It’s been an interesting few weeks in Washington.
First, there was the Benghazi whistleblower hearing. Then we learned that the IRS has been targeting conservatives. Finally, the press discovered that the Obama administration, which members of the media have fawned all over and supported these past few years, was spying on its members and in one case arguing that one member of the press might even be a criminal.
While things certainly don’t look great for the Obama administration, so far, it’s not completely terrible. It’s just the beginning of investigating at least two of these matters so there is far more to learn, but as things stand now, Obama is successfully deflecting any direct involvement from the White House proper in these matters.
I find that interesting because somehow I think if one George W. Bush still occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, he wouldn’t be so lucky.
Imagine if President Bush was accused of twisting talking points on a matter involving the first death of a United States ambassador since 1979 prior to his reelection bid. Would Candy Crowley have jumped to his defense in a presidential debate? The answer to that would be . . . no.
If he survived reelection after that whole fiasco, what would have happened if it was discovered that the IRS under his executive jurisdiction was ferreting out applications for 501(c) (4) status by searching for the words “progressive,” “occupy,” or “environment”? Surely, that would be bad enough, but what if it was further uncovered that the groups caught in this net were bombarded with questionnaires asking for personal information of all their members and donors and for copies of every tweet, Facebook post, and speech they’d ever given?
Let’s imagine further that these groups and significant donors to Bush’s opponent were being audited and investigated by numerous arms of the federal government.
Finally, what if Bush’s Justice Department was discovered spying on hundreds of AP reporters while his Attorney General personally signed a request to subpoena an MSNBC reporter’s phone records by claiming that he may be involved in a crime?
If you don’t have any idea what might have happened, here’s one possible scenario.
After a mob dragged Karl Rove from the West Wing and tarred and feathered him, Democrat House and Senate members would be seen fighting each other for time in front of the microphone to denounce the President and call for his impeachment.
In impromptu news conferences and appearances on Sunday news shows, the usual Democrat cast of characters (most notably Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin) would be declaring these abuses “worse than Watergate.” There would also be a few statements from Harry Reid from the Senate floor that would sound so outrageous and ridiculous that even Democrats privately would describe them as “over the top” and “slightly embarrassing.”
In such a political climate, how long could President Bush stay in office? My guess is not very long. Like Nixon before him, there would be a sad scene of one final wave from the president from the steps of Marine One before being flown out of Washington and into the history books.
We live in a country where the presumption is innocent until proven guilty. That’s as it should be. As a country, we should demand that the allegations put forth about the Obama administration be fairly and impartially examined and judged.
But we should also insist that this standard apply to everyone, and in the case of a President Bush or any Republican for that matter, sadly, I’m not sure that would be the case.