GOP establishment figure Karl Rove said on Fox News Sunday that the Fort Lee and George Washington Bridge scandal that New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie is facing will end up giving him “street cred” with the Tea Party movement.
“There will be reasons why conservatives have disagreements with Chris Christie,” Rove said during a panel discussion with Bob Woodward and Juan Williams about the scandal.
I don't think the Tea Party is going to seize upon Fort Lee and the George Washington Bridge as their defining difference with Christie. In fact, I think he's handling to this [sic] – being straightforward, taking action, saying "I'm responsible firing people" – probably gives him some street cred with Tea Party Republicans who say, "That's what we want in a leader, somebody who steps up and takes responsibility."
Rove, a strident Tea Party opponent, has seized upon a narrative laid down by conservative Tea Party movement leaders with regard to this scandal: when compared with how President Barack Obama has not held anyone accountable for scandals that have plagued his administration, Christie’s firing of his deputy chief of staff and dismissal of his ex-campaign manager seems refreshing.
For instance, Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin made an argument like that in a statement. "Abuse of power by government officials is wrong, whether it's closing lanes in Ft. Lee, using the IRS to target political opponents, or waiving the law regarding ObamaCare," she said in response to Christie's actually holding a couple people accountable. "Today, Gov. Christie held some subordinates accountable. Time will tell whether this is enough. We're still waiting for President Obama to hold anyone accountable."
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another Tea Party movement leader, made a similar argument regarding nobody's being held accountable for the Benghazi or NSA scandals from the Obama administration.
Those arguments are true in a narrow sense, in that compared with Obama, Christie’s response to a scandal has been markedly different. That does not, however, mean Christie is going to somehow pick up “street cred” among conservatives for this.
Christie’s gubernatorial administration and people he trusted with governmental power abused that power. While Christie denies having known about the abuse of power, and thus far no evidence has surfaced to contradict that denial, the fact of the matter is that his administration and people he entrusted still misused the power of government for political purposes. Conservatives do not stand for that, and regardless of what actions he has taken or will take in the future to respond, nothing changes the fact that his administration abused power.
According to Bob Woodward at the Washington Post, Robert Gates, former defense secretary under Barack Obama, makes clear in his new memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, that Obama was not as concerned with winning the war in Afghanistan as he was with pleasing anti-war advocates by withdrawing U.S. troops.
In 2010, Obama was furious with Gen. David H. Petraeus, the central commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, for telling the press he was not comfortable with a fixed date to withdraw U.S. troops.
Gates reveals that at a March 3, 2010 meeting of the National Security Council, Obama commenced with a “blast” at the military for “popping off in the press” and blustered he would fight any attempt to delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
According to Gates, Obama said haughtily, “‘If I believe I am being gamed...’ and left the sentence hanging there with the clear implication the consequences would be dire.” Gates saw exactly how little winning the war meant to Obama and how much his desire to get out at any cost dictated his policy:
I was pretty upset myself. I thought implicitly accusing [Petraeus and other generals] of gaming him in front of thirty people in the Situation Room was inappropriate, not to mention highly disrespectful of Petraeus. As I sat there, I thought: the president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.
Twenty-five days later, in a surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the President told them how much winning the war meant to him:
If this region slides backwards, if the Taliban retakes this country and Al Qaeda can operate with impunity, more American lives will be at stake. Our broad mission is clear, we are going to disrupt and dismantle, defeat and destroy Al Qaeda… Thanks to you there has been progress these last several months. We have seen a huge increase in support in stateside because people understand the mission there and the success taking place by U.S. military and civilians. Your services are absolutely necessary, absolutely essential to America's safety and security. Those folks back home are relying on you.
Kathleen Parker shot to fame in 2008 with her attacks on then-vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Immediately afterwards, a columnist practically no one had heard of became a mainstream media darling. This would be followed by Parker's humiliating failure co-hosting a short-lived CNN show with Eliot Spitzer. Desperate again for the spotlight, Parker went on MSNBC Wednesday to claim Hillary Clinton "can save the world."
Kathleen Parker is not a conservative; like Joe Scarborough, David Frum, and Ana Navarro, Parker is a selfish "brand," and like the others, she has only been able to earn the wealth and media-love she obviously thinks she deserves by being counted on to stab her own in the back.
If it weren't for their decision to sell out, Parker would be an aging columnist ... somewhere, Scarborough would be back in Florida as the guy who once hosted the failed "Scarborough Country," Frum would be an ex-speechwriter, and Navaro -- well, who knows.
It was only selling out their own and their country that made them who they are. Because this is the deal for your soul the media make to conservatives: We'll love you, shower you in attention, and make you rich, if you'll just come on the air and use your Republican standing to undermine your own.
You hardly ever see Parker, Scarborough, Frum or Navaro defend or promote conservatives and conservative ideas. That is not part of the deal. The media that pull their strings do not want that. What the media want are "brands" like Parker on whom they can count to damage the Republican brand.
Thankfully, only a few are desperate and selfish enough to grab such a sleazy deal.
P.S. It doesn’t work the other way around, either. The quickest way for a Democrat or journalist to get themselves brutalized by the media is to violate The Left-wing Narrative. You can ask Bob Woodward and Juan Williams, all about that.
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Just as they did with the sequester, Democrats will try to blame Republicans for a potential government shutdown or cuts to the budget that may occur as part of a new debt deal this fall.
Politico reported that, "President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies are eager to tag the GOP as the root cause of Washington dysfunction." Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Kelly Ward told the publication that Democrats are planning to highlight “the inability of Republicans to actually govern" and make that into a central "narrative" going into the 2014 midterm elections.
Even though the sequester idea originated in the White House, as Bob Woodward documented, Obama and Democrats tried to blame Republicans for the calamity that it would cause. Those tactics largely backfired, as a majority of Americans favored the across-the-board budget cuts.
Yet House Republicans and their advisers still remain fearful of Democrats and their tactics that have just recently failed, believing that a government shutdown over de-funding Obamacare or budget cuts would lose Republicans the House.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), a former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman, said, “If you ask me what is the one thing that could reshuffle the deck on an otherwise stable mid-term environment in 2014, the answer is a government shutdown." Brock McCleary, a GOP pollster and former NRCC deputy executive director, agreed, saying the "only way Republicans will lose the House is to shut down the government or default on the debt.”
The current continuing resolution to fund the government expires on Sept. 30, and the nation is set to hit its borrowing limit shortly after. Republicans have a 17-seat majority in the House and only four Republicans represent Districts that lean Democratic, which means Republicans will be more vulnerable from the right. Republican voters in most Republican House Districts want them to be more fiscally conservative and de-fund Obamacare.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) said his voters would “rather see Republicans veer more to the right” on fiscal matters, and Chris Chocola, the president of the Club for Growth, said, "the greatest risk for Republicans is for them to continue to disappoint their supporters. I don’t think they’ve inspired them or given them a reason to support them in quite a while."
“At some point, they have to communicate to people there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats," he told the publication.
Monday Salon published a "full accounting" of "how the media outrageously blew the IRS scandal." This is the latest attempt by the left to dismiss an actual scandal as unfounded. But the claims of media overreach are couched in some pretty obvious overreach of their own.
Let's start by not making the same mistake. Writer Alex Seitz-Wald is on safe ground when he points out that there is no demonstrable connection between what the IRS did and President Obama. For that reason, some early statements that this was Nixonian were, given what we know at the moment, overblown.
But the piece goes beyond making that point to the suggestion that the entire scandal is non-existent. Let's walk through some of this:
While the initial reports about the IRS targeting looked pretty bad, suggesting that agents singled out tax-exempt applications for Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny, the media badly bungled the controversy when supposedly sober journalists like Bob Woodward and Chuck Todd jumped to conclusions and assumed the worst from day one.
Agents did single out tax-exempt applications for Tea Party and conservative groups for extra scrutiny. That is not in doubt.
Instead of doing more reporting to discover the true nature and context of the IRS targeting, or at least waiting for their colleagues to do some, the supposedly liberal mainstream press let their eagerness to show they could be just as tough on a Democratic White House as a Republican one get ahead of the facts.
To the extent they blamed the President without evidence, yes. But there is no context which can diminish the bad targeting of conservative groups which lasted two years and insured no Tea Party groups were approved in all of 2011.
We expect politicians to stretch reality to fit a narrative, but the press should be better. And they would have gotten away with it, too, had their narrative had the benefit of being true.
The underlying narrative was true and is still true. The IRS inappropriately targeted right-leaning political groups.
But now, almost two months later, we know that in fact the IRS targeted lots of different kinds of groups, not just conservative ones;
Now we have to divert ourselves for a moment. That link leads to a previous Salon article in which Seitz-Wald wrote this about targeting of multiple "kinds of groups":
The scandal was based on the notion that the IRS singled out the not-for-profit applications from Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny by putting them on “BOLO lists” — lists of applications to “be on the lookout for” — but now we’ve learned that the agency also targeted: Groups that used “progressive” or “Occupy” in their names, pro-medical marijuana groups, “Occupied Territory advocacy” organizations, pro-Obamacare orgs, “newspaper entities,” open source software advocates, and others that organized around reducing the national debt. In other words, a wide range of groups spanning the ideological divide and many existing outside of it.
He's claiming that Tea Party groups weren't the only ones being singled out. To support this he links to an AP story which opens "Leaders of progressive groups say they, too, faced long delays in getting the Internal Revenue Service to approve their applications for tax-exempt status but were not subjected to the same level of scrutiny that tea party groups complained about." I've added the emphasis to the portion of that which did not make it into Seitz-Wald's account.
A bit further down the story notes "Leaders of progressive groups said they, too, were asked detailed questions about their activities, which took time and resources to answer. But, several leaders said, they were not asked the inappropriate questions listed in the inspector general's report." So the earlier post Seitz-Wald links to suggest progressive groups got the same treatment is misleading. The source he links makes clear that was not the case but he fails to mention it.
Even more importantly, claims disseminated by Democrats about progressive groups being targeted by the IRS received a strong response from the Inspector General just a couple days later. Here is a small portion of what the IG wrote:
The "Progressives" criteria appeared on a section of the "Be On the Look Out" (BOLO) spreadsheet labeled "Historical," and, unlike other BOLO entries, did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria. While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails, and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that "Progressives" was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.
And the numbers support this claim since only 30 percent of "progressive" groups were given scrutiny compared to 100 percent of Tea Party applications. This is not at all the same.
So what did Alex Seitz-Wald write about the IG's detailed response to claims that progressives got the same scrutiny? Nothing. His piece fails to mention it at all:
But now, almost two months later, we know that in fact the IRS targeted lots of different kinds of groups, not just conservative ones; that the only organizations whose tax-exempt statuses were actually denied were progressive ones;
The "progressive ones" were actually three state chapters of a single group which was judged to be a front for promoting Democratic candidates. Progressive groups were not rejected or scrutinized en masse.
Again, TIGTA found that of the 296 cases suspected of being excessively political 31 percent had no such indications in the file. Meanwhile a sample of cases not selected for extra scrutiny turned up 175 instances when they should have been so selected. In other words, a determination of which groups were selected (or not selected) for scrutiny was not based on evidence in the files. We did not see 100 percent of Tea Party and 9/12 groups get this added scrutiny because 100 percent of them deserved it.
There is no proof the White House directed this activity. There were however plenty of opportunities for someone to make the White House aware of it prior to the awkward planted question when it was revealed by Lois Lerner.
In short, the entire scandal narrative was a fiction.
And there's your progressive overreach in a nutshell. The entire narrative was decidedly not a fiction. The IRS targeting of Tea Party groups--which likely began with concerns expressed in left-leaning media outlets like the NY Times and NPR--was not treatment given across the board. Two individuals have pleaded the 5th rather than answer questions. And it's still not clear why it took two years for the IRS to realize there was a very serious problem and clean up the mess. The media did overstep the facts early on, but Salon is making the opposite error, downplaying and indeed outright omitting clearly relevant facts.
When it comes to protecting President Obama and the left-wing agenda, we have seen the media turn against its own before. Bob Woodward felt the wrath of his colleagues after popping the balloon of Obama's dishonest sequester narrative; and after numerous errors, the one that almost finally did Howard Kurtz in was the one aimed at the media's politically correct sacred cow of the week. Now it looks to be Glenn Greenwald's turn.
The recent collapse of Obama's poll numbers (and with it, much of his agenda) seems directly tied to Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker currently on the run after dropping a bomb on the troubling and hypocritical scope of the Obama administration's domestic spying. The Guardian's Greenwald broke that story and has check-mated the Obama administration will follow-ups ever since.
Between Greenwald's ongoing scoops contradicting the White House, and Snowden sucking the air out of the media while making the administration look feckless, this is a rolling disaster for Obama with no end in sight.
Sunday, some in media decided it was time to go hard after Greenwald, with open accusations of criminality coming from no less than NBC's David Gregory and Chuck Todd.
On "Meet the Press," host David Gregory gave Greenwald no benefit of the doubt: "To the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden,” Gregory asked the reporter, “even in his current movements, why shouldn’t you, Mr. Greenwald, be charged with a crime?”
Though it went unnoticed, later in the show, NBC's Chuck Todd seemed to pick up right where Gregory left off:
Glenn Greenwald, how much was he involved in the plan. It's one thing as a source, but what was his role -- did he have a role simply beyond being a receiver of this information; and is he going to have to answer those questions. You know, this is a point of law -- he's a lawyer -- he attacked the premise of your [Gregory's] question, he didn't answer it.
Although Greenwald has appeared frequently on TV to plead Snowden’s case as a whistleblower — an advocacy role many mainstream journalists would be uncomfortable with — there is no evidence that he has helped Snowden evade U.S. authorities who are now seeking Snowden’s arrest. …
Since we are talking about something there is "no evidence" of, I would like to make clear that there is no evidence the Washington Post is running a child sexual slavery ring out of its headquarters. None. Not a shred.
Something else we need to be clear about is just how selective this media outrage is. If the media truly are concerned with bias and wrongdoing within its own ranks, how about the fact that NBC News has now been caught seven times selectively editing photos, audio, and video -- and always in a way that either benefits Obama or the left's latest narrative rampage.
As of yet, though, we have seen no unified media outrage against NBC.
No, for some reason that unified outrage is always saved for the Woodwards, Kurtzs, and Greenwalds -- those who dare challenge Obama, or anything else the left consider precious.
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Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume joined Bob Woodward and Bill Kristol in criticizing the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill process, and the new rush to pass the repackaged bill with the amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND), on Fox News Sunday.“It is impossible to believe that this 1,200-page amendment is good legislation,” Hume said in the online post-show panel of Fox News Sunday this weekend. “It is basically throwing money at the problem.”
Legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward criticized the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill process, and the new rush to pass the repackaged bill with the amendment from Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND), on Fox News Sunday.
“You can’t have a Congress that is kind of going around picking this and picking that and that fails and that fails and this fails,” Woodward said in the online post-show panel of Fox News Sunday this weekend.
Woodward added that “when you pass complicated legislation and no one has really read the bill” then “the outcome is absurd.”
Woodward is the veteran journalist who, with Carl Bernstein, broke the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and has remained a force at the Post over the past several decades.
Deceptive journalistic practices at NBC News show no sign of slowing down. This latest attempt to selectively edit audio/video in order to benefit Barack Obama represents the seventh such act of willful, intentional journalistic malpractice. NBC News is already being sued over one instance involving George Zimmerman. Via Newsbusters, here is the latest, which occurred Thursday at MSNBC:
The whole idea behind this edit was to make it look as though a Republican congressman Pete Sessions was claiming that giving food stamps to the poor meant you were giving food stamps to rapists and child molesters. In other words, poor people are criminals.
As you can see, though, what Session really said and meant was the exact opposite.
Since NBC News has begun this regular practice of deceptively editing audio, video, and photos in order to make Obama's political critics and foes look bad, the rest of the media as a whole have hardly bothered to notice.
Oh, some who screw up in media are given all kinds of hell from their colleagues. Howard Kurtz, for example. But Kurtz's honest (but big) mistake was to be critical of a left-wing sacred cow.
And then there is the legendary Bob Woodward who caught all kinds of flak from his colleagues after he claimed a Obama official tried to intimidate him over a story critical of the administration.
You see how this works? If you err in a way that hurts the left, the media targets its own for total destruction. But if you maliciously and intentionally commit journalistic malpractice in service to Obama and the left, the media hardly manages a shrug.
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