resigned before a vote could be taken by the House as a whole. Probably would have been impeached if it got there though.

          • dbtheonly

            It’s been 40 years; but I recall the committee voted, it went to the full House & passed. Then everyone was counting Senate votes & when Barry Goldwater stated that he’d vote for conviction; Nixon resigned in the next day or so. Things were moving fast. On the other hand the final procedural vote might have come after the resignation. As I said things were moving fast.

            Buzz,

            I’m not sure where you’re going. Tax fraud is for the IRS to investigate. Racial profiling for the DOJ Civil Rights Div.

          • Buzz Killington

            db, my impression was that you were saying that you aren’t interested in who, nor why, the IRS investigates, so long as the target may be guilty. Could the same not be said in support of racial profiling? After all, one could say, arabs may be terrorists, black guys may be car thieves, etc.

            I guess I should make it clear that I am disputing this justification, not seeking to justify racial profiling.

          • dbtheonly

            Buzz, you’re a friend of long standing. I wouldn’t think that of you.

            The IRS should investigate everyone they have Probable Cause to suspect might be cheating on taxes. I don’t see how the color of one’s skin, native language, or birthplace could produce such evidence.

            I see, easily, how a Tea Party group could violate the regulations on permissible activities for a tax-exempt.

          • Buzz Killington

            That’s very kind of you db, thanks. In any event, as more information comes out it does seem like this is indeed a minor “scandal”, although I still find the discussion of motivations interesting even if it’s merely academic.

            So, I agree that skin color, language, and birthplace are not evidence of anything. However, you seem to think that political ideology is. Why is it acceptable to suspect a group because of that, but not, say, religion?

            Or, to ask it the other way around, why is it not acceptable for religion to raise suspicion, and then why doesn’t that reason apply to political ideology?

          • dbtheonly

            Buzz,

            You’ve got it backward. To my mind the Tea Party is dedicated to political activism & that activism is the very thing that may queer the tax-exempt status. It’s not the focus of that activism; but the activism itself that raises the red flag.

        • Buzz Killington

          “Also using the IRS to investigate those who may be committing tax fraud”

          Doesn’t this argument apply equally to racial profiling?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jasper.crockett Jasper Crockett

            To add to that, how much in back taxes did federal employees owe? Seems they’re targeting the wrong people too…..

          • ThePanicMan

            You really are a dumb fucker, aren’t you?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jasper.crockett Jasper Crockett

            We’ve got Zython-degree stupid here.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663669914 Sean Richardson

          The Judiciary Committee voted to go forward with the impeachment, on three separate counts, but then the audio tapes were released before the full House, let alone the Senate, could vote on the issue.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jasper.crockett Jasper Crockett

        My bad, he resigned before he was officially thrown out of office. Also, I suggest you read the articles of impeachment with Nixon. Part of it absolutely did include using the IRS as a weapon against political enemies. Read up.

        I’ve been waiting 11 years or someone in the left to bring bush/Cheney up in some kind if charges. Yet still, nothing. If you have a smoking gun, go for it. If not, stfu. Obama IRS scandal will be investigated, and heads will roll. In this instance, we actually HAVE them admitting to wrongdoing. The questions how far-reaching is it. If Obama knew or sanctioned this, he’s toast.

        • Zython

          Yeah, because I remember you raising a fit when liberal organizations were targeted by the IRS during the Bush administration. Wait…

          • http://www.facebook.com/jasper.crockett Jasper Crockett

            If you’ll notice, I don’t engage you. You never offer anything substantive to any conversation. Ever.

            Now run along and find someone to scream “rayyyyycisssst” at.

          • Christopher Foxx

            You never offer anything substantive to any conversation.

            Translation: You keep pointing out my hypocrisy so I’m going to ignore you.

          • Dennis

            Except everyone says the same thing about Zython. It’s obvious to even first-time posters.

          • Christopher Foxx

            And right on schedule here comes Dennis with the (false) look-over-there.

            Not once will he ever “Yeah, the guy on my side did wrong.”
            Not even a mutual “Yeah, my guy did wrong but so has yours.”
            Always it’s “Never mind my guy, let’s list what your’s has done wrong.”

            It’s really kinda sad, actually..

          • Lady Willpower

            It would actually be refreshing if he did the obnoxious “both sides do it” shit, but nope. Just “look over there!” every time.

          • Dennis

            It would actually be refreshing if he did the obnoxious “both sides do it” shit, but nope.

            That statement makes no sense, Lady W. If you think the phrase ‘both sides do it’ is obnoxious, how could it then be ‘refreshing’ at the same time?

            You’re projecting here. You don’t think your side is that bad. You don’t want your side to be bad at all. When it is bad, you live in denial or you reason it out of your mind as being bad. You think the statement ‘both sides do it’ is obnoxious because you don’t believe ‘both sides do it’, rather, you believe just one side does it. Yet you state it would be refreshing for me to say it? That only means you’re being critical of me for the same behavior you’re guilty of yourself. Obama is stuck here with three huge scandals to try to wiggle his way out of at a time when the economy is still in critical shape with huge unemployment among several severely-affected groups, and now he has the press turning against him, and all you and Zython offer is ‘why didn’t you guys raise a fit when liberal organizations were targeted by the IRS during the Bush administration’.

            You both are the ones who want to play the ‘both sides do it’ card now.

            It’s always projection with you guys.

          • Zython

            That statement makes no sense, Lady W. If you think the phrase ‘both sides do it’ is obnoxious, how could it then be ‘refreshing’ at the same time?

            Obnoxiousness can have different levels, dumbass.

            Obama is stuck here with three huge scandals to try to wiggle his way out

            No, we have an example of a political group whining that the IRS considered treating them as a political group, and we have Alex Jones types claiming that Obama orchestrated a terrorist attack for god knows what reason.

            when the economy is still in critical shape with huge unemployment among several severely-affected groups

            And when those severely-affected groups spoke up, you told them that they were smelly hippies who should get a job. Your crocodile tears aren’t fooling anyone, Dennis.

            and all you and Zython offer is ‘why didn’t you guys raise a fit when liberal organizations were targeted by the IRS during the Bush administration’.

            For someone who’s always whining about “liberal hypocrisy”, you seem to be really reluctant on owning up to your own.

          • Dennis

            And when those severely-affected groups spoke up, you told them that they were smelly hippies who should get a job.

            I did no such thing, Identity thief Zython. You are a liar with both a bad memory and a child-like imagination when it comes to pointing fingers.

          • Zython

            Wait, you forgot what I said earlier on this very page, and I’m the one with the bad memory. Yeah, sure buddy.

          • 1Smith1

            Actually, the right-wing are the experts at projecting.

          • Christopher Foxx

            You’re projecting here.“, lies, Dennis. Projecting with all his might.

          • Dennis

            You’ve lowered yourself to mimicking Zython now, Christopher, playing the kid games. I know what you are, but what am I? Impressive.

          • Christopher Foxx

            You’ve lowered yourself to mimicking Zython now, Christopher, playing the kid games.

            When dealing with a child like Dennis, what else is one to do?

          • Lady Willpower

            Refreshing in this context only means “less annoying than what you’re actually doing.”

          • Christopher Foxx

            Every time.

            Really wish he’d get a new shtick, just for the variety.

          • Dennis

            Funny coming from you, Christopher. The only thing you’ll acknowledge that your side has done wrong is that they’ve been too nice to Republicans and not fought them harder.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Funny coming from you, Christopher. The only thing you’ll acknowledge that your side has done wrong is that they’ve been too nice to Republicans and not fought them harder.

            Dennis really hasn’t been paying attention, has he?

          • http://www.facebook.com/jasper.crockett Jasper Crockett

            LOL This is true. Lurked here for a bit. Figured zython to have little depth fairly quickly. Rude, childish, predictable and never arguing in good faith would be my assessment.

          • Dennis

            Spot on.

          • Zython

            Except everyone says the same thing about Zython.

            Everyone? Even Tibetan monks?

          • 1Smith1

            I’ve never said that about Zython. So, you are, once again, proving yourself a liar.

          • Zython

            Wouldn’t it just be easier to admit that your wrong rather than run and hide every time I show up?

        • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.laurent.14 Timothy Laurent

          why they wernt brought up on charges is one of the things that have boggled the minds of anyone who actually belives in no one is above the law yet the Obama admin didnt persue charges as they rightly should have mabey they thought the republicans like clinton belives if they let the criminals in those republican admin off the hook the republicans would actually do the job the people wanted them to do instead of goin off on a tangent and trying to destroy anything meaningful that might help this country…but since the bought and payed for party isnt intrested in that its business as usual hypocracy and fearmongering conspriacy theories so go on with ur deluded self if thats what makes you happy you poor poor misguided fool

          • Christopher Foxx

            Punctuation, Timothy. You’re just spewing near-unreadable nonsense without it.

    • http://frothslosh.typepad.com/ Ol Froth

      I think going after the telephone records of the AP reporters in order to locate a leaker was absolutly wrong, and chilling to the notion of a free press. The Bush administration was wrong for using National Security letters to fish for information, and the Obama administration is equally wrong. Unfortunatly, there is nothing illegal about what the Justice Department did according to the laws governing National Security letters, and since the receiver of the letter is barred from even disclosing that they received one, it makes it very, very difficult to challenge the Constitutionality of the tactic. The very existence of this sweeping power, which is IMHO a Fourth Amendment violation is the REAL scandal, and not phoney nonsense about talking points and bungling by IRS beuraucrats. Of course, republicans have no problem with the practice so long as its a republican administration exercising it.