AP and IRS Scandals: Who Will Be Thrown Under the Bus By Obama?


Monday started off pretty badly for the Obama administration and really, it’s not going to get any better any time soon.

One-third of all congressional committees are currently investigating the Obama administration. There are only so many scandals that Washington, D.C., will tolerate before they demand accountability. In Washington, accountability almost always comes in the form of firing. That sentiment was echoed by former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan.

“He needs to fire somebody. He needs action, not conversation," Jordan said.

So who is the Obama administration going to throw under the bus? Here are some possibilities. 

Who people want to see fired: Attorney General Eric Holder 

Photo Via The Atlantic Wire: Attorney General Eric Holder 

The Justice Department has been party to some fairly large leaks. One of them was apparently the reason for the unprecedented access into the phone records of the AP. The leak in centers around an Al-Qaeda bomb plot in Yemen in May of 2012. In a press conference on Tuesday, Holder called that leak one of the most serious he’s seen in his career, adding that it put the American people at risk. 

Bloomberg reports that Eric Holder has persecuted more government officials under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all of his predecessors combined. That’s a real problem for the alleged transparent, open door government that the administration claims to have ushered in. These investigations prevent individuals from speaking to the press on national security, government fraud, waste or abuse. 

Who might actually be fired: Some other Justice Department figure head 

Photo via Zimbio: Deputy Attorney General James Cole 

It's very hard to envision a scenario where the Obama administration fires Eric Holder. It would be a severe condemnation of everything Holder has done as part of the administration. Holder’s already distanced himself from the AP investigation, while maintaining that the subpoena of phone records was necessary and legal. Holder said in a press conference that Deputy Attorney General James Cole was apparently responsible for the subpoena of AP phone records. Cole has tried, and failed, to explain away the broad reaching two month relatively unfettered access into the phone records of nearly 20 AP employees. Right now, the Obama administration has maintained that it has full confidence in the Department of Justice and Eric Holder. That might change once these congressional hearings get underway. 

Who else might be fired? Press Secretary Jay Carney 

Photo Via LibertyUnyielding: Press Secetary Jay Carney 

Press secretaries are thought to be of fairly expendable, the Bush administration went through four of them. Especially if they don’t have a good relationship with the press. The AP scandal isn’t expected to blow over any time soon so we can expect that as the questions continue, Carney will have to do one better than his usual, “The White House had no prior knowledge of this.”

Ultimately, Careny’s job is managing the perception of the White House and the president. When that perception fails or is damaged, the Press Secretary is an easy person to blame

Other Random Person to Be Fired: Someone from the IRS

Photo Via: Tumblr/Andrea Ayres 

Singled out Tea Party groups was not only misguided politically, but also illegal. It's not without reason that a higher-up from the IRS will all of a sudden submit their letter of resignation. House Democrat Elijah Cummings called the IRS scandal one of the "most alarming he's ever seen." If the congressional investigations unearth a substantial overreach by the IRS in singling out certain politically affiliated groups, someone will be fired. It's just a question of who and how high up they are. 

The real concern here is that the Obama administration will be seen as reactionary, as if it isn’t seen that way already. In Wednesday’s press conference Carney said the administration found out about the controversies only through news reports? I suppose they somehow believe this makes it sound any better? Instead, it just leaves the impression that the administration is a runaway train with different arms operating and no one in control. None of this is helped by the fact that the Democrats in Congress feel alienated by Obama. Had Obama had a better relationship with the Democratic leadership, they might have been more willing to expend some of their own political capital for him. As we saw with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s statements on Tuesday, they obviously don’t feel this way. A few weeks ago Obama was rumored as being a head of a lame-duck administration, now that fate seems to be all but cemented. That is unless the administration takes some serious and switch action.