Whitewash: A specious or deceptive clearing that attempts to gloss over failings and defects.
(My apologies to the readers: the above definition is for myself, to ensure that I got the word right (or the right word) and not to help the reader, whose English is usually much better than mine).
And another bit of logistics, providing useful information for the rest of this post:
John Avlon is political director for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. A CNN contributor, he won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012.So - a professional. And it shows. To start with the lede of the article NSA Spying Shows Obama’s Machine Out of Control:
Verizon. AP. IRS. Obama’s not the problem—it’s a government that has grown too big to control. John Avlon on how to tame the leviathan and save the president’s second term.You can see how the article will work out directly from the lede: John is pointing his finger in a false direction, diverting your attention from (let me count) at least two basic facts:
- The buck still stops at Obama's table, as it will for another three years.
- It is not just three problems the misdirecting finger points out, it is four (at least): because letting the government grow into a leviathan too big to control is another Obama's deed. And it doesn't matter who created the problems in the first place - be it the ubiquitous and omni-guilty Bush or George Washington: the buck stops at that table for five years already, so let's cut at least this bit of crap.
To date, however, the Obama second-term scandals do not seem carelessly self-inflicted from the top like those of the past, from Watergate to Iran-Contra to Monica or even the botched response to Hurricane Katrina.And how do we know, in the first place? Very simple (after all the article calls the reader to simplify):
What connects the unruly and still-evolving scandals—ranging from the IRS to AP to Verizon—is a portrait of an increasingly out-of-control federal bureaucracy that moves with an unaccountable borg-mind of its own.So it is this, not very well defined, but threatening and huge cloud that is at the roots of all evil - don't blame the POTUS, you hear?
Interestingly, during Bush years the media didn't point at that cloud, even if the molecules of moisture in it were more or less the same. Even if the author helpfully states that "The problem predates President Obama—government has been growing more or less consistently since the founding of the Republic..." Strange, innit?
The rest of the article follows the original tune, and Mr Avlon artfully reduces the whole issue to IRS, offering a solution (yep, don't say it's empty of content).
But somehow it doesn't work, not on me anyway. Maybe since I have already seen some people, generally very supportive of the Democrats, offering some scathing irony like that one:
Obama Denies Role in Government
President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to reassure the American people that he has “played no role whatsoever” in the U.S. government over the past four years.This is more like it.
All in all, in this article, which has another title, by the way, on The Daily Beast pages: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify, John Avlon went a few steps too far with the simplification process. Unless he aims at simpletons only, of course.