Several pundits have already compared the Benghazi “cover-up” to Watergate. There’s something ironic about that when you consider the role of Jay Carney, Obama’s press secretary, in defending his boss and the rest of the executive branch against criticism. Today, Carney waved off reporters’ questions about Benghazi, accused House Republicans of encouraging the “rapid politicization of everything” and turning the Benghazi investigation into a “political circus.”
Once upon a time, Carney saw such “political circuses” as necessary to holding the executive branc accountable. Without further ado, I give you, “Scandal, Power And the President,” written in 2007 by Massimo Calabresi and TIME Washington Bureau Chief Jay Carney:
In Washington, scandals metastasize, growing and changing until we can’t remember what they were about in the beginning. A bungled burglary became a cancer on the presidency, forcing Richard Nixon to resign in disgrace. A money-losing Arkansas real estate deal led to Monica, a blue dress and Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Already, the furor over the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys has shifted focus from the crass but essentially routine exercise of political patronage to the essential project of George W. Bush’s presidency: its deliberate and aggressive efforts to expand and protect Executive power.
Which is why divining the true motives behind the dismissals is only part of the battle under way in Washington. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have spent six years expanding presidential powers at the expense of Congress and the judiciary, from authorizing domestic wiretapping to limiting habeas corpus and changing bills through signing statements. Democrats, in control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 12 years, are determined to reclaim what …
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