I have to agree with Karl Rove, which in and of itself is an anomaly.
If history is any indication, when the GOP impeached Bill Clinton for lying and obstruction of justice, Clinton’s job approval poll numbers remained high. It appears that most Americans, regardless of party affiliation, believe in fairness and political overreaching can backfire on the accusing party.
Karl Rove warned Republicans that attempts to link President Obama to the ongoing Secret Service and GSA scandals would be perceived as political overreach. But so far, they haven’t been able to help themselves.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) pushed full speed ahead this week, writing a letterto the White House seeking answers on whether others were somehow involved in the Secret Service prostitution scandal. Then on Tuesday he suggested on anIowa radio station that the Colombian prostitutes at the heart of the inquiry may have been Russian spies.
House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), the GOP’s point man for unearthing Obama-related scandals, and Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-NY), are insisting that more people were involved in the Secret Service scandal than the agency is admitting.
Regarding the General Services Administration employees’ spending spree in Las Vegas, the GOP has been no less restrained.
Issa portrayed it as evidence of “the most corrupt government in history.” During a Tuesday appearance on Bloomberg TV, he linked the scandal to the bank bailout and stimulus in an attempt to bash Washington’s out-of-control spending. “This money going though the hands of political leaders is corrupting the process, whether it is Solyndra, GSA or a number of other scandals,” Issa said.
High-ranking Republican Rep. John Mica (FL) claimed the White House “knew about it, did nothing, kept it quiet” until forced to ‘fess up. He then admitted that the scandal helps him attack Obama. “No, no, I’m not scoring political points,” Mica said on Fox. “But I am labeling [President Obama] as a big spender.”
To date there is no evidence that the White House tried to cover up the scandals or that any high-level Obama aides, let alone the president himself, were involved. The scandals have dominated Beltway chatter for weeks, and several individuals guilty of wrongdoing, along with the GSA chief, have already been forced out of the agencies.
The political phenomenon is one both parties fall prey to when they believe they have a winning story: Incessantly push until you overdo it and surrender the high ground. Democrats recently fell into a similar trap when they took the RNC chairman’s “war on caterpillars” line out of context, and when they hammered Romney’s call to cut public funding for Planned Parenthood by falsely implying he wanted to “get rid of” the organization itself.
These sorts of missteps risk being seen by voters as partisan opportunism, as Rove warned his fellow Republicans last Sunday.
“Every argument in politics generates a counter-argument,” Rove said on Fox News. “And the counter-argument that will be generated if Republicans try and make this a big push against President Obama is the ordinary American will look there and say, you know what, that is going over the top.”
The Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform thinks that the Obama administration is “the most corrupt in history,” and he’s not afraid to say it.
Speaking to Bloomberg on Tuesday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) insisted that the president’s political appointees must be held accountable for their actions, citing the recent General Services Administration graft scandal and a failed solar power company, Solyndra, that the Obama administration had invested in.
“If they reported to the White House and the White House did nothing, shame on the White House,” he said. “But even if they didn’t report to the White House, we still have to say, ‘Why weren’t they doing their job of protecting the American people?’ Political appointees cost a lot of money to the taxpayers. If they’re… giving awards for bad behavior, they’ve got to go.”
He added: “But again, we’re very busy in Washington with a corrupt government, with a government that I said a year ago, because of the money, because of the TARP and stimulus funds, was going to be the most corrupt government in history, and it is proving to be that.”
In spite of Issa’s allegations, he only cited two specific scandals. According to journalist Haynes Johnson, the “most corrupt” label actually belongs to the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Plagued by dozens of scandals like selling weapons to Iran, rigging federal grants, the savings and loan crisis and other assorted political skullduggery, it all ended with 138 officials having been investigated, indicted or convicted — the most of any U.S. presidency, ever.
This video is from Bloomberg, broadcast Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
Attempting to clean up her husband’s duplicity on stay-at-home moms versus poor moms who are mandated to work in order to receive assistance from government programs, Ann Romney sounds down right silly…
In an emotional speech about the difficulty of motherhood and life on the campaign trail, Ann Romney used an odd choice of words to discuss mothers who are forced to work while raising their children.
Ann Romney was at the center of a national discussion recently after a Democratic consultant charged that the would-be future first lady couldn’t possibly understand the plight of working mothers because she had the luxury to stay home and devote herself full time to raising her kids. The Romney campaign fired back, accusing Democrats of lacking respect for stay at home moms.
The issue was largely dismissed after a few days as a ginned-up “silly season” controversy, but Ann Romney’s comments last night at the Connecticut Republican Party’s Prescott Bush Awards Dinner could potentially reignite the issue. After discussing how she understands the challenges mothers face, Romney said, according to BuzzFeed:
Romney alluded to the fact that not all women can stay at home saying, “I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.”
It seems Romney was trying to express empathy for women who don’t have the option to stay at home, as she did. But the comment that she “love[s]” that some women “don’t have a choice” and must work is unusual, to say the least, and could lead to a new round of charges that the Romneys don’t understand average Americans, given their enormous wealth.
Nearly two-thirds of women are the breadwinner or co-bread winner in their households. Nonetheless, the gender pay gap remains. And while Mitt Romney has broken with most Republicans to support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he has still not yet taken a position on the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Everyone knew this would happen with the Etch-A-Sketch candidate. It was just a matter of time.
Two constituencies that President Obama is holding onto about as strongly now as he did four years ago are voters under 30 and Latinos. In what is probably not a coincidence, these two constituencies are the targets for the first two major Mitt Romney Etch A Sketch pivots of the general election. After having repeatedly denounced any need for the federal government to subsidize tuition costs during the primary, Romney has now endorsed Obama’s call for extending lower rates for federally-subsidized loans. Romney says he supports the measures “in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market.” Apparently, he has been informed of the poor job market since wrapping up the nomination, when he was still advising graduates concerned about debt to acquire a high-paying job.
On immigration, Romney is making the turn a little more slowly, as you’d expect, given the sensitivities involved in holding together his base. Romney has deputized Marco Rubio to craft “his” own version of the Dream Act, a somewhat more restrictive version of the reform that Republicans in Congress killed and Romney opposed in the primary, when he positioned himself on the party’s right on immigration. Romney is “studying” Rubio’s bill.