Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Obama Isn't Embarrassed About His Scandals. He Should Be.

Much has been written about Donald Trump's difficulties in separating fact from fiction, but the current resident of the White House isn't the only one to paint a biased view of reality. Recently, Barack Obama rewrote the history of his administration when he claimed, "We didn't have a scandal that embarrassed us."

Mr. Obama's remarks came in a closed-door meeting at MIT in Boston last Friday and were reported by "Reason." Per the report, attendees "had to agree that they would not record, photograph, tweet, or report on the event before being granted a seat in the audience." Nevertheless, a recorded copy of the speech was made available to the libertarian-leaning website.

In the speech, the former president admitted that his administration made mistakes, but said, "We didn't have a scandal that embarrassed us." Then he added, "I know that seems like a low bar" to audience laughter.

"Generally speaking, you didn't hear about a lot of drama inside our White House," Obama continued.

It may be revisionism, wishful thinking or the mental effects of old age, but if President Obama can't remember any scandals from his administration, I sure can. In fact, the scandals of the Obama Administration were so numerous that it would take too much time to list them all, but let's review a few of the biggest ones.

1. Solyndra. The Solyndra scandal emerged from the 2009 stimulus bill. The government provided loan guarantees to the tune of more than $500 million to a solar panel manufacturer that subsequently went bankrupt, leaving taxpayers holding the bag. The company lied in disclosures to the government, but regulators say the Obama Administration pressured them to approve the subsidies.

2. Fast and Furious. Obama's DOJ and ATF concocted a scheme to trace smuggled guns to Mexico under the code name "Fast and Furious." Ultimately, about 2,000 guns were illegally purchased and many were allowed to cross the border into Mexico. Hundreds have been recovered in connection with crimes in both the US and Mexico. Two were used in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010. The scheme sparked an international incident when it was revealed that the ATF had allowed guns to flow across the border to Mexican drug cartels.

3. IRS Targeting. The IRS admitted to targeting conservative Tea Party groups and denying their tax-exempt status based on their political beliefs. A DOJ investigation, which was hampered by the loss of Lois Lerner's emails when her computer crashed, found that "poor management is not a crime."

4. Near doubling of the National Debt. A major underreported scandal of the Obama years is his spending spree. CNN fact checkers confirmed that the US borrowed more on President Obama's watch than all other presidents combined. The heavy spending of the Obama Administration will be a weight around the necks of American taxpayers for generations to come.

5. Benghazi and the Video Tape. On Sept. 11, 2012, terrorists attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing five Americans. The Obama Administration blamed the attack on protests of an anti-Islamic video tape in an effort to protect Mr. Obama's campaign narrative that the Islamic terror threat was winding down on his watch. The Obama Administration's mismanagement of the crisis and subsequent cover up was a major scandal.

6. Clinton Email Scandal. The Benghazi investigation led to the revelation that Hillary Clinton used an unsecure private server as Secretary of State. The subsequent investigation of Clinton's mishandling of classified information, apparently with President Obama's knowledge, led directly to the memo from FBI Director Comey a week prior to the 2016 election that shifted the race to Donald Trump's favor.

7. Russian Cyberattack on 2016 Election. Much of President Obama's relationship with Russia was scandalous, from his promise to have more "flexibility" after the 2012 election to his appeasement of Vladimir Putin during the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea and parts of Ukraine. However, the icing on the cake was Obama's mishandling of the Russian cyberattacks on election infrastructure and manipulation of US public opinion on social media. There was ample warning of Russia's activities and President Obama did very little to hinder them.

I could go on, but I won't. It should be apparent that the Obama Administration was both incompetent and scandal-plagued. The United States is still feeling the effects of Obama's mismanagement and will be for years to come.

Perhaps what President Obama meant is that he remembers these scandals and just isn't embarrassed by them. If that's the case, he should be.

Originally published on The Resurgent

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