Putting the nail in the phony-scandal coffin


The Democratic posture on the so-called “scandals” that erupted in May has clearly shifted as more information has come to light. When the IRS controversy first began in the spring, Democratic officials were quick to condemn any political favoritism or unfair treatment based.

But as the “scandal” evaporated into nothing, Dems apparently realized it was time to stop criticizing IRS misdeeds that apparently didn’t happen, and it’s time to start mocking Republicans relentlessly for making baseless allegations with no foundation in reality.

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee released this video yesterday, which is just a brutal takedown of Republican claims. This week, instead of doing real work, House GOP leaders are eager to hold “message” votes related to the IRS story, but as the video makes clear, there is no IRS story. Republicans raised specific questions, which have been answered. They raised specific allegations, which have been discredited.

Capitol Hill Dems aren’t the only ones on the offensive. White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer dismissed the so-called controversy as a manufactured outrage based on nothing. “The allegation was, by many Republicans, that the White House was directing the IRS to target Tea Party groups,” he said. “That was the allegation. And that has turned out to be completely false. There is no evidence to suggest that. And now it has turned out that the IRS was not just targeting conservative groups but also looking at a large number of progressive groups as well.”

And in case that weren’t quite enough, more information came to light yesterday about Benghazi – and it disappointed the right, too.

Col. George Bristol, who commanded an Africa-based task force at the time of the attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, told the House Armed Services Committee that there was no “stand down” order. His testimony corroborated what Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson, who led the site security team in Tripoli, had already told lawmakers.

In other words, as has been obvious for quite a while, the two stories Republicans have been heavily invested in are both “phony scandals.” The right obviously doesn’t want to hear that, but one can only deny reality for so long.

Whether there will be any accountability for the pundits and politicians who spent months misleading the public remains to be seen.

Postscript: Apparently, Fox News wants viewers to believe Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, called the attack on the outpost last September “phony.” That’s clearly not what Carney said, and Fox’s report reinforces suspicions that the stories themselves have unraveled, leaving the right to make stuff up.