All successful political leaders have one or two very simple fundamental beliefs upon which they build both their popularity and their policies.
For Ronald Reagan, it was limited government and more freedom. For Barack Obama, it is the unshakeable conviction that government can and must be a strong and benevolent force in our lives.
Which is precisely why the nature of the cascading scandals of the past week are so damaging to the Obama presidency. Just as Hurricane Katrina shattered what remained of the Bush administration’s image of competence, which had once been a strength of the first M.B.A. president, the Benghazi, IRS, and AP stories are like a multihead missile aimed at Obama’s fundamental belief: that government is good and will make your life better.
For many liberals, including Jon Stewart, these scandals have proven all the wrong people right. Let's review:
—The IRS using unchecked power of government to throttle political dissent.
—The DOJ logging AP reporters’ calls for two months, and, when telling them later that they’d done so, simply saying “trust us,” we had a good reason.
—In Benghazi, the president and his minions exposed in a blatant political strategy to downplay the threat of radical extremists intent on killing Americans after they’ve just succeeded at doing so. Check.
What does this mean? Well, take the argument against gun registration. When the IRS is advising officials to BOLO (be on the look out) for groups with “patriot” in their names, it's hardly a Red Dawn fantasy to fear the government might abuse gun-registry data. Or take Obamacare. Do you really trust the people who are tapping your phone and auditing your taxes to take over your medical records?
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