TYRRELL: The beauty of confusion in officialdom

Lawlessness thrives in the fog of scandal

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Where are we now in this morass of Obama administration scandals? We have The Associated Press imbroglio. We have the Benghazi imbroglio. We have the Internal Revenue Service imbroglio. Well, a synonym for imbroglio is confusion, and in all the above cases, replace the word “imbroglio” with the word “confusion” and you will get a hint of where I am going. We have one massive cloud of confusion, and that is exactly what this embattled administration wants, confusion. It thinks that if an event can be brought to confusion, at some point the journalists and the general public will throw up their hands and agree that it is just too difficult to penetrate. Perhaps the Nixon administration was hoping for such an outcome back in 1973.

There is indeed a lot of confusion shrouding these three scandals. Possibly the White House is right that people will throw up their hands and forget about the journalists’ records that were subpoenaed, the lives that were lost in Benghazi, Libya, or the conservatives who saw their 501(c)4 applications held up for years, sometimes forever. Yet I tend to doubt this. There are too many citizens in and out of government and too many military personnel who are indignant. For that matter, there are too many citizens in and out of government and the military who fear they might be thrown to the dogs by this White House. Some among them are getting lawyers. Others are bringing their stories to the media. Moreover, there are the aggrieved members of the Tea Party movement.

The other day, Jeff Lord of the American Spectator asked on our website what Colleen Kelley, the head of the National Treasury Employees Union, was doing at the White House at 12:30 p.m. on March 31, 2010? Did she talk with anyone there? Did she talk with the president? The helpful note on the White House visitors log indicates that she at least met him. Surely it is a tantalizing detail that the IRS‘ harassment of conservatives began shortly after her rendezvous at the White House. Now the White House spokesman, that irritable little lout Jay Carney, says she was just there for a function of some sort. So she talked with no one? That is improbable, and by the way, her union is militantly anti-Tea Party and pro-Obama.

Mr. Lord is very busy answering telephone calls and emails from the public and most interestingly, from former IRS employees. How many calls has he received from people in government and the military who are fearful for their careers?

As I say, this White House thrives on confusion. It is spreading confusion in these scandals. It is spreading confusion in policy matters, for instance, that policy happily called “Obamacare.” Recently, it was reported that teams of government consultants are being lined up to advise the uninsured on Obamacare. That is, assuming they can find the uninsured. Some people want nothing to do with Obamacare. Some people are utterly confused about it, and if what I read is true, they have reason to be utterly confused. They might be sent off to an undertaker.

Confusion appears to be Barack Obama’s friend. The other day a woman called Rush Limbaugh on his radio show and said she had been a fundraiser for Mitt Romney in 2012. According to her, the White House is happy to have the IRS story out there, for the story intimidates potential Republican donors from donating to Republican candidates. Supposedly, these donors are fearful that they will be the targets of an IRS investigation.

Of course, this is just the opposite reaction from the Tea Party. Its members are planning a series of protests around the nation. My guess is we are going to be hearing a lot about this morass of scandals. Pay attention, if you can.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is editor in chief of the American Spectator and adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute.

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