This article was first published at McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on May 17th, 2013:
Is the confluence of the “conservative charity targeting” scandal, the spying on the press corps, and Benghazi sufficient to bring down the president? Since this week marks the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Watergate hearings that eventually forced President Nixon to resign, it’s appropriate to review the evidence and consider the possibility that President Obama may join Nixon as only the second president in history to resign from office.
The IRS targeting scandal is likely the most dangerous, probably because most Americans can relate to the intimidation and threats inherent in the IRS. And the fact that Obama’s enemies list is so similar to that of Nixon’s that the parallels are unnerving. John Dean, Nixon’s White House Counsel, explained its purpose:
This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration…
Stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies?
That “federal machinery” included subjecting his enemies to IRS tax audits as well as by manipulating grant availability and federal contracts and by threatening litigation and prosecution of his enemies.
When all was said and done, Nixon’s impeachment was inevitable. When told that there were only 15 senators who wouldn’t vote for impeachment, Nixon was done. He resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974.
Obama’s use of the “federal machinery” is vastly broader and enlists the help of the State Department, the Department of Justice (an Orwellian term if there ever was one), and the Internal Revenue Service.
Let’s look at how Obama has used the IRS. I am persuaded, as is Jeffrey Kuhner at the Washington Times, that “senior IRS officials would never have sanctioned such a vast, dangerous operation without political approval from the White House.”
Most already know that a secret memo, called BOLO, or “Be On the Look Out”, was circulated among IRS agents receiving applications for tax exempt status from conservative groups following the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United in January 2010. The first application to be received, and approved, came from the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois in February. Then came BOLO and not another conservative group’s application was accepted for 27 months.
In August Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s chief economic advisor, attacked the Koch brothers by noting that Koch Industries hadn’t paid income taxes. But since that company, owned by Charles and David Koch, is privately held, there is no way Goolsbee would have known that except that someone at the IRS illegally tipped him off. When challenged, the White House referred to two websites where the information was publicly available. When checked however, those websites didn’t contain the information, and so the White House backtracked saying that Goolsbee “made a lucky guess.”
During the 2012 president election, a pro-gay marriage group, The Human Rights Campaign, published information that an organization tied to Mitt Romney had made a $10,000 contribution to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Said NOM’s President Brian Brown:
There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law.
The only questions are who did it and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign.
And then there’s Barack Obama’s classmate at Columbia University, Wayne Allyn Root, who has for years been attacking the Obama administration and the president for his lack of forthrightness about his time at Columbia. Wrote Root:
I am the face of Obama’s IRS attacks. I am proof of how bad it is, when it started, that it was directed at individuals as well as groups, and that it did not involve only “low level IRS employees.”
For thirty years Root, a successful entrepreneur and noisy opponent of the president, has filed his income taxes without an audit. Then, in January, 2011, he received a phone call (not the usual letter) from an IRS agent that he was under investigation and that the agent considered it “an honor” to be doing the audit. The audit was so rigorous that every deduction claimed had to be proven with backup paperwork and receipts, even his mortgage deduction. The audit took 18 months and ended only when a court ruled that his return was clean.
Five days later Root got a call from his tax accountant: “Are you sitting down? I don’t know what to say but the IRS just contacted me and you’re being audited again!”
Said Root: “That order had to come from the highest levels of government. Obama is using the power of the IRS and other government agencies to punish his political opposition and intimidate and silence his critics.”
The Department of Labor and the IRS jumped on Frank VanderSloot just two months after his name appeared on Obama’s enemies list. The IRS announced his returns for 2008 and 2009 were being audited, while the DOL announced they were doing an audit of the workers VanderSloot employed on his Idaho cattle ranch.
VanderSloot’s crime? He served as Mitt Romney’s finance committee co-chairman in 2008 and in 2012 and contributed $1.1 million to Romney’s campaign.
And then there’s the fast-track approval of Obama’s step-brother’s phony charity, the Barack H. Obama Foundation. Charles Johnson, writing at the Daily Caller, called it “a shady charity” which had been operating illegally long before it received its tax exemption from the IRS. When its paperwork was finally submitted, it was granted approval in less than 30 days. As Johnson noted:
[The charity’s] president and founder, Abon’go “Roy’ Malik Obama, is Barack Obama’s half-brother and was the best man at his wedding, but he has a checkered past. In addition to running his charity, Malik Obama ran unsuccessfully to be the governor of Siaya County in Kenya. He was accused of being a wife beater and seducing the newest of his twelve wives while she was a 17-year-old school girl.
When Ken Rutherford, founder of Landmine Survivor Corps, visited Kenya where “Roy” Obama was allegedly helping the poor, he brought with him 400 pounds of medical supplies to give to him. But upon speaking with him and learning about his “charity” Rutherford concluded that “Roy” was a shifty “operator” and gave the supplies to a local clinic instead.
Nevertheless, Lois Lerner, head of the IRS tax-exempt-organizations division granting (or delaying) applications, signed off personally on Roy’s request and then, even more extraordinarily, granted his “charity” retroactive tax-exempt status dating back to 2008.
Then there’s Benghazi where it is becoming more obvious all the time that the State Department deliberately dithered and delayed in responding, which resulted in the murders of four Americans.
And the DOJ’s raiding of telephone records belonging to Associated Press reporters and editors is probably internally the most damaging as the AP has been fawning over Obama ever since he arrived on the political scene. In this Obama has successfully alienated his most trusted and faithful ally.
Here’s how Kuhner sums all this up:
Ultimately, Mr. Obama is the root cause of the White House’s woes. The problem is not the president’s men (and women). It is the president himself. He has no respect for the Constitution or for legal constraints on his power.
He has presided over a scandal-ridden administration — Fast and Furious, Solyndra, the open bribery and abuse of parliamentary procedures to pass Obamacare, suing states seeking to uphold our immigration laws, enabling the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens simply if they’re accused of being “terrorists,” and now the use of government power to suppress dissent, persecute opponents, spy on the press and cover up the jihadist slaughter of Americans.
Mr. Obama is a political thug masquerading as a progressive reformer. He is worse than Nixon: No one died as a result of Watergate.
Once the six congressional investigations into Obama’s thuggery have been completed and the whitewash from Attorney General Holder and the FBI is done, we’ll be left wondering: is this going to be enough? Is the disgust currently being registered by the American people sufficient to grow enough backbone for congress actually to impeach the president?
I don’t think so. Back in Nixon’s day most senators were going to vote for impeachment. But in Clinton’s day the senate didn’t have enough backbone to follow the House’s lead in impeaching him.
However, I think something else even better is afoot. Americans’ distrust of their government continues to increase daily and without trust and credibility, the government cannot operate. This will provide the opportunity for constitutionalists and limited government advocates to make their case and begin to turn government back to its proper role under the Constitution.