President Obama Can you find the president in this picture? (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

DAY MAYBE THREE DEPENDING ON HOW YOU COUNT IT of Beng-IRS-pressphonerecords-scandal-ganza-gate dawns on the Obama administration’s response to its various scandals, and as Dana Milbank tells it, the response is not impressive. Apparently, according to his spokesman, President Obama is waiting for more information before taking action in the two newest scandals, but he also pretty much gets his information from the media (and their phone records, zing!), so that’s going to take some time. That is, Obama is kind of watching all this unfold, just like we are, and wondering how he will respond, just like we are.

The president is just like us!

This narrative is a sharp twist from yesterday’s, which was all about how Nixonian/Montgomery Burns Obama has been, using his powers to go after political enemies and such. In today’s narrative, he looks much more like the most recent President Bush, sort of not taking the job all that seriously, trying to seem like a regular guy when caught in a tough spot. Just an innocent bystander.

Or, as Milbank puts it, “President Passerby.”

Commenters are totally willing to go along with this tweaked narrative.


It’s not intelligence that’s at issue here — and it’s certainly not any of the crap being peddled on the far right — but it instead is a lack of will. Right-wing attacks can’t destroy this administration, but the president’s failure to engage on these scandals will. Making the IRS scandal Jack Lew’s problem is an act of political self-harm.


Passerby – uninterested — that is putting it mildly! What is even more scary is that his administration, that runs right out of the WH, doesn’t bother telling him [things.] Carney says Obama found out Friday from the news sites about the IRS yet Carney said the White House Counsel office was told 2 weeks before. What in heaven’s name is going on that they didn’t walk down the hall and tell him what was going on? Is there a shield or bubble around him? Does Valerie Jarrett stop all communication between him and everyone else? Is he considered not worthy or just incompetent to inform him of anything? He knew nothing of the AP scandal til it hit the news, doesn’t have a clue about the IRS and then says “if they did it” after they are already out apologizing?

Who is keeping Obama in a safety bubble of no info and why? Is it because they don’t trust him, find him incompetent or just want to ensure he always can say “I knew nothing – not my fault”?


Obama’s lack of interest in oversight mirrors his lack of interest in shaping legislation. Even in “Obamacare” he gave little-to-no guidance and left it to others to work out the details, fight the battles and make the political sacrifices. He’s like Bush — so good at campaigning he confuses it with the job he’s campaigning for.

And Holder should have been fired 10 times over by now. The fact that he hasn’t been speaks volumes.

patriot17 picks up the “fire people” thread and runs with it:

It’s probably about time for the President to fire a few people. It’s something I thought back when Woodward’s book talked about how Obama told Geithner to do something, and Geithner hadn’t gotten it done as of the writing of the book, which was months after the directive. I think he should have fired Geithner.

erinoconnell sees something ominous in Obama’s lack of response to the AP phone records scandal:

Obama is not going to apologize for the AP subpoenas. He fully supports infringement on civil liberties as long as there is a weak link to “terrorism.” That he has not come right out and said so indicates that he is still testing the political winds. He should have come out in support of Holder instead of acting like everything the DOJ does is a mystery to him. The fact that he is demonstrating no spine on this one is just making the situation worse.

And finally, some commenters have already moved on to the hilarious portion of a scandal’s progression:

biestsr2, on Obama’s relentlessly bad week:

Obama, waking up: “Oh [poop], it’s only Wednesday!”


Let me be clear, I haven’t paid much attention, so I don’t really know what the state of the union is. I first learned about it on cable news. –BHO

Su Yu

I hope Milbank is ready for his audit.