This morning, I listened as Joe Scarborough tried on his MSNBC TV political entertainment show to equate President Obama’s supposed tolerance of IRS misconduct with Chris Christie’s GW Bridge scandal.
In both cases, Scarborough said, top leaders had created cultures that led to wrongdoing.
As I recall it, at the IRS, some mid-level managers targeted right-wing nonpofits for extra scrutiny of their nonprofit status. This was done, according to Scarborough, because Obama had created a get-your-political enemies culture throughout the federal government, just as Christie apparently did within his office regarding his Democratic opponents in New Jersey.
It seemed a real exercise in heavy stretching on Scarborough’s part to try to equate these two things.
But I think the main point that is being missed here is that there is a real scandal at the IRS, and it is that Congress has cut so much of the IRS’s funding that it can no longer operate. This true scandal has been created by a culture of fiscal
austerity denial that has been championed by the Republicans in Congress.
This is why I think so much of the so-called political debate in the media in this country is really political entertainment. The real issues and scandals are overlooked in favor of the more sexy stuff, whether it’s fluff or not.