With 2011 drawing to a close, it is time to account. As an early-and-often chronicler of Chicago-on-the-Potomac, I am amazed at the stubborn and clingy persistence of President Barack Obama's snowblowers in the media. See no scandal, hear no scandal, speak no scandal.
Dartmouth College professor Brendan Nyhan asserted in May -- while Operation Fast and Furious subpoenas were flying on Capitol Hill -- that "one of the least remarked upon aspects of the Obama presidency has been the lack of scandals." Conveniently, he defines scandal as a "widespread elite perception of wrongdoing."
So as long as left-wing Ivy League scribes refuse to perceive something to be a scandal -- never mind the actual suffering endured by the family of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, whose death came at the hands of a Mexican cartel thug wielding a Fast and Furious gun walked across the southern border under Attorney General Eric Holder's watch -- there is no scandal!
Mother Jones' Kevin Drum likewise proclaimed: "Obama's presidency has so far been almost completely free of scandal."
This after the year kicked off in January with the departure of lying eco-radical czar Carol Browner. In backroom negotiations, she infamously bullied auto execs to "put nothing in writing, ever." The previous fall, the White House's own oil spill panel had singled out Browner for misleading the public about the scientific evidence for the administration's Draconian drilling moratorium and "contributing to the perception that the government's findings were more exact than they actually were."
The Interior Department inspector general and federal judges likewise blasted drilling ban book-cooking by Browner and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who falsely rewrote the White House drilling ban report to doctor the Obama-appointed panel's own overwhelming scientific objections to the job-killing edict.
In February, federal judge Martin Feldman in Louisiana excoriated the Obama Interior Department for defying his May 2010 order to lift its fraudulent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Gulf. He called out the administration's culture of contempt and "determined disregard" for the law.
This spring saw rising public anger over the preferential Obamacare waiver process (which I first reported on in September 2010). Some 2,000 lucky golden ticket winners were freed from the costly federal mandates -- including a handful of fancy restaurants in Aloha Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district, the entire state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Nevada, and scores of local, state and national Big Labor organizations, from the Service Employees International Union and Teamsters on down. Meanwhile, as The Hill newspaper reported last month, other not-so-lucky Republican-led states seeking waivers, such as Indiana and Louisiana, were rejected.
But it wasn't just Republicans objecting to the president's arbitrary Obamacare fiats. In July, congressional Democrats turned on the monstrous federal health bureaucracy known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The constitutionally suspect panel -- freed from normal public notice, public comment and public review rules -- would have unprecedented authority over health care spending and an expanding jurisdiction of private health care payment rates.
Obama's health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, faced separate legal questions over her overseer role in a hair-raising document-shredding case when she served as governor of Kansas. In October, a district judge in the Sunflower State suspended court proceedings in a high-profile criminal case against the abortion racketeers of Planned Parenthood. Bombshell court filings showed that Kansas health officials "shredded documents related to felony charges the abortion giant faces" and failed to disclose it for six years.
That same month, Bloomberg News columnist Jonathan Alter gushed: "There is zero evidence ... of corruption. Where is it?"
Alter's declaration of the "Obama Miracle" came just weeks after the politically driven half-billion-dollar Solyndra stimulus "investment" went bankrupt, prompting an FBI raid and ongoing criminal and congressional probes of the solar company funded by top White House bundler and visitor George Kaiser.
As Solyndra and an avalanche of other ongoing green subsidy scams erupted, so did the LightSquared debacle -- a federal broadband boondoggle involving billionaire hedge fund managers and Obama donors Philip Falcone and George Soros. In September, two high-ranking witnesses -- William Shelton, the four-star general who heads the Air Force Space Command, and National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Director Anthony Russo -- exposed how the White House had pressured them to alter their congressional testimony and play down concerns about LightSquared's interference threat to military communications.
The White House continues to block efforts to gain information about the Federal Communications Commission's approval of a special waiver for the company, even as new government tests this month showed that the company's "signals caused harmful interference to the majority of ... general purpose GPS receivers."
The Obama White House closed out the year with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri demanding a probe of the smelly $443 million no-bid smallpox antiviral pill contract with Siga Technologies -- controlled by big lefty donor Ron Perelman. Then there was the small matter of massive voter fraud in Indiana, where a Democratic official resigned amid allegations that "dozens, if not hundreds," of signatures were faked to get Obama on the state primary ballot in 2008. And while Americans busied themselves with the holidays, White House and Democratic campaign officials were dumping more than $70,000 in contributions from another deep-pocketed contributor -- scandal-plagued pal and former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who oversaw the collapse of MF Global.
All this -- and so much more -- yet erstwhile "conservative" journalist Andrew Sullivan of Newsweek/The Daily Beast scoffed, "Where are all the scandals promised by Michelle Malkin?"
There's none so blind as those who will not see.