Johnathan Chait

Required Reading: Scandalmonger Edition

Welcome to your required reading for the day; the topic is presidential administration scandals.

Sort of.

But let us check in with Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine:

The whole Obama scandal episode is a classic creation of a “narrative” — the stitching together of unrelated data points into a story. What actually happened is this: House Republicans passed a twisted account of a hearing to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, who misleadingly claimed to have seen it, creating the impression that the administration was caught in a major lie. Then the IRS story broke, which we now see was Republicans demanding a one-sided audit and thus producing the impression of one-sided treatment. In that context, legitimate controversies over Obama’s civil-rights policies became the “three Obama scandals,” exposing a government panopticon, if not a Nixonian administration bent on revenge.

Why do I need proof when I can lie with impunity?The collapse of the Benghazi story happened very quickly, when Jake Tapper’s reporting found that Karl had peddled a bogus story. (It’s notable that the only misconduct in both the Benghazi and the IRS stories was committed by House Republicans.) But the scandal cloud lingered through the still-extant IRS scandal, which in turn lent the scandal odor to the civil-liberties dispute. Now that the IRS scandal has turned into a Darrell Issa scandal, we’re left with … an important dispute over domestic surveillance, which has nothing to do with scandal at all. The entire scandal narrative was an illusion.

And we must remember that the parliamentary immunity vested in Article I.6 of the U.S. Consitution means that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, will never have to answer legally for the lies he so carefully crafted in order to create a fake scandal in the form of a fact-free, tinfoil-wrapped conspiracy theory.