Three Signs There’s a Cover-Up. Excerpt:
The late columnist William Safire once said that a good clue that someone in Washington was engaged in “an artful dodge,” i.e., a cover-up, was that they used the phrase “mistakes were made.” Safire defined it as a “passive-evasive way of acknowledging error while distancing the speaker from responsibility for it.”
The phrase became infamous when both Richard Nixon and Ron Ziegler, his press secretary, deployed it to explain away Watergate without explaining who did what and when or whether any ill motive was involved.
Astonishingly, the Internal Revenue Service resurrected the Nixonian expression within hours of its clumsy revelation that it had targeted tea-party groups and other organizations with “patriot” or “9/12” in their names. “Mistakes were made initially,” the official IRS statement on May 10 read, implying that the mistakes ended after a short “initial” period. We now know that the scandal and cover-up unfolded over a three-year period, and the IRS publicly acknowledged them only after the 2012 election was safely past.
This seems a little more than just second-term shenanigans, but it’s early yet. What’s instructive is watching officials of the Obama Administration being grilled by Congress; just below is a rare piece of footage of one such session.
In the linked article above, one of the three signs (indeed, the first) is that “nobody seems to be able to name the players.” We’re seeing a lot of that in Washington right now.
For instance, the IRS scandal: We now know that President Obama met with the very IRS union chief days before the targeting of conservative political groups began. What did they discuss? We don’t know, but it’s hard to believe that the use of the IRS hammer on political opposition was not on the agenda.
It’s a long, long way to the 2014 elections, but it’s not unreasonable to think these things will have an impact. How much? We’ll see.