You know it’s a bad week for President Barack Obama when you hear things like this ...
President Obama “obviously likes giving speeches more than he does running the executive branch
“What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn't like dealing with other politicians – that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn't particularly like the press ... He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft.
"So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple of days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere. But what part does he like? He doesn't like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn't like selling to the press. He doesn't like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn't seem to like being an executive.”
... from Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s “Hardball.”
You may recall Matthews was the guy who so famously said he felt a “thrill going up my leg” after hearing Obama speak in 2008.
His rant this week sounded more like something you’d hear on Fox News.
I know why some Obama devotees are becoming disillusioned. It’s not so much that they think these scandals are all that horrible. It’s because they believe these scandals give conservatives ammunition.
It’s precisely what conservatives said they feared about Obama all along – that he would oversee an overzealous, out-of-control behemoth of a federal government.
Of course, anytime anyone suggested that, they were pooh-poohed as being alarmist, a wing-nut or just plain stupid.
But now, with all the scandals, the giant new government programs, the expansion of existing programs and the monumental debt, it’s pretty easy for conservatives to say, “I told you so.”
I really don’t know what to think about this triple whammy of scandals.
We have the murdered ambassador, the IRS targeting of conservative groups and the surreptitious coveting of Associated Press telephone records.
I wish I had a crystal ball to look ahead a year or so. There is the potential for some serious trouble for the Obama administration.
Just one quick scan of the headlines tells you it’s going to take a long time to sort through all these accusations and recriminations.
There will be hearings and testimony on top of hearings and testimony.
I suppose there’s a chance this will all go away quietly, but I doubt it.
Whether this stuff is overbaked or not, it does point to an adminstration that is a bit out of control.
I think the IRS thing is the most serious.
NBC News reported Friday  that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election.
There was also some interesting testimony Friday on Capitol Hill by the Treasury Department’s inspector general.
Apparently, he told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions.
That makes it  sound like Obama administration officials  – not just the IRS – were aware of the IRS shenanigans during the presidential campaign year.
If, in fact, the Obama administration knew what the IRS was up to but didn’t reveal it or do anything to stop it during the president’s re-election campaign, that’s troublesome.
President Obama would be wise to do his best to rein things in – in a hurry. But he really doesn’t seem like that kind of president. He seems more hands off than that, like he wants to be on the sidelines instead of in the fray.
One thing is for sure, though, the guy with the worst job in American right now is the president’s press secretary, Jay Carney.
I would not want to be in his shoes.
Mostly, Carney just deflects questions from the press by saying that he or the president “can’t comment” because of the “ongoing investigation.”
That’s a pretty generally used and abused dodge when you really don’t want to say anything. On the face of it, it’s simply not true.
Carney comments all the time on stuff that’s “under investigation.”
Sandy Hook was “under investigation.” He and the president made all kinds of comments about that.
The Boston Marathon bombing was “under investigation.” He and the president – and every other law enforcement official even remotely connected to the bombing – were commenting constantly.
Don’t be fooled. They could comment if they wanted to without compromising any investigation. They just don’t want to. Not that I blame them. I wouldn’t want to comment either if a bunch of my underlings were screwing up left and right.
The problem with all this is the distraction factor.
Every minute spent on all these scandals is a minute not spent on fixing the economy or tweaking the health care law or working on the budget, entitlements and deficit.
And those issues need lots of work.