Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Saturday, May 18, 2013

John Dean: I knew Richard Nixon. I actually worked for him. Barack Obama is NO Richard Nixon.

John Dean in his own words debunks those who are howling about President Obama being the second coming of Richard Nixon.  In their feverish, crazed state of scandalitis, anything that their delirium presents to them seems like reality.

Here's John Dean who intimately knew how Richard M. Nixon, when it came to being a crook, was in a class all by himself.

"John Dean, who served as White House counsel under the disgraced former president, said that anyone applying the Nixonian label to Obama is 'challenged in their understanding of history.' 

There's no legitimate comparison, Dean argued, between the Internal Revenue Service's improper targeting of conservative groups, the Department of Justice's subpoena of Associated Press phone records or the investigation into the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya and the scandals that ultimately led to Nixon's undoing.

 'There are no comparisons. They’re not comparable with any of the burgeoning scandals,' Dean told the Boston Globe. 

 Dean was present in the Oval Office when Nixon suggested using the IRS to target his foes." 

The truth is that every president since Nixon — except possibly Gerald Ford — has been compared to Nixon at some point, according to The New Republic‘s Eric Kingsbury: 

 "Of course, most of these comparisons require a bit of historic amnesia. While Nixon used the IRS to intimidate and investigate his enemies, there’s no evidence that Obama had any clue about the agency’s wrongdoings. There also doesn’t seem to be any cover-up, since the story itself was uncovered by an Inspector General report that was slated to be made public this week. And it appears that the Justice Department broke its own binding regulations, but not necessarily the letter of the law, in secretly obtaining two months’ worth of Associated Press phone records. It’s troubling, just not quite Nixon territory." 

Other recent presidents — notably George W. Bush — came much closer to Nixonland. 

President Obama isn’t even in Iran-Contra territory, another Republican scandal the GOP often likes to invoke. 

Notably, the only scandals those on the right can use as a reference point for a real administration-shaking crisis were all perpetrated by Republicans.


Infidel753 said...

Since the escalation of Republican histrionics over the "scamdals", as I call them, Obama is actually up slightly in Gallup's approval poll, and our candidates in Massachusetts and Virginia have seen some gains. This rubbish isn't fooling the voters, it's just annoying them.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Of all people, Newt "I Had Three Wives" Gingrich is telling the GOPers to cool it, and admitted the GOPers overplayed their hands in the Clinton debacles.

It appears the American people are fed up with the GOP's ALL SCANDAL ALL THE TIME rot.

And their idiotic REPEAL OBAMACARE 38 times nonsense.

There is a detailed account reported in today's NYTimes about the IRS issue. It's sounding more and more like underling bureaucrats not knowing their asparagas from their aspersions. Bureaucratic bungling, and not much else.

Watch the wingers overplay this as well.

Rational Nation USA said...

Oligarchs I tell you, Oligarchs. They're holding the cards and the playbook as well. AND, they are loving it.

Distractions are the juice the powerful use to maintain control. Look behind the curtain.

As the beat goes on...

KP said...

You and I both recall the early discussion about Watergate from Dean et al: "conspiracy claims, foolish, no way".

Well, it turned out it the affiar was hideously wrong and true.

So while I don't readily draw comparisons to the present day IRS issues to Watergate, I am comfortable saying; "if the unthinkable is true, I want to know about it".

Miller made me throw up in my mouth. So, I look forward to intensive scrutiny of the IRS.

To be clear, I am certain the President is not part of the scandal. But the freaking integrity of the IRS is in question?! We better clear this up.

Shaw Kenawe said...

KP, what needs to be investigated is if the IRS targeted ANY groups, because from what I've read in the reports coming out, Tea Party groups were not the only targets. And if what I read is correct, Tea Party targets were not even the majority.

Sadly, the IRS has been used in the past to intimidate. And because that has happened, too many have concluded, without all evidence presented, that Mr. Obama has done the same.

There are many things we can criticize this president about. And I have. He's disappointed me in more than a few instances.

But one thing I do no doubt is his basic decency and honesty.

Can you or anyone imagine the burden he carries because he is the first. And you know what I mean.

To bring shame from corruption and scandal on his presidency would be a catastrophe. I believe Mr. Obama is very much aware of this as well.

But more to the point. He may be a number of things that point to flaws in his personality, but I don't believe for a minute that he is corrupt, venal, or deceitful.

Too many of the opposition are too eager to paint him as such.

Let the facts come out, and then we can see what really happened.

Always On Watch said...

I am certain the President is not part of the scandal.

Well, as you might guess, I'm not as certain as you are about that matter. I am even less certain about what happened with the Benghazi narrative and the command for our military forces in North Africa to stand down.

Nevertheless, I think that we are all wise not to "overplay" our position either way right now.

I well recall the Watergate Era and how certain I was that no POTUS could possibly be up to something unthinkable. No Nixon fan was I ever, BTW.

What I learned from Watergate is how much power at POTUS can wield -- and how much a POTUS can do to prevent the facts from coming out with any rapidity. Remember that the Watergate break-in occurred in June 1972, and Nixon didn't resign until August 1974. We are very early in the "scandals" that are breaking over the heads of the Obama administration.

Always On Watch said...

Yes, Obama is the first African-American President. Even so, the truth must take precedence.

Furthermore, his promises of transparency must be kept; otherwise, you know what his "legacy" will be.

I read a bit about today's Sunday morning "news" shows -- Meet the Press and the like. Pfeiffer apparently said about the IRS matter, "The law is irrelevant" and also apparently said about Benghazi, "It is largely irrelevant" who changed the narrative. I don't know all of the context, so I guess that I'll have to find video of entire shows online -- if I can find the time. **sigh**

It is difficult in the extreme to discern the truth with all the damage-control strategy going on.

Anonymous said...

That's interesting, John Dean ordered a number of IRS check's on his own. He was the author of the Nixon enemies list, and co author of the infamous "Huston Plan"!

Ducky's here said...

... and nobody from the other side of the aisle gave a flying f--k. Quakers got put on that one. Effing Quakers.

We were tapped at the Catholic Worker House during the Chucklenuts administration.

A Catholic organization with "Worker" in the name, protesting the Iraq invasion and not being particularly concerned about choice was just not the idea of the right kind of Catholics.

I think the right felt we should be monitored.
Making a list, checking it twice.

KP said...

AOW, I am certain Obama did not order IRS abuse. However, I readily admit, I could be wrong.

In more detail, here is what I believe:

President’s grow a culture during their administrations. LBJ developed a culture in Washington that was less than stellar. Obviously Nixon did as well. And so did Bush. And so has the current President to some extent.

As I have written elsewhere, Obama is a passive agressive guy. But he is fierce. He doesn’t have to come right out and tell supporters what to do. He has made it clear whay he thinks and there are no shortage of people willing to see a wink and nod that doesn't exist.

Presidents should understand that the culture they develop will play out in real time and reflect on them. We are feeling the progressive culture; some positive and not so positive.

This President's legacy is being shaped is ways he may not have asked for specifically, but he will be remembered as part of. Similar to the negatives of the Reagan culture. Both men of integrity.

Anonymous said...

How can we clean up anything when we falsely attack someone who had nothing to do with the incident? We will not clean up the IRS by accusing Obama of IRS wrongdoing.

Always On Watch said...

Is this true???

First line of the essay: President met with anti-Tea Party IRS union chief the day before agency targeted Tea Party..

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Is this true???

First line of the essay: President met with anti-Tea Party IRS union chief the day before agency targeted Tea Party.."

Are you willing to believe that President Obama would direct any chief of the IRS to target and intimidate organizations looking for tax exempt status?

If you are willing to believe that, then you hold the opinion that Mr. Obama is corrupt and treacherous man.

During the worst of George W. Bush's administration, I never held that opinion of him. I believed he just wasn't up to the job, and that he allowed Dick Cheney to run things. But I never saw George Bush as corrupt.

Nor did I think Reagan was either even if her was oblivious to the Iran-Contra scandal swirling around him.

The American Spectator is hardly a neutral publication.

Even if the president did meet with the chief of the IRS, there is no evidence that he directed him and his staff to break the law. None.

But folks who dislike the president won't be dissuaded from thinking that is the truth.

Always On Watch said...

As I mentioned before, I am a cynic about the characters of politicians and about politics in general. The quest for power does corrupt so many decent men.

I realize that the American Spectator isn't a neutral source.

Then, again, neither was the WaPo back during the Watergate Era. So many back then refused to believe those reports in the WaPo, but now we all know how the Watergate scandal turned out.


Yesterday, I read THIS in the WaPo, and it makes a lot of sense to me. Excerpt:

John Edwards was right. There are two Americas.

In one America, the events of the past 10 days have exposed the true colors of President Obama and his administration. From edited talking points about the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, to the secret seizure of phone records of Associated Press reporters to the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, a single message has emerged: This is the inevitable result of government run amok.

In the other America, this is all much ado over nothing. The death of four Americans at the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi was a tragedy, nothing more. The Justice Department acted legally. And the IRS officials who acted wrongly did so of their own accord and had absolutely no contact with President Obama or senior officials in his administration.

Both sides cite polling — there’s enough polling these days for everyone to find something that suits them — that prove their point. According to a new CNN poll released Sunday, 53 percent of Americans approve of the job that Obama is doing, up from 47 percent two months ago. Fifty-four percent of Americans believe congressional Republicans have acted “appropriately” in the wake of the IRS scandal. And those numbers are from the same CNN poll.

You get the idea. While there has been some cross-party agreement over the past week — particularly on the IRS where many Democratic members of Congress have voiced their concern with how the agency acted — the general rule of Washington still held: How you think about things depends almost entirely on the party with which you align yourself....



Although you and I manage to exchange civil dialog. I, however, am not a member of ANY political party -- even though I do vote in every election and most times for one of the Dem or GOP candidates.

Always On Watch said...

Why didn't the White House reveal this information before now?


...White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler told White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other top officials about the IRS findings nearly a month ago, press secretary Jay Carney said Monday. Ruemmler decided the information should not be transmitted to the president because the IRS inspector general’s report was not finished, he said.


The new account goes well beyond what officials had said as recently as Sunday, when senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said in television interviews that the White House did not know the results of the inquiry until the inspector general’s report was released last week. Carney had said previously that Ruemmler was told “only about the fact that the IG was finishing a review” of the IRS’s conduct, and he portrayed it as a “normal sort of heads-up” notification....

Should not some of those who kept information from the President be fired?

Changing narrative? Again? After Pfeiffer's use of the word irrelevant on the Sunday morning talk shows?

Always On Watch said...

Note the author of THIS (from NBC News:

DOJ's secret subpoena of AP phone records broader than initially revealed

The Justice Department’s secret subpoena for AP phone records included the seizure of records for five reporters' cellphones and three home phones as well as two fax lines, a lawyer for the news organization tells NBC News.

David Schulz, the chief lawyer for the AP, said the subpoenas also covered the records for 21 phone lines in five AP office lines -- including one for a dead phone line at office in Washington that had been shut down six years ago. The phone lines at four other offices – where 100 reporters worked — were also covered by the subpoenas, Schulz said.

Although AP had given general information about the subpoenas last week, it provided new details Monday about the number of cell and home phone records as it considers possible legal action against the Justice Department....

So, you see, we have a trifecta: Benghazi, the IRS, the AP. Tempest in a teapot or real crises? We will know in a few months, I think.