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May 28, 2013

Big Takeaway: Obama and Holder Hope That You'll Accept Their Offerings of Emotion -- "Outrage," "Remorse" -- In Place of Actual Action and Accountability

John Sexton finds the common thread and pulls at it.

President Obama is outraged over the IRS scandal. Attorney General Holder is remorseful over the James Rosen subpoena. Former Secretary of State Clinton is exasperated by Benghazi. Lois Lerner is apologetic for the targeting of Tea Party groups. An unnamed White House adviser is chagrined by his own idiocy.

All of these emotive responses to scandal have in common that they help insulate the person doing the emoting from any real responsibility. Holder feels bad about what he has done but that's it. He's not leaving office.

Secretary Clinton is frustrated that people working for her denied additional security, rewrote talking points and blamed everything on a You Tube video. But "What difference does it make?!" she blurted out during her appearance before Congress. She feels terrible, just don't hold it against her in 2016.

President Obama has been on an emotional jag lately. He was outraged by the IRS targeting of his political opponents is shocked by the subpoena of James Rosen's emails and, (implicitly) by the drone strike that killed a 16 y.o. American citizen on his orders. It's all very shocking and he knew nothing (except when he did) but in those cases he's going to make sure it never happens again.

The idea behind all of these responses is that the person responsible has learned their lesson. Everything in Washington becomes an Aesop's fable the moment it goes wrong. The powerful ham-handedly act out the role of the enlightened pupil and then carry on as if expecting more than a self-inflicted slap on the wrist would be, well, outrageous.

Actually, per that horrible Daily Beast apologetic, it is argued that they will now be "wiser" in the pursuit of their duties due to having received some good life lessons.


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posted by Ace at 02:02 PM

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