To the editor:
J. J. Schrader was perplexed as to why there has been no accountability for all the so-called scandals within the Obama administration, when compared with what New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie now faces (“Christie vs. Obama,” Tuesday Review-Journal letters). I’m sorry I have to be the one to break it to Mr. Schrader, but this has only been going on for 50 years or so.
When a Democrat occupies the White House, Republicans manufacture scandal after scandal, usually resulting in nothing but a stream of accusations. It gives the impression that government, when Republicans aren’t running it, is big, intrusive and corrupt. Lyndon B. Johnson once made the observation that Democrats legislate and Republicans investigate.
But when we actually look at history, we find Richard Nixon, as president and before he had to resign in disgrace over Watergate, was caught cheating on his taxes and had to pay back more than $400,000. During the Reagan administration, we had Iran-Contra, which yielded 14 indictments and 11 convictions, numerous resignations and jail terms. Many went on to be right-wing radio talk show heroes.
George W. Bush became the only American president to be indicted on war crimes by another nation for violating the United Nations resolution on torture. His choice to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency had to resign after the botched Hurricane Katrina response. His attorney general, along with 11 other justice department officials, was forced to resign in disgrace for the political firing of federal attorneys. Vice President Dick Cheney’s senior staffer went to prison for outing a CIA agent (everyone realizes he took the fall for Cheney).
Compare that to dozens of investigations of the Clintons that yielded a consensual sexual affair, and dozens of investigations of the Obama administration that have failed to yield any criminal activity at all.
Why does it seem that Democrats are so much more successful in their investigations? Is it that Republicans are so incredibly inept that they can’t prove their accusations, or, as I suspect, because Democrats aren’t prone to manufacturing scandals to investigate?