The trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin and the aftermath of that verdict has been a timely and convenient distraction from the flock of scandals circling President Barack Obama's head.
His surprise entry into a daily White House press briefing to deliver a speech on race relations was more likely contrived than impromptu. And his current road show to justify his failed economic policies — little more than a repetition of his standard populist campaign speech — is likewise part of the strategy to draw attention away from his scandals.
To list just a few, there's Benghazi; the National Security Agency's surveillance excesses; snooping on The Associated Press; harassment of Fox News reporter James Rosen; the ATF "Fast and Furious" debacle; and IRS targeting of conservative groups.
If a plague of misdeeds, foul-ups and coverups like these were tied to a Republican president and his administration, the liberal media would be in outraged, feeding-frenzy mode. Recall how The Washington Post went all-in on Watergate to bring down Richard Nixon. But given their fealty to Obama (personally) and his leftist agenda (ideologically), they have a remarkably short attention span these days and an awfully high threshold for wrongdoing.
The credibility of the liberal media as objective journalists and watchdogs of government is now zilch. They should be ashamed.
White House press secretary Jay Carney behaves like the palace guard covering for the Wizard of Oz. He recently admonished the press to ignore the "phony scandals that have consumed so much attention here, all come to naught." So he wishes. For one, the IRS scandal will come to far more than "naught" when House Republicans convene a select committee to take it to the next level.
The ongoing investigation has now implicated Obama political appointee William Wilkins, the IRS chief counsel. Lois Lerner, as head of the exempt organizations unit in Washington, was in up to her neck, which might explain why she refused to testify, instead taking the Fifth. Elizabeth Hofacre, who processed Tea Party applications in the IRS Cincinnati office, told the House committee she was ordered to single out Tea Party applications for special scrutiny but not those from liberal groups, adding that she became frustrated with micromanagement from Washington.
Obama's chief protector on the committee made an embarrassingly lame attempt at damage control. That's Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrat and ultra-liberal, who desperately sought a sound bite he could take out of context. He asked Hofacre if she knew whether her office was told what to do directly by the White House or if she had knowledge of President Obama's personal involvement. She said "no" — from which Cummings has concluded that the investigation should be ended.
This charade called to mind a classic movie scene from "The Godfather," which also took place in a congressional hearing room. A Senate committee investigating the criminal activities of the Corleone family had called Willie Cicci, a Mafia "button man," to testify. Seeking to connect the godfather himself to individual killings, Cicci was asked under oath about the source of his instructions to perform such "hits."
Sen. Pat Geary: Mr. Cicci, would you care to amplify your answer?
Willie Cicci: Would I what?
Geary: Would you expand on your response? I'm interested to know, was there always a buffer involved?
Cicci: A what?
Geary: A buffer. Someone in between you and your possible superiors who passed on to you the actual order to kill someone.
Cicci: (Amused) Oh yeah, a buffa. The family had a lot of buffas!
Obviously, the Obama administration has a lot of "buffas" between the president and lower-level bureaucrats who do his dirty work. But the buck still stops on his desk in the Oval Office.