Bruce Watson: Sam the Scam takes your questions
LEVERETT — Only a year ago, my longtime scandal consultant was unemployed. Scandal was “sooo Bush-Clinton,” Sam the Scam told me. Unable to even get on Fox News, Sam changed his name to Carl the Con and answered questions on conspiracies, from birthers to global warming.
But last week, Sam woke up thinking he’d died and gone to heaven. After lining up freelance gigs, he called. “I’mmmmmm baaaaack” he said. And he’s ready to take your questions.
Welcome back! We, the people, missed you almost as much as we missed seeing the vital issues of our day nuked into non-existence by one scandal after another. For a while there we almost had serious conversations. Gun control. Immigration. Whew, that was close. So, welcome back.
Grateful in Granby
Hey, if you were dead, you’d be … never mind. Thanks for the welcome. I always knew America wouldn’t turn its back on scandals. Even in the dark days of 2009, when a dozen bankers took down the world economy, got off scot-free and people said, “What’s for dinner?” I knew the pendulum would swing. Now that it’s slamming into the White House again, I’m thankful to be just another ordinary American trafficking in suspicion, innuendo and other low human behavior. The race is to the bottom. On your mark, get set…
I just hate that IRS. Ooooooh, I hate it. Them. Whatever. How dare they ask organizations with “tea party” in the name to prove their nonpartisan, tax-exempt status. What’s this country comin’ to?
Outraged in Athol
This country’s comin’ to its senses, pal. It’s easy to get hopped up over the IRS. We all hate them. It. Whatever. “Oooooh” is exactly right. I mean, if the IRS questions the nonpartisan status of a group using “tea party,” what’s next? Will they investigate the Republican Governors Association? The College Republicans? The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee? Swift Vets and POWs for Truth? All these are tax-exempt and I’m sure none would ever dream of being partisan.
Am I losing my mind? Seems I recall a scandal called Watergate where the president had an enemies list. Where his men pulled off burglaries and smear campaigns. Where he ordered the FBI to obstruct justice. Hush money. Shredding evidence. “Saturday Night Massacre.” And now people from the same party that did all this are comparing Watergate to what’s going on now? Have they no sense of decency?
Forgetful in Framingham
What a great memory you have! Maybe you even recall a smaller scandal called Whitewater. Seven years of rabid GOP-backed investigation, allegation, accusation, and POOF! But it sure kept the White House edgy. Hey, it beats accepting election results and kicking yourself for losing another.
A lot of people are saying “if” these days. “If the president knew…” “If the IRS tried…” “If the State Department refused…” What’s that about?
Parsing in Pittsfield
“If” is the new smoking gun. In today’s 24/7 scandal climate, our Grand Old Party Inquisitors can’t wait for proof before going ballistic. It’s more media savvy to convict on pure speculation. So the old Watergate “What did the president know and when did he know it?” becomes “If the president knew, he’s an incompetent traitor born in Kenya who deserves to be impeached.” And IF you say enough Ifs, even IF you never deliver that “smoking gun,” Hitler’s Big Lie becomes the Big If. And you get on TV even IF you’re an idiot.
And that’s all I have time for, Scandal Hogs. More dirt is being dumped even as I write. Gotta go. Stay distracted, stay poor!
Bruce Watson’s column appears twice a month. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.