George Will Channels Glenn Beck, Or How A Once-Respected Conservative Columnist Has Caught The Hate-Obama Plague

I’ve often picked on George Will, the conservative columnist famous for being a right-wing nerd.

And I’ve picked on him for good reason. He’s written some nasty and nutty columns in his career, but perhaps none as nasty and nutty as his column in yesterday’s Washington Post (“In IRS scandal, echoes of Watergate”).

While I won’t hold him accountable for the headline of his piece, I will hold him accountable for beginning his piece with a selection from the Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon:

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to . . .cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

Will, knowing that he is a media darling, intentionally invoked the ghost of Tricky Dicky to, what else, bring attention to himself, which is somewhat excusable I suppose. A guy has to make a living, even if it is peddling nonsense.

But while it is excusable for a conservative columnist to engage in some hyperbole regarding the Obama presidency—and God knows the Scary Negro brings out the beast in those pale-faced conservatives—it is not excusable for a man with the reputation that George Will has enjoyed to engage in the kind of conclusion jumping fit for, say, Glenn Beck:

The burglary occurred in 1972, the climax came in 1974, but 40 years ago this week — May 17, 1973 — the Senate Watergate hearings began exploring the nature of Richard Nixon’s administration. Now the nature of Barack Obama’s administration is being clarified as revelations about IRS targeting of conservative groups merge with myriad Benghazi mendacities.

The nature of Barack Obama’s administration is being clarified…” Hmm. Not one thing that has been revealed so far, from either the IRS fiasco or the Benghazi tragedy, has even come close to implicating President Obama in some kind of Nixonian crime. Not one thing. Nothing. But here is the much-respected George Will comparing the “nature” of Obama’s presidency to Nixon’s. I once thought that only in the noggins of people like Glenn Beck would such tripe thrive. But the plague has spread and even those with intellects are vulnerable.

Oh, and to show how this whole column was designed to draw attention to himself and not to offer us any real insight, Will includes this cover-his-ass disclaimer:

It remains to be discovered whether the chief executive is guilty of more than an amazingly convenient failure to superintend the excesses of some executive-branch employees beyond the Allegheny Mountains.

Wait a minute: “It remains to be discovered whether the chief executive is guilty…”? Huh? Will begins his column with a reference to impeachment, compares Obama to Nixon repeatedly, and then adds, “It remains to be discovered whether the chief executive is guilty…”? What bullshit, what utter bullshit, that is.

And to expect the President, no matter who he is, to “superintend the excesses” of anyone and everyone who works in the executive branch is itself an absurdity. What is Obama supposed to do? Do we want him spending his time running from building to building, city to city, state to state, embassy to embassy, making sure all 2.65 million executive branch employees are doing their jobs correctly?

Is Obama supposed to be the superintendent-in-chief?

The tommyrot in this column culminated in this:

Five days before the IRS story broke, Obama, sermonizing 109 miles northeast of Cincinnati, warned Ohio State graduates about “creeping cynicism” and “voices” that “warn that tyranny is . . . around the corner.” Well.

Well what? What’s that “well” there for? I’ll tell you what it’s there for. It is to confirm that the Scary Negro, the one that has driven pale-faced conservatives nuts for more than four years, is the tyrant they all imagined him to be. Barack Obama is a Black Panther—excuse me, a New Black Panther—who means to do real harm to the country, especially the parts of the country with lots of conservative white folks in it.

Finally, Will claims that,

If Republicans had controlled both houses of Congress in 1973, Nixon would have completed his term. If Democrats controlled both today, the Obama administration’s lawlessness would go uninvestigated.

Get that? Did you get that transition from using the specific name “Nixon” to using the phrase “the Obama administration’s lawlessness”? Did you get that slick move from naming a man who personally committed crimes for which he had to be pardoned, to using the phrase, “the Obama administration“? Again, it’s as if bad deeds done by IRS staffers in Cincinnati or elsewhere is Obama’s fault and is equivalent to the crimes committed by Richard Nixon himself.

What dishonest piffle that is.

And by the way, as Politico reported,

[R]oughly one-third of House committees are engaged in investigating some aspect of the Obama administration…

With millions of Americans out of work or out of full-time work, with a slow economic recovery, with working-class incomes declining, with all the other things going on both here and abroad, ain’t it nice to know that Republicans have something to do?

10 Comments

  1. I read it too Duane and thought yikes! What’s happened to this man. He has become entirely disingenuous now – all cherry picking and all drawing conclusions from the thinnest (even non-existant) evidence.

    Time for him to step off the stage (of course that never happens).

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  2. ansonburlingame

     /  May 14, 2013

    So Duane, if I may ask,

    What else if anything should be done by Congress to resolve complaints regarding the IRS and Benghazi. Should I assume NOTHING MORE is needed, today? While as well you complain of main stream media making too much over the IRS, do you believe that media has done a good job on Benghazi?

    Just curious.

    Anson

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  3. angelfire

     /  May 14, 2013

    Duane….if it eases your mind at all…..Will was also in love with darling Sarah P. Oh yes, after she paraded the disabled child (Will state he too had children with mental disabilities and he was so happy to take up the cross of anyone who would champion children like his — never mind that Sen. Ted Kennedy did MORE to assist the disabled than any Republican EVER imagined with the Americans with Disabilities Act) around the stage at the Republican convention Will championed her on the Sunday news show he invades every week.

    He’s nuts like the rest of them he just manages to temper his craziness most of the time.

    God gets them….one at a time.

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    • Treeske

       /  May 14, 2013

      angelfire, Right on but one thing he left unsaid while comparing Sarah’s dedication to his the fact he had left the mother of that child for a younger model to start family 2. Family values, high morals and….I guess they’re all preachers! Then for some humoresque discredit; At the Toyota Prius introduction, he predicted they would fall apart within 10 years…ours is one of the first, 160.000 miles, not falling apart yet on the contrary!

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  May 15, 2013

    A day later now and now I see that DOJ has directed the FBI to conduct a criminal investigation and the AG has recused himself from the matter. Those are now announced FACTS. I leave speculation to others related to the IRS situation.

    AB

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    • Anson, the FBI investigation and the AG recusing himself – noting to do with the IRS investigation. They are about the AP investigation; Holder recused himself because he had previously been called to testify as a witness in the FBI probe into the leak which was the origin of the AP situation.

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  May 15, 2013

    Moe,

    You might be right. There is so much crap flying around for now that I can’t keep them all straight in the details.

    HOWEVER, I have made an attempt to look at all second term presidencies in my lifetime and consider the difficulties in most of them. You can find such thoughts, NOT rants against President Obama at http://ansonburlingame.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/second-term-presidencies/.

    You and others might consider such comparisons. I actually expressed the HOPE that Obama will have a “good” second term, meaning a successful one, for the sake of ALL Americans. As I stated in closing that blog, I saw what happened during and after Watergate and want nothing like that to ever happen again, for sure.

    Anson

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    • Anson – indeed, they call it the ‘second term curse’ – Watergate, Monica, Iran’Contra etc. So many of them. I’ll go read yer’ post right now!

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  6. I find Duane’s justifiable rant especially notable here:

    And to expect the President, no matter who he is, to “superintend the excesses” of anyone and everyone who works in the executive branch is itself an absurdity. What is Obama supposed to do? Do we want him spending his time running from building to building, city to city, state to state, embassy to embassy, making sure all 2.65 million executive branch employees are doing their jobs correctly?

    Now obviously the President has to rely on Cabinet heads and hundreds of other appointed managers to do the right things and manage their departments. In the case of the IRS, one would have thought that would be one area that didn’t need micromanaging, given that it has, at least apparently, been OK since the time of Nixon. But why, I ask, did this vital agency only have an “acting” director since last November? I tried a search engine and came up empty. Several possibilities occur to me.

    1. Obama nominated someone and the GOP stalled his confirmation in the Senate.
    2. Obama couldn’t find anyone conservative enough for the Senate’s conservatives.
    3. Obama had so many other fires to put out that he just didn’t want to spend the energy trying to please the un-pleasable and decided to go with the #2 man until next fall.

    Does anybody know the answer?

    I did find an article on presidential appointments – he has to make about 1,000 of them. Unsurprisingly, given the animus in Congress, the confirmation process has become, well, unmanageable. When Obama tried to get a man named William Boarman approved as head of the Government Printing Office, there was so much trouble that he had to settle for a recess appointment. The article said,

    Boarman, who left his well-paid union position to serve as public printer and is now retired, said he worried that the arduous confirmation process would make it hard to find good candidates: “If this continues to happen — and I have no reason to believe that it won’t — people aren’t going to serve.”

    This is bad for government and it’s bad for the country, but it’s becoming clear to me that the GOP is so reluctant to let the Obama administration succeed at anything that the nation’s welfare has become second priority to their animus.

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  7. Here’s the link for the Appointments article, if anyone’s interested:

    http://www.propublica.org/article/under-obama-more-appointments-go-unfilled

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