Following the revelations of back-to back political
“scandals” in Washington, DC --- the revived Benghazi
affair, the revelation and admission that the IRS has
gone after conservative groups (and not liberal ones),
and the administration wiretapping of the Associated
Press, the question arises: What will be their impact on
Liberal pro-Obama commentators, for the most part
(there have been some notable defections), have been
furiously attempting to rationalize and defend the Obama
administration, while most conservative commentators,
noting blood in the water, have been furiously on the attack.
One set of national polls, Gallup, indicate no decline in the
president’s popularity while another set, Rasmussen, shows
a steady decline with Mr. Obama now slightly under 50%.
A few critics have called for impeachment, although most
conservatives, remembering the Clinton impeachment experience,
have little or no interest in such an outcome.
Whether or not two gubernatorial elections (New Jersey and
Virginia) and a special U.S. senate election (Massachusetts) this
year will be changed by the scandals is unclear.
Most of all, the facts about who did what in these scandals
have not yet been fully disclosed.
The Benghazi affair, perhaps the most troubling involving the
president (and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)
directly, is the least likely to change public opinion, with what
we know now. Most Americans have a limited interest in
foreign policy. Attempts to intimidate the media likewise
will not likely affect public opinion significantly, although it
could have enormous impact of previously Obama-favorable
reporters, broadcasters and editorialists. The IRS scandal,
however, is something that touches every American, and could
prove the most damaging politically. The administration is
actively seeking to localize the malfeasance to local IRS offices
and “rogue” IRS agents.
If further disclosures dry up, it is possible that the president,
with three years to go in his final term, will suffer only minor
damage. The Democratic Party liberal brand, on the other hand,
even if no more is disclosed, has probably suffered a blow in its
efforts for success in the 2014 midterm congressional elections.
The real “scandal” which could change U.S. politics, in my
opinion, lies ahead as the impact of Obamacare hits the
consciousness of almost every American. Already, health
insurance rates are rising, with significant increases almost
certainly ahead in the next several months. A bureacratic
tangle with insurance exchanges, regulations and a backlash
from physicians and other health care providers is quite
likely, and has already begun. Not only will individuals be
affected, the whole economy could be pushed into a tailspin
Already prominent Democratic U.S. senators and congressmen
are openly criticizing the anticipated Obamacare crisis, including
those who led the effort for its passage and voted for it. A number
of Democratic incumbents have already decided not to run for
re-election. The 2500-page bill, which Nancy Pelosi so proudly said
should not be read before it was passed, is now being read and
This might be the scandal that is the political gamechanger in 2014.
The allegations in the other (aforementioned) scandals are
quite serious if true, but it is alas probably fair to say that most
Americans are most likely to change their minds only when they
themselves have to pay the bills for what the politicians have
done to them.
Copyright (c) 2013 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.