Of all the ways Republicans can
decimate describe President Obama for his worst week in the White House they went with "arrogance," "cronyism," and "intimidation." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hit the Sunday talk shows to discuss the IRS and AP scandals.
Sen. McConnell went on Meet the Press and listed various examples of the "culture of intimidation" by this administration but actually failed to show any connection between the White House's direct involvement with the IRS. It's quite entertaining to watch Sen. McConnell try to squeeze in every talking point/buzzword to continue the distrust campaign:
Rep. Ryan reiterated to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that President Obama displayed "arrogance ... [and] abuse of power" for targeting IRS officials of Tea Party groups. His argument was framed in a "I told you so" manner that the White House and President Obama are overreaching in their governmental capacities as Republicans have always warned.
I'm no political strategist but if I were one for the Republicans, I'd come up with something more than calling President Obama a bully. One thing both Democrats and Republicans agree on is that President Obama has hardly been intimidating even when he tries to be.
The arrogance argument recalls the attacks on President Obama during the election cycles. Many on both sides of the political spectrum have painted President Obama as arrogant but no one can find proof of his intimidation. The Atlantic Weekly's David Rhodes believes President Obama has dug his own grave with these scandals because of his lack of conviction: "For five years the Obama administration has displayed a destructive tendency to try to have it both ways. In a press conference Thursday, the president did so again."
In fact, he's been feckless about his decision-making in many areas and has disappointed a large section of his voter base because of his stand on the XL pipeline, Guantanamo Bay, his delay in accepting marriage equality, and compromising women's right to birth control for political traction.
If Republicans want to turn these scandals into a cash cow they cannot liken President Obama to a thug. The IRS and AP scandals are definitely worth argument and prosecution of those involved, and the public absolutely deserves President Obama's full transparency in what happened.
However, Republicans will be far better served painting President Obama as incompetent or arrogant, and not as a bully.