By Joe Gruters
The three (and growing) major scandals rocking the Obama administration may well help Republicans in the 2014 mid-term elections and beyond. But they are more important than that.
The scandals give conservatives the opportunity to spell out a different vision for the country that extends far beyond political gain, and will allow Gov. Scott to more clearly separate his conservative vision for Florida from whoever his Democrat opponent will be.
All three scandals have in common that they rely on the depth and power of the federal government to make them so invasive. They are driven by the corruption of ideological federal bureaucrats and the Obama administration. But that corruption would not have such an impact without the overreaching, intrusive scale of the federal government.
The IRS scandal is one of the most frightening for the average American, because everyone (who works and pays taxes) has to deal with the IRS and has some justifiable degree of fear of the powerful government agency. It’s now obvious that the IRS was wielded as a weapon against political opponents of the president and we may have just uncovered the tip of the iceberg.
The Obama administration also used federal government wire-tapping powers to go after hundreds of reporters, supposedly in search of leakers. It’s not hard to harken back to the dark days of the Nixon administration, who also used powerful government agencies against political opponents. But the government is much larger and more powerful than it was under Richard Nixon, making the threat that much bigger.
In the newest potential scandal, it now looks like the EPA also was playing politics with fee waivers. Lawmakers are launching an investigation into charges that liberal groups in support of Democrats were given preferential treatment in obtaining government records and conservative groups were blocked from them.
Benghazi is the least obvious. But it involved the huge bureaucracy of the State Department and the probability that the U.S. government was running weapons from the Libyan rebels the administration armed to Syrian rebels it wanted to arm. Most importantly, it displayed a morally vacuous disposition within the administration when the right thing collided with gaining political advantage. The administration chose politics over the lives of Americans.
There are two levels every conservative needs to understand and articulate.
• First, the one consistent to all of these is the disturbing size and power of government over every American and its ability to insinuate itself into even the smallest aspects of our lives. Bureaucrats with agendas can make life miserable for individuals, companies, organizations. Everyone.
• Second, each of these scandals represents a place of corruption in the Obama administration. But taken altogether, they represent a breathtaking atmosphere of corruption throughout the administration.
The worst case scenario is now breaking: A frighteningly large and authoritative government with power over our lives and businesses combines with a corrupt presidential administration that is uses the massive power of the American government against the American people.
It has often been rightly said that a government big enough to give us everything we want can take everything we have. We are seeing that threat rise right now. It is for this very reason that conservatives believe in small government. Democrats represent ever bigger and more powerful government, a menacing prospect. We Republicans represent smaller government, one that cannot threaten its own people so readily.
This is not a solely federal issue.
Gov. Scott will be facing an opponent next year that is saddled with a Democrat Party that supports and fights to strengthen every one of these agencies against the average American. Those views infiltrate state-level thinking also. Scott represents the opposite. With ready help from Republicans in the Legislature, he has fought to shrink Florida’s government apparatus that intrudes on average Floridians, and shrink the footprint of taxes and regulations that weigh down companies’ abilities to grow, expand and hire.
The difference in worldviews are obvious and can be hammered home over and over, at the highest levels of political campaigns and over the fence with neighbors.
Thanks for being informed and engaged.