Critics of President Obama have been relentless these past five years. That relentlessness, though sometimes I don't like to admit it, is a tribute to America's freedom of speech. During the Cheney administration, I and many others were relentless in our daily criticism of President Cheney and his tagalong companion George W. Bush. In the 90's, the corporate/centrist President Bill Clinton was critically attacked by his political opponents each and every day of his presidency. The same will happen to the next president.
However, what distinguishes critics of Democratic presidents, in my not-very-humble opinion, is the obvious double standard applied by these conservative critics of Democratic presidents. There are so many examples to choose from to make my case, but for this post, I'll focus on only one glaring example.
Barack Obama is still being attacked by his conservative opponents for Benghazi and something they call the "IRS scandal"......alongside conservative critics hourly criticism of Obama(care). Although nothing has surfaced proving that President Obama actually did, or ordered done, anything illegal or even unethical in any of these alleged scandals.......the attacks over these "scandals" just keep coming.
Apparently, Obama's critics expect a Democratic president to be a hands-on, responsible-for-everything, buck-stops-with-him, god-like figure who not only works out of the White House but also personally runs the IRS departments,....all of them....controls the daily operations of health websites and health insurance companies....and also, in his spare time,.....keeps real-time track of all foreign outposts, not only in Libya, but everywhere in the world, simultaneously.
If anything bad or negative happens....anywhere....conservative critics have argued that it is President Obama's responsibility, his fault.
Like I mentioned, all this is to be expected.....and would be surprising if it wasn't happening.
At the same time, conservatives seem to be using a double standard when it comes to Republican executives. The clearest example of this conservative double standard is found in the response by Republicans to the, yes, scandals, now surrounding the Chief Executive of New Jersey, GOP Governor Chris Christie.
Governors, we're told, are the closest thing to being president. Republicans even tell us that a governor or former governor always makes a better presidential candidate because governors take charge and run stuff. They're real executives who take responsibility and get things done. Not like one of those know and do nothing U.S. Senators
And yet, oddly, when Governor Christie insists he didn't know anything about closing the George Washington Bridge last September before, during or after it happened....when Governor Christie denies any and all knowledge of Sandy money blackmail....Republican and conservative critics of President Obama defend Christie's account as believable, acceptable.
If you have been following the Christie stories, you know that virtually everyone who worked for Christie, whether in his office or at the Port Authority, is in some way implicated in either the bridge shutdown, the cover-up, or both. But many defenders of the New Jersey Chief Executive still claim that Christie should be taken at his word. He just didn't know anything about any of it. He may have read something about it in the paper.
The same double standard is witnessed in the Chief Executive of Wisconsin, GOP Governor Scott Walker. Walker was Milwaukee County's Chief Executive before he became governor. Six of his former aides were convicted of committing the crime of 'doing political activity work for Walker's gubernatorial campaign while being paid with tax dollars to run, um, Milwaukee County.'
In Walker's Milwaukee County Executive office, Walker's employees installed a special router system in an attempt to coverup in real-time their "secretive" campaigning work on the public's dime. Walker's initials are on at least one of the e-mails which suggests that Walker was in on the illegal scheme. Walker was never charged and swears today that he knew nothing back then, and knows nothing now. Currently, Governor Walker is being investigated for how campaign funds for his recall election may have been illegally gathered and/or distributed.
And yet, conservative media has been touting Scott Walker as presidential material, Chief Executive material.
Two GOP Chief Executives....two GOP presidential hopefuls....two hands-on, shirtsleeves rolled up, no-nonsense Leaders who, by god, are step-up-to-the-plate, rugged individualists who relish the thought of taking charge....and responsibility.
Right up until it comes time to...well...fess up and take responsibility.
To this very day, the same conservative/centrists who wag their heads over each and every Obama move, proclaiming that the President is responsible for everything bad that has ever happened.....and lots of stuff that never happened at all.....are the very people who insist that Walker and Christie simply never knew what was being done out of their Executive offices by the employees and appointees those governors worked with, and alongside of, every day.
It's a double standard....but not unexpected. The Chief Executive in the White House, if a Democrat, is expected to be like the Christian god.....omnipresent and omniscient...but it's perfectly acceptable, worthy of defending even, if Republican Chief Executives are all Sergeant Shultz's...."knowing nothing."