“Benghazi-gate,” “Umbrella-gate” and the IRS Scandal — Why These Are Good for Obama

presidentobamaIt goes without saying this past week hasn’t been the best week to be President Obama—at least it appears that way on the surface.

But then it started to occur to me that I’m so damn tired of “conspiracy theories” and witch hunts against the President.

Then another thing occurred to me—so are most Americans.

Just have a look at the poll done by Gallup that shows below average interest by Americans over both the IRS and Benghazi “scandals.”  This despite the fact that Fox News, and every other right-wing media outlet, has pushed these events as something as bad as 9/11 and Watergate.

People are sick of the fear mongering, they’re sick of the ridiculousness and they’re growing sick of Republicans.

But the sad fact is, I know Republicans won’t quit.

Since President Obama has been in office it’s been one thing after another with these people.  From fake birth certificates, to death panels, links to the Muslim Brotherhood, living under fake identities, fake college transcripts—honestly I could just keep going, but you get the picture.

It’s been an endless stream of ridiculous and asinine fear mongering against the President.  I’ve honestly never seen anything like it.

In fact, to find anything similar you have to go back to the Clinton days and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  After their attempts to defeat Clinton in the 1996 elections failed, Republicans spent the better part of his second term trying to get anything on him to remove him from office.  Then they were finally given a political gift when Clinton initially lied about his “relationship” with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky.

After more details emerged, they pushed for the better part of 1996 and 1997–all the way up to the 1998 elections.  By that November the truth about Clinton’s affair was out and impeachment proceedings were set to take place.  After this “scandal” you’d expect Democrats to take a hit during the 1998 mid-term elections, right?

Well you’d be wrong.  Not only did they not take a hit, they gained seats in the House of Representatives and gained a bigger percentage of the vote in the Senate.

The American people didn’t care.  Sure, Republicans cared, but the majority of the American people did not.  By 1998 they were so tired of this obsession with attacking Clinton, instead of doing their jobs to help the American people, that their witch hunts backfired and it made them look like individuals more concerned with partisan politics rather than doing their jobs as legislators.

And I think that’s where this is going.

Essentially every blatant lie against Obama that Republicans have tried to slander him with for the last 4+ years has been debunked and dismissed by most sane Americans.  And no matter how hard they try to make Benghazi into some giant conspiracy, outside of their own voting base—it’s not working.  If anything, what I said a week or so back is becoming true.  More Americans are seeing this as a preemptive political attack on Hillary Clinton, trying to politicize the deaths at Benghazi, than any real concern from Republicans over what actually happened that night.

Now you have this IRS scandal which, trust me, Republicans will do everything they can to try and link it to President Obama (even though he quickly came out and denounced these actions and instructed those in the right positions to investigate the unethical behavior).

If I know Republicans (and I do) they’re going to dig for months to do whatever they can to try and link this to the White House and paint them as incompetent or corrupt.  And I have no doubt that they’ll find some far-fetched link which they can spin to pander to their base and crank up the fear machine.  But as with every other one of their pathetic attempts to attack the President, it will most likely fail (or be revealed as something they blatantly fabricated) and the American people will view them even more negatively than before.

I mean hell, they’ve attacked him for having a Marine holding an umbrella for him in the rain during a speech.  That is how pathetically sad and desperate they’ve become.

So let them keep pushing and we will see Obama do what he always does—sit back and let them make fools of themselves.

Because he knows, and so should everyone else by now,  that the easiest way to make Republicans look like complete idiots isn’t by attacking them or playing their games…

It’s by just sitting back and letting them be—Republicans.  Because they have the ability to make fools out of themselves far better than anyone else.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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  • “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

    • Love the quote, Candi, but remember: “In politics, absurdity is not a handicap.” – Monsieur Napoleon Bonaparte… It amazes me how many people with whom I went to high school buy into right-wing nonsense. It was a small school in a small town, but we were privileged to have a wide variety of talented and dedicated teachers.

  • I am fed up with all these manufactured scandals. To be honest, I don’t think the IRS did anything wrong except taking too long to approve or disapprove applications for non-profits. If the GOP can’t find Benghazi on a map or figure out what country its in, then they should shut up. I understand the AP thing. But making much ado about nothing with an umbrella is asinine. Those Marines applied for their job at the White House. It’s an honor for them. Hell, I’d hold the umbrella over the President if it was raining. Who started this? Miss Brainless Palin because she’s too stupid to understand how stupid she really is. And yeah, someone held an umbrella for her once or twice. She can go back and watch the ice melt now.

    • Suzanne Obamaton

      I’d never hold an umbrella over that elitist pig of a president that you call a leader. When he finally steps up, admits his mistakes and actually takes responsibility for something then maybe your argument will have some credence. Otherwise, you are just another pathetic blind allegiance follower to this wanna be.

      • So, tell me. Did G.W. Bush ever step up and admit HIS mistakes?

        You pathetic idiots rant about Obama constantly. Unfortunately, you don’t realize that your rants are only based in your fantasies.

        When Jerome Corsi (Mr. Swift Boat) started going on about Obama being “gay married” to his college room-mate, and his wedding ring having an Arabic inscription, I was amazed and delighted.

        Because the saying is, “Those the Gods would Destroy they first make Mad”.

        And it’s Madness.

        Add in the “can’t get pregnant from ‘legitimate’ rape, and all the other foot-in-mouth disease running rampant among those YOUR Party elected…

        And you expect US to take your tantrums seriously?

        It’s been five years now, of Conservatives throwing crap at the wall hoping something would stick. All they get is dirty hands and spattered clothes.

        News Flash: Benghazi was attacked by Terrorists, and Obama SAID SO. On 9/12/13, and 9/13/13.

        Mitt Romney didn’t know this, because he only listened to Fox News, and Fox News told him that the President waited 14 days to call Benghazi a Terrorist Attack.

        You have the same problem. You only listen to the lies Fox tells you, even after they’ve been debunked.

        As far as the IRS goes, under a BUSH appointee, one office in Cincinnati, whose job it was to check the legitimacy of 501c4 claims, used a “shortcut” to check on Tea Party and Patriot group claims.

        They ALSO investigated a lot of Liberal 501c4 claims, and denied one; that’s something they didn’t do to any of the Conservative groups.

        News Flash: the President doesn’t tell the IRS what to do, he tells the Director of the IRS what to do.

        The Bush Appointee quit, and was replaced with an interim Director. That’s because Obama’s candidates for EVERYTHING keep getting filibustered.

        Now the Interim Director hadn’t actually DONE anything wrong, other than fail to find out about his predecessor’s policy and cancel it. But still, Obama fired him.

        Contrast this to Nixon and Bush, both of whom deliberately used the IRS as a weapon. In 2004, Bush ordered the investigation of the NAACP.

        JUST as this broke, it turns out the Republicans in Congress were pressing for an IRS investigation of the AARP !

        They kind of had to back off from that; can’t attack the AARP while claiming Obama was doing the same with Tea Party groups.

    • Janelle Wingrove

      “I don’t think the IRS did anything wrong except taking too long to approve or disapprove applications for non-profits”.

      Are you freaking serious? Do you even know what you are talking about of what the outrage is really about? I don’t think so…go back and re read about this issue again and come back and comment when you think you have a firmer grasp on things.

      • BrianFruman

        The IRS targeting conservative groups, audited Romney donors. Gibson guitars (a republican ) had his factory raided for using (rare wood) EPA 2009. Gibson is one the company left that actually makes and gets a premium for American Made Products. He tapped the AP and now Fox news reporters without warrant under the muse of national security. The IRS has also illegally siezed 60 million health records of 10 million people from a California health provider without warrant and these people have done nothing illegal. A violation of privacy, HIPPA and State Regulations. They are suing the IRS for 250 Billion Dollars. If you don’t think there are problems at the IRS you have you head buried in the sand.

  • ekbelladona16

    GOP congress and the tea bags they drink $350.00 in wine. They also ingest psychotropic medications and pain killer to be able to deal with their fear and subconscious when they go to sleep at night. When they don’t sleep at night their behavior in congress is psychotic. The conscious is pretty powerful and leave themselves transparent for America to see it. Many of them are alcoholics. I’m not judging their drinking, I’m judging their behavior that leave much to be desire. Obama we got this and we back you up on any decision you make. Remember follow the money you are going to be surprise. Peace, love and happiness America.

    • Well… crack WOULD explain a lot, but I think it’s an older problem.

      Lead poisoning. It causes brain damage, and we used to use that crap in gasoline.

      The people exposed can’t be helped, now. Not unless some radical stem cell treatment is found.

      Symptoms; temper, irrational actions, difficulty thinking.

  • FeelinGroovy

    In fact, to find anything similar you have to go back to the last Democratic President.

    • Of course that is true. Democrats don’t behave like Republicans, going on asinine witch hunts when they lose an election. Only Republicans behave that way, attacking the POTUS for one conspiracy theory after another rather than doing their job of representing their constituents. Example: It has been reported that MANY Republicans voted against gun reform simply beacause Obama was FOR it. This in spite of what the people who put them in office wanted. Defend THAT!

    • ..Yah and what happened, Clinton’s popularity SOARED. Cos the entire nation approved of a HUMAN president.

  • @Candi, Suzanna, you are spot on ( looooove the quote ). The problem I see, is nothing is getting done, and this provides some small cover for the rights lack of doing anything worth while.Not that I saying anything new, but the House especially voting on legislation they know will never fly over and over, and over while Banks foreclose on Homes they don’t own ( including many vets ), children starve, Several jobs bills left to die. I mean, it takes some extra special worthless used assswipe to send troops off to battle, and then vote against a jobs bill to put them to work when they come home.

  • TheLordmysheperdandHelovesYOU!

    As far as I know my stocks are going up…meaning even the business community do not pay them any attention anymore…it’s time to weed out the ineffective, inefficient and just blatantly in the way of progress on the next local election…you hear!!!…Oh, I forgot they have a spin for that too, stock crash is coming. No not really people are smarter now, the ups and downs are because people are actually making a profit buying and selling… just ask your fund managers.

    • All good points. Wall Street does need to tcob and come up with something to counter the not-so liberal media though. MSNBC does a great job, but someone just got me on a quoting Napoleon kick, so, “Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.” I stressed myself out to the point of hospitalization arguing with Republicans during the Bush* administration. Two of them almost got physical with me in a bar when I stuck up for Mrs. Clinton when they kept bumping their gums about her. And I’ve got a court date coming up for defending myself against a self-identified neo-Nazi while I was injured. I moved to a more peaceful location and am doing all I can to reduce my stress level. I’m going to stay in the game but must find a new approach. As Danny Glover said in Lethal Weapon, “I’m getting too old for this chit.” 🙂

  • Rebecca Blubaugh-Brown

    Allen Clifton, I am SO ON YOUR SIDE! I hate the Republican Political Machine and, more to the point, the Tea Bagers for what they have turned the GOP into. What kills me is some of the people I know and had thought were semi-intelligent still believe all the BS even after it has been proven to be fabricated disinformation (aka:LIES)How anyone with functional grey matter can not see these attacks for what they are is beyond me. Seems they would much rather believe the lies about the Democratic President, or maybe they can not see beyond their own prejudice against Afro-Americans let alone accept the fact that we not only Elected Barack Obama in 2008 but we RE-ELECTED him in 2012! It’s actually a tragedy what the Tea Party is doing to, not only the Republican Party, but the the United States of America and her Citizenry.

    Things are a changin’, things have changed, but not necessarily for the good and we may never be the same as we once were ever again unless something dramatic happens to turn the Republican Party back to the great political Party it once was.

  • I agree, I believe Republicans got a little over confident with their obsession with the Benghazi thing, thinking they had a real chance of making something stick, but, as it turns out, it was clearly not a cover up, and the only conspiracy was within the GOP and the lengths they went to in creating the scandal. The IRS and AP things coming back to back just as their Benghazi -gate was unraveling, made them drool with glee thinking they finally had something, and, as it turns out, maybe not so much with the AP, and the more we learn about the IRS thing, the more we realize that the IRS was doing their job, political action groups seeking tax exempt status has skyrocketed thanks much to Karl Rove Citizens United and the Supreme Courts bad move in ruling in favor of allowing CU to be classified as a non profit. That is the real scandal there. It’s becoming clearer by the day that if anyone is guilty of a conspiracy here, it’s the GOP and their conspiracy to do whatever they can to unseat the President. And I think they are out of gas at this point. The more ridiculous this gets, the better the chance that these do nothing bigots will be getting their marching orders next November.

    • one can only pray that it happens and they loose those seats.

    • The thing is, it’s actually LEGAL for the Justice Department to seize records during an investigation, even without a warrant, if they can convince the Judge afterward that waiting would have endangered National Security.

      And certainly, the AP would have countersued, fought any request to share that information, and delayed for years.

      Meanwhile, all the investigation was looking for was telephone numbers, trying to trace a leak of classified information.

  • Ruffslitch

    You’re forgetting tje vicious smear tactics endorsed by the MSM against the Bush family. This opinion piece is a myopic denial of the hate-mongering adored by the leftist media.

    • Yeahright

      You are an idiot.

    • So fox news is fair and balanced on obama and his family? Be honest.

    • CM

      It’s beginning to look like you people don’t come in any other variety than delusional. smh

      • Victoria Lamb

        That’s because you are projecting.

      • CM

        No projecting necessary, we go with the facts.
        Facts, you know those pesky things that are irrelevant to conservatives but they just keep popping up negating their “arguments” (and by arguments i mean whining).

    • Renell

      MSNBC told the truth about the Bush family. It to bad people did not listen, because the world would have been better off if the Bush administration never was elected (appointed) to the White House. Please point out the lies that MSNBC told!

    • Victoria Lamb

      I guess that was while I was living abroad. What exactly were these “smear tactics”?

  • I can’t help but wonder if the IRS scandal will “be revealed as something they blatantly fabricated”. Think about it…
    1) The head of the IRS when this “happened” was a Bush appointee.
    2) The press found out about it via a “planted question” from Lois Lerner of the IRS. A question she wanted asked of her, so she could answer it.
    Something is really rotten in all this… Was it orchestrated by the Republicans from day one for one purpose – to try to bring Obama down? (It’s been reported that none of those groups “targeted” were denied exempt status and only low level groups, not any of the big, blatant groups.)

  • Ferdie Werdie

    Thank you so much. A few days ago I stopped watching the news for a while. Your article hit the nail on the head.

  • Laurie Shreffler

    Any sane and half way intelligent person can see what is going on here. The last straw for me was when Obama was criticized for using Dijon mustard instead of ketchup on a sandwich. I am very upset that people I know are falling for the Republican Kool-Aid. Congress wastes time voting on repealing Obama Care for the 37th time instead of passing Legislation which would help the American people who are suffering because of the sequester. The GOP cannot stand that the economy is improving and the national debt has decreased. So many more good things could happen if the 2 parties actually worked together to improve the plight of the American people. Hopefully the elections of 2014 will speak loud and clear against these right wing Tea Partiers and Conspiracy theorists. History will judge President Obama in a positive light. I just hope he gets to accomplish even more for the American people than he already has.

  • BruceMajors

    Now we know why Obama was tap dancing all week.

    Obama is the secret love child of Sammy Davis Jr and Richard Nixon.

    That’s why the birth certificate is hidden.

  • Roger Stine

    face the facts, President Obama is a failed President. It was an
    American experiment that has been extremely costly, devisive, and a
    total failure.

  • Blue Moon

    A young, one term Chicago Senator that never even ran a candy store much
    less the most powerful country in the world. Everything in his life
    has been given to him and his family by the American taxpayer from the
    very first day he came to this country ( yes, thats right I still
    believe he was born in Kenya). In fact, he has never held a public job
    in his life before, yet all that was over looked because he was a black
    well spoken young man that everyone wanted to give a chance to. Well,
    look where that has taken us.

  • Yeah sweep the Obama corruption under the rug Clifton, that’s all your BS is good for.

  • BrianFruman

    Ask yourselves this question. What if a republican did this? So lets just say that there has be things that have been done that cross the line. I do not want to focus on ideology but corruption . Also, I don’t consider you my enemy just because you see things politically different; We are all Americans. It is also important to note Napoleon was a dictator and never one a war. Following his lead would be ill advised as well as non-democratic.

    • Larry Berry

      “What if a republican did this?”
      Good point. Embassies attacked under republican admins with many more dead…. It was a tragedy, not a scandal and no investigation, and no blaming of the President.
      “Oh my god he can’t even hold his own umbrella!!!” Pictures showed many other presidents having umbrellas held for them (including Reagan and Bush) which never raised an eyebrow.
      “Obama issued another executive order, he’s a dictator and needs to be impeached” His executive orders were less than republican Presidents issued, which again never raised an eyebrow.
      Yes there were conspiracy theorists that thought that Bush was behind 9/11, but it wasn’t taken seriously and there was no official call for it to be investigated, unlike any conspiracy “scandal” that is attached to Obama. “BENGHAZI!!!!” shows that.

      “What if a republican did this?” They did. No one fussed and we didn’t spend millions trying to “investigate” ie pin something on them to no avail.

      • Larry Berry

        Oh yeah, I forgot one (actually I’ve missed mentioning MANY, because they change every week. Again not that there’s a new scandal every week, but because it’s the EXACT same thing every single other president did, but is only a scandal with Obama ie fake scandal)

        “College transcripts! Why won’t he show his college transcripts?? He’s hiding something!!!”
        Except again not a single president in recent history has released their college transcripts (or been asked to) and it somehow wasn’t a scandal when they didn’t but was suddenly now. What if a republican…. Indeed.

  • mike

    Scandals … what ever. The economy is improving, thusly, ratings go up. Black and white, no nonsense.

  • Rick Heath

    One of the most amusing facts to this IRS hysteria is that the lead investigator Mr Collins (I think that is his name anyways) is a conservative Republican.

    On top of all that, political groups do not qualify for tax exempt status, so frankly by setting those aside for further scrutiny Mr Collins was just doing the job he is paid to do with ethics and objectivity.

    From his inauguration on Jan.20, 2009 to now the litany of hyperbole, exaggerated nonsense and outright fabrications have been virtually endless in their effort to taint the Democratic image, which is what they call psychological conditioning in my field of work.

    Ultimately I concur with Allen Clifton, this will take its toll on the GOP more than it will

    on the Democrats or President Obama. 2014 will be here soon.

  • Larry Berry

    Like the Lewinski “scandal” a major thing making people sick about these “scandals” is how much the insistence on investigating them, despite nobody caring and more importantly no evidence, is costing us. The Starr Report, which was supposed to be about an investigation into Whitewater but turned out to be a book full of porn (Okay, we knew he cheated, did we really need to know what he put where?), cost us over 70 million and did nothing/changed nothing. It’s cost us millions in the multiple attempts to repeal Obamacare, even though they knew that was never going to happen under threats of “death panels”.