The National Review reviewed the scandals of the past 8 years in government and found much to ponder and mourn.
We are not talking the Bill Clinton-type issues. These are actually more serious. More issues yes, but in different arenas than Clinton scandal.
Not only was the Obama administration marked by scandal of the most serious sort — perverting the machinery of the state for political ends — it was on that front, which is the most important one, the most scandal-scarred administration in modern presidential history. For your consideration:
- Under the Obama administration’s watch, the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies from the BATF to the NLRB were illegally used to target and harass the president’s political enemies. The IRS targeting scandal was the most high-profile of these, but others are just as worrisome. Federal investigations and congressional oversight were obstructed, and investigators were lied to outright — a serious crime.
- The administration protected the wrongdoers and saw to it that they retired with generous federal pensions rather than serving federal sentences for their crimes.
- The Obama administration oversaw the illegal sale of arms to Mexican traffickers for purposes that to this date have not been adequately explained, and those guns have been used to murder American law-enforcement officers.
- President Obama’s secretary of state was involved in a high-profile case in which she improperly set up a private e-mail system to evade ordinary governmental oversight; she and her associates routinely misled investigators, obstructed investigations, and hid or destroyed evidence. These are all serious crimes.
- The Obama administration made ransom payments to the Iranian government and lied about having done so.
- Under the Obama administration, the Secret Service has been a one-agency scandal factory, from drunk agents driving their cars into White House barriers to getting mixed up with hookers in Cartagena.
- Under the guise of developing “green” energy projects, the Obama administration shunted money to politically connected cronys at Solyndra and elsewhere.
- Obama’s men at the Veterans Administration oversaw a system in which our servicemen lost their lives to bureaucratic incompetence and medical neglect, and then falsified records to cover it up.
- Under the flimsiest of national-security pretexts, the Obama administration used the Department of Justice to spy on Fox News reporter James Rosen. It also spied on the Associated Press.
- The Obama administration’s attorney general, Eric Holder, left office while being held in contempt of Congress for inhibiting the investigation of other Obama administration scandals.
But, no: No embarrassing stain on a blue dress.
It is one thing to have a degenerate president. It is something else — something far worse — to have a degenerate government. Barack Obama may have spent the past eight years as sober as a Sunday morning (his main vice, we are told, is sneaking cigarettes) and straight as a No. 2 pencil, but he leaves behind a government that is perverted.
A liberal society with decent government requires that the pursuit of political power be insulated from the exercise of political power.