By Manifesto Joe
An old joke: Ronnie and Nancy are back in Southern California, at their favorite restaurant on Rodeo Drive. The waiter asks for Nancy's selection.
"I'll have the filet mignon," she tells him.
The waiter asks, "What about the vegetable?"
Nancy quickly replies, "Oh, he'll have the same."
Groan! I happened to think of that one because, in view of all the flack President Barack Obama is catching over (1) Benghazi, (2) the IRS beating up on poor little Tea Party folks and (3) AP reporters being subjected to wiretaps, the Republicans in Congress seem to be preparing impeachment proceedings -- well, for something.
I seem to recall a little something called Iran-Contra. Reagan seemed to get a pass on that one in a great many circles, and his claims of not knowing the illegalities of the arms-for-hostages deal were not seriously challenged by many observers.
Of course, now, the congressional GOP is ready to lynch Obama for anything they can, and it's obviously presumed that he was the mastermind behind each and every one of these "scandals."
Regarding the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, last Sept. 11, the evidence is such that not even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apparently knew anything about the security decisions there, let alone Obama himself. The late Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens himself actually turned down extra security before the attack, sources say. Not just once, but twice. Thomas Pickering, a distinguished diplomat who has served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, was co-author of an independent report on the incident, and he exonerated Clinton. He all but openly called U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., a liar on the Sunday morning talking heads show, when Issa grandstanded about this issue. (Issa appears to be the Republicans' new incarnation of Joe McCarthy.)
Regarding the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, Obama says he found out about that when he first heard media reports on the subject.
Now, let's flash back about 25 years, to the last months of the Reagan administration. Reagan was a very disengaged president. He worked about 25-30 hours a week, and was known to fall asleep at meetings. Somehow, people at the time didn't think too ill of him for that. His predecessor, Jimmy Carter, was a brilliant workaholic who still somehow couldn't keep on top of what was happening in his administration. Carter's approach to the job was that of a chief operating officer. Reagan wasn't even what you would describe as a CEO -- he was chairman of the board, and his admirers mysteriously thought that was just wonderful. He was not a "hands-on" guy, but rather a "Great Communicator" who set the tone for the time.
Although there were 14 Reagan administration officials indicted over the Iran-Contra affair, including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Reagan's "Teflon" kept him absolutely free of any stain. Being president of the U.S., and the leader of the Free World, we were told, is comparable to being mayor of a very large city. You couldn't possibly know when some street cop is skimming off the Tenderloin, or if some code enforcement official is taking money under the table from people they should be citing as code violators. It isn't possible, given the size and scope of the Executive Branch of the federal government, to know when you've got felons or even minor scofflaws afoot.
That doesn't appear to be the case with President N****r. He's supposed to have known all about every bit of it, from the very start. He's obviously being held to a very different standard than Reagan was.
Exactly what the president knew, and when he knew it, are matters that we will presumably find out more about in weeks and months to come. But I implore the reader to remember history. What exactly makes Obama different from Reagan, besides the color of his skin and his party affiliation?
I'm concerned that Obama apparently didn't know much about these matters, and I believe that he should have. A CEO needs to have a handle on what's going on inside the company. But he seems to be under judgment from a very different standard than the now-revered Reagan. (That was always a mystery to me -- I never understood the mass appeal of the grandmotherly, turkey-necked Reagan.)
If Reagan got a pass on Iran-Contra (and he got them on plenty of other things), then Obama should get one, too.
Postscript: This is Joe's first post in four weeks. I've had a lot of stuff on my personal plate lately. I'll try to do better.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.