IRS Scandal: Ongoing Obama Admin Scandals Aren't "Nixonian"


In the wake of the Benghazi, IRS, and Department of Justice AP scandals, people have begun to compare Obama to disgraced President Nixon. The media, who has been accused of having a too close relationship with this president, have been leading the charge. Clearly this is a case of selective memory.

Scandals are not uncommon to presidential administrations. Given that a scandal can be any "action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage," it's no wonder that every administration at some point or another is faced with the accusation of being part of a scandal and subsequently accused of a cover-up.

The eponymous "Nixonian" tactics of which Obama is now accused stems from the extreme secretiveness and corruption of President Richard Nixon's administration. It was Nixon who created the famous enemies list and tried to unleash the IRS on his political opponents. Nixon's CIA Director Richard Helms was convicted of perjury for denying his role in the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende. Nixon's Vice President Spiro Agnew was convicted of tax fraud stemming from bribery charges in Maryland and forced to resign. The Pentagon Papers that exposed the cover up of unconstitutional actions during the Vietnam War were released during Nixon's term in office. Finally, Watergate, the cover up of the Republican bugging of the Democratic Party National Headquarters, resulted in charges being brought against 69 government officials. 48 pleaded guilty and Nixon was forced to resign his position.

Liberal pundit Joe Klein wrote in TIME magazine that "I don't think Obama ever wanted to be on the same page as Richard Nixon." Mike Obel of International Business Times penned an article entitled "Barack Hussein Milhous Nixon: The Return Of the 'Sleaze Factor.'" Mediaite reported Fox's Lou Dobbs told Megyn Kelly that "This is a president whose inner Nixon is being revealed." The Boston-Herald wrote "Obama Knee-Deep in Nixon-esque Scandal."

Obama and his opponents have never been shy about drawing comparisons to past presidents. Some have been symbolic, some have been flattering, and some have not.

When Obama announced his candidacy in 2007, he did so in front of the Old State Capitol where Abraham Lincoln began his political career. After he signed the stimulus package and Obamacare into law, he was hailed as a modern FDR.

During the 2012 campaign his opponents tried to portray him as this generation's Jimmy Carter.

Now Obama is being called Nixonian. Obama is many things, and he has to answer for the mistakes made on his watch. But calling him "Nixonian" is just a case of wild imagination fostered by political and journalistic hyperbole.