By Leroy Donald
It's interesting to watch people and listen to their responses after posing a question about their opinion on the most recent political scandal in America. Some roll their eyes and others just shake their heads. Short answers include unbelievable, incredible, what's next and what's happening to this country. It must be a sign of the times. Under the current administrative watch, an ongoing deluge of scandal and failed policy has created a sense of America in decline.
The economy remains weak and unemployment remains high if you factor in those who have dropped out of the work force. The trillion dollar stimulus bill was a failure by most accounts. Remember that grin of arrogance and the statement that shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected? Many, including myself, didn't find the humor in that remark. And that was only the beginning of what would become a barrage of half-baked executive decisions that weakened America's economy, compromised our foreign policy relations and provided the political atmosphere for scandals that followed in several government agencies.
Obamacare is a good starting place. Regarded by many as the most expensive 3,000 pages of bureaucratic confusion in American history, HR3962 was assessed by Congress in 2010 using underhanded paybacks to earn the necessary votes and a legal process known as reconciliation, which cannot be filibustered and requires only 51 votes. Now our health care choices are filtered through an oversized, out of touch federal government.
The Fast and Furious scandal that resulted in border patrol agent Brian Terry's death in 2010 provided a sample of congressional hearing justice. Attorney General Eric Holder, who could remember nothing, was held in contempt of Congress in 2012 and then granted executive privilege, another costly mistake by the president.
Hearings aimed at uncovering the truth regarding the Benghazi terrorist attacks that took the lives of four Americans have failed. Left wing pundits like Bob Beckel prefer to avoid the Benghazi cover-up and let bygones be bygones. My guess is that he agrees with another pundit known for her arm and wrist antics of outrage and her now famous bellow, "What difference at this point does it make?" Wrong Hillary, the friends and family members of those killed deserve to know the truth and the president should endorse the effort to find it. He loses again.
The IRS scandal should have raised more eyebrows due to its partisan focus. This outrage targeted conservatives and tea partiers applying for tax-exempt status because of party affiliation. IRS Director Lois Lerner and her ilk were attempting to weaken a political party in America due to party preference. Learner says she did nothing wrong and pleads the Fifth. Now the IRS reports it has lost two years worth of Mrs. Learner's emails. You cannot make this stuff up. American citizens are not idiots and may have had enough corruption and lies.
If you rethink this folly of scandals and policy blunders, you may recall the old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." I think America was near a breaking point when the VA scandal in Phoenix made the news. Delayed or denied health care for American veterans is a dismal failure within the VA. This scandal brought out the fool me twice in Americans and since VA Secretary Eric Shinseki worked for the president, the president takes another hit.
When the five for one prisoner swap was aired, all bets were off for any revival of empathy and understanding on behalf of most Americans. So the puzzled looks and opinions should be expected. As Brit Hume reported, I hate to say it because I'm an American, but we're looking at a failed presidency.
Now tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from South America are flooding our borders and entering the U.S. without resistance. Sunni terrorists are taking Iraq as the president dithers. Our national debt is over $17 trillion. The price of gas is on the rise and we're too stupid to use our own energy. Everything that made us what we once were is under attack. Quoting Dick and Liz Chaney, "Never before has an American president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many." And yet Barack Obama allows matters of vital national interest simmer on the back burner while he plays golf and raises funds. I hope he's enjoying himself because I think he's running on empty with the American people.
Leroy Donald is a resident of Stephens City.