Bob Meade - Trust . . . or lack thereof

  • Published in Columns

We've heard the president and his spokesman and other administration officials call all of their broken trusts, "phony scandals".

We watched multiple Sunday morning news shows try to challenge the "phony" claim, only to listen as the Secretary of the Treasury did his best to obfuscate what happened that led to the IRS scandal. He actually had the audacity to try to make a case that the treatment of the "right" and the "left" was evenhanded and equal. Secretary Lew went on to say that supervisors were removed from their positions, and tried to make that the end of the story. He didn't say who. He didn't say they got demoted. He didn't say they got fired. He didn't mention that Lois Lerner, the IRS director of Exempt Organizations and the woman who refused to give sworn testimony to the Congressional Committee and "took the Fifth", has not been demoted, replaced, or fired, she has been given a nice gift in the form of an extended paid leave. A reward for deceit.

This type of action on the part of the Obama administration is not new. It has become commonplace for the Obama team to ignore constitutional restrictions. It has become commonplace for them to selectively decide which laws they will prosecute and which they won't. And, importantly, it has become commonplace for them to challenge the separation of powers called for in our constitution. The Supreme Court was embarrassed by the president during his State of the Union message. They were embarrassed again when, just recently, the Attorney General refused to accept the findings of the court and announced he is going to require the state of Texas to comply with the 60-year-old decision that was overturned by the court's recent decision. Please understand, the separation of powers requires cooperation by the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. It is incumbent of the Executive Branch, through the offices of the Attorney General, to enforce the ruling of the courts . . . but this administration arbitrarily refuses to do so. That's dictatorial!

The president and his team have repeatedly talked of bypassing Congress when they don't get what they want. One such example was the president making "recess appointments" when the Congress was in session. Such appointments can only be made when they're not. The Constitution provides two specifics in this area. The first is that the Constitution gives Congress the right to make its own rules. The other issue is that there are certain cabinet level and other appointments that the president can make that must receive "the advice and consent" of the Senate. Brazenly, knowing that he had people he wanted to appoint who would not have received the endorsement of the Senate, he chose to appoint them anyway as "recess appointments" when the Senate was technically in session. That's not upholding the Constitution now, is it?

Perhaps the most disturbing scandal of all is Benghazi. Four brave Americans were brutally murdered. Our ambassador was one of those four and he was raped/sodomized, suffered any number of wounds, his body dragged through the streets, and tossed into a ditch along side a road. We watched as our in-territory diplomats testified that they had people that could have been to Benghazi in an hour. Other sources indicated that significant military might could be have been flown across the Mediterranean from Italy. But all were told to "stand down". That cowardice was followed by words to the effect "We couldn't have gotten there in time." That excuse has two major flaws. The first is, how did the decision maker(s) know how long the battle would rage before our men were killed? The second point is that it appears the killings took place about six hours after the attack began. This tragedy demands answers. Not the "What difference does it make?" from former Secretary of State Clinton. And not the lies about the attacks being caused by some obscure video. Serious answers starting with, Mr. President where were you when the attacks in Benghazi were going on? What could have more importantly occupied your time than the Benghazi raid and the lives of our citizens? (If a soldier leaves his post and goes AWOL while his unit is engaged with the enemy, he can be charged with desertion.) And why have all the survivors of the Benghazi attacks been hidden from Congress? Why haven't their names been released? Why are they prevented from telling their story?

Transparent administration? It's depending on you to be mute and stay uninformed . . . and so far, it's working.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)