Pat Buchanan: ‘This is not Watergate or Iran-Contra’

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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A week ago, I noted that Republicans and Democrats seemed to be agreeing on a scandal narrative which says President Obama isn’t evil, but instead, incompetent. (Or, as I wrote, “Obama isn’t a bad guy, he’s merely out of the loop…He is ‘President Passerby,’as Dana Milbank calls him.”)

Unless or until evidence is produced directly linking the president to the scandals, this is a mutually beneficial arrangement. By conceding incompetence, Democrats take a hit, but not a fatal blow. Meanwhile, Republicans can responsibly advance this story, without overreaching, as they’re wont to do.

Pat Buchanan is merely the latest to advance this narrative. And this is notable. Having worked for Nixon and Reagan, he is well suited to draw (or undermine) historical comparisons.

Over at TAC, he writes,

“No, this is not Watergate or Iran-Contra. Nor is it like the sex scandal that got Bill Clinton impeached.


The AP, IRS and Benghazi matters represent a scandal not of presidential wrongdoing, but of presidential indolence, indifference and incompetence in discharging the duties of chief executive.”

But he doesn’t let Obama off the hook completely. Ultimately, Buchanan concludes this:

“Who demonized the Tea Party people? Who created the climate of contempt? Whoever did gave moral sanction to those IRS agents.


And the Spectator President is right in the vanguard.”

Or, as I wrote last week: “We seem to have settled, for now at least, on the notion that he is like Henry II, who inadvertently signaled to the knights they should murder Thomas Becket. In other words, there is a culture of corruption.”

Matt K. Lewis