Playing Dumb About Obamagate - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Playing Dumb About Obamagate
President Obama, Samantha Power, Tom Donilon, and Susan Rice in 2013 (Wikimedia Commons)

Liberals are dismissing “Obamagate” as another one of Donald Trump’s “conspiracy theories.” Never mind that Trump has been right from the beginning about the Obama administration spying on his campaign. James Comey sanctimoniously denied spying on Trump Tower, even as spying warrants giving him the power to intercept communications there sat on his desk. And never mind that Obama’s fingerprints are all over the Flynn-related espionage.

It is impossible to overstate the anger the media would have expressed had George W. Bush pulled such stunts on the Obama campaign.  

Liberals love to sanitize their own scandals. Once censorious of the CIA and FBI, they now act like it is inconceivable that those agencies could ever abuse power, could ever spy on anyone improperly, could ever be weaponized politically. And so much for liberals’ ACLU-style anxieties about the civil liberties of Americans. They have shown zero sympathy to Carter Page, even though the FBI massively violated his privacy with an improperly obtained warrant. The civil libertarian Left disappears during Democratic scandals.

Liberals used to scoff at Richard Nixon saying if a president does something it can’t be illegal. But liberals’ presumption about Obama is little different: if he did something, their attitude goes, it can’t be wrong.

Imagine if George W. Bush had participated in setting up a perjury trap for an incoming Obama official. The media furor would have been deafening. But Obama’s complicity in the Michael Flynn scandal, we’re told, is no big deal.

Just as Obama can do no wrong in the media’s reckoning, Trump can never be right. He is the clear victim of all the baseless spying on his campaign, which led to years of unfounded harassment that hobbled his presidency. And yet the media tells us that he is wrong to complain about it. How dare he notice that he was railroaded.

Of course, many of the media figures calling Obamagate a “distraction” are buddies with its architects. John Brennan and James Clapper are retained as contributors by the very media organizations that refuse to cover their scandals. Too bad H. R. Haldeman couldn’t have worked out such a deal.

To the extent that the media covers the Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign at all, it presents the espionage in the most innocuous terms. Even something as outlandish as infiltrating his campaign — the FBI’s sending in of Stefan Halper to entrap minor Trump campaign volunteers — is treated as “by the book,” to borrow Susan Rice’s phrase. Halper was just a “confidential informant,” we’re told by the media. Nothing to see there.

Again, it is impossible to overstate the anger the media would have expressed had George W. Bush pulled such stunts on the Obama campaign. That would not have been blandly described as “standard procedure” or a good-faith mistake. Some liberals have ludicrously suggested that it would have been a “dereliction of duty” if the Obama administration hadn’t spied on the Trump campaign. They say this even after it has come out that much of the spying rested on a bogus dossier financed by Trump’s opponent, even after the outrageous Strzok texts, even after the incriminating Flynn-related documents.

Only liberals could say “we don’t know what the scandal is” in the face of such facts. Their capacity for denial and projection is staggering. They spent three years accusing a government of interfering in our election, only for Americans to find out that that government was their own. It was the John Brennans, Peter Strzoks, and James Comeys who interfered in the election the most. And they were the ones who used foreigners to do it. Brennan and company not only made use of Hillary’s British smear merchant, Christopher Steele, but also other foreign intelligence agents — all in the service of a spying operation that proved utterly fruitless and never had any foundation to it. If you strike at a king, you better kill him. Brennan whiffed. But apparently that adage doesn’t apply to liberals. They struck at a president, missed, and now demand a return to power.

We will see all the sorry players in this saga try to crawl back to influence under a Biden administration. That’s why the John Durham investigation is so important. He could prevent that from happening.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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