Our country has been blessed to be led by great men of intelligence, strategy and ethics. However, our country has also suffered during administrations that were plagued by poor decisions and scandal. Buchanan’s pre-Civil War inactivity, Harding’s Tea Pot Dome scandal, Grant’s bought-off administration, and Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War are just a few examples of presidents whose action or inaction in office were harmful for the country they were supposed to be leading.
This Presidents Day, is it fair for Americans to celebrate all of our nation’s presidents the same? Does every president deserve a party or a day of festivity just because they won a national popularity contest, or should Americans take the day to reflect on the good and the bad of each president? A day to study history and the choices the men in the Oval Office made that helped our country and more importantly hurt our country.
Currently, as Republicans continue to investigate, we can be all but certain their efforts will be to no avail. The reason is not because there is lack of evidence, facts or even documents. It is because there will be no witnesses or whistleblowers who will turn against the Obama administration. Unless some brave soul turns against the Chicagoland culture of silence and intimidation, the attorney general will never be forced to bring charges against those at the IRS, and possibly even the White House who directly broke the law by putting the full weight of IRS auditors and bureaucrats on conservative and tea party groups.
The entire investigation into the IRS targeting scandal has been tainted from the beginning. The House committee conducting this investigation will continue to be stonewalled. The "investigator" from the attorney general’s office will do little to seek justice. Barbara Bosserman is a DOJ trial attorney who is a known contributor to both of Obama's presidential campaigns. Ms. Bosserman's appointment makes just as much sense as appointing Chelsea Clinton as head of investigation into Benghazi or Pat Nixon to head the Watergate probe.
In the end, Ms. Bosserman will more than likely conclude that there was a handful of employees out of the IRS’s Cincinnati office that led or conducted a witch hunt on their own. Maybe one or two will be fired, but no one will be prosecuted. Although Lois Lerner is smack in the middle of the investigation, she will not be indicted and prosecuted. According to newly released emails, she was in charge of coordinating the assault on the tea party and other conservative groups. Specifically stated in an email on June 14, 2012 where Lois Lerner was CC’d, the email states clearly that potential regulations of dealing with 501c4 groups were being discussed off plan. Therefore, as the track record with other scandals in this administration, because there is clear evidence of guilt, she will be protected at all cost.
For those who study their history, this investigation was much like the Watergate investigation in 1973. It too was bogged down. The committee investigating the Watergate Hotel break-in was getting nowhere. Many people refer to former Senator Howard Baker's famous question -- "What did the President know and when did he know it?" as the key comment of the Hearings.
But what broke open the Watergate Investigation and turned the tide of history was not any investigator or member of Congress. It was a White House staffer named Alexander Butterfield. During Butterfield's questioning by the committee, he made the off-handed comment that President Nixon taped all his conversations in the Oval Office. The Committee immediately requested those tapes. This was the "smoking gun" the committee had been looking for.
To put the icing on the cake, John Dean, the White House's chief counsel, turned on the president and assisted the committee in gathering enough evidence to proceed with Articles of Impeachment. The rest as they say is history.
Unlike Watergate, there won’t be a "smoking gun" that comes to light nor will a major player in the White House come forward. President Obama has the advantage of the unflinching loyalty of his staff, especially Attorney General Eric Holder. A loyalty, that if President Nixon possessed among his staff, it would have allowed him to serve the remainder of his term.
Should President Obama really be given the same celebration as President Washington or President Lincoln? Just by reflecting on the details of just one of the major scandals, which have plagued the current administration, it is not hard to conclude whether or not this president deserves merriment. The same goes with President Nixon, as we don't usually celebrate him as one of the stars of our political history.
While to some, Presidents Day might just be a reason to get off work or school, maybe it is time that America uses this day to analyze and reflect on whoever sits in the Oval Office and whether or not their actions one day will be ones that we remember as regretful or respectable.