I was relatively sure that Obama might not have a scandal in his second term to rival Iran-Contra or Monica Lewinsky. He’s a pretty stand up guy, with a much smaller slime quotient than Nixon or Clinton.
But now it’s happened. I think the IRS targeting Tea Party affiliated groups is going to be a major scandal, certainly far more substantial than Benghazi.
Nate Silver, one of my favourite political analysts, looks at how serious a scandal this could be for Obama. He makes some very troubling points about how this makes Obama and the Democrats look. It certainly will have an impact on 2014 and possibly even into 2016.
It has given extreme elements in the Republican party the moral high ground.
I think this may turn out to be a far more destructive scandal than either Iran-Contra or Lewinsky because it speaks to fundamental American principles of fairness and due process.
Obama needs to move quickly and strongly. He should immediately appoint a special prosecutor, one that has the respect of the Republican party, and he needs to give the prosecutor all necessary powers to get the job done. He should also state from the start that he will gladly go before the prosecutor to testify under oath.
This is an explanation of why the IRS did what they did, even though it was incredibly stupid.