Dunn: The Sheep Look Up

Thanks to the media, scandals like the ones dogging the Obama administration are usually viewed through a Beltway lens — how they will affect the current administration, the current Congress, whatever legislation or programs happen to be in the spotlight. The opinions of the country at large are not sought and would not be welcomed

The reverse is much the same. Most ordinary people — those not directly involved in politics — pay little attention to government scandals beyond their limited entertainment value. The details are generally esoteric, the relevance to daily life difficult to establish. Political scandals are usually ignored amid busy personal and work lives, serving only to once more reassert the ancient truism that all politicians are thieves.

But there exists a certain class of scandal that defies all the rules, that breaks down the barriers between the Beltway and the country at large. Teapot Dome and Watergate are among these. In the past week, the constellation of interrelated scandals — Benghazi, the IRS, Justice, and NSA — termed “scandalpalooza,” has achieved that status.

The synchronous nature of this megascandal has played a large role in fixing the attention of the public. Out of ineptitude or bad luck, or most likely a combination of the two, all of them have peaked within weeks of each other. For months, there has been no break from Obama scandals; when the latest one begins to pall, there arises a new revelation about another, and when that one fades, hit the dirt! … Here’s a completely new one out of nowhere!

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