Ever since Watergate, it has been the practice to name each new scandal with a -gate suffix: Travelgate, Filegate, Thisgate and Thatgate. The reason? Watergate was the benchmark for scandals.
However, Obama has broken new ground in scandals, so I propose a new suffix: -ghazi. Not only is Obama unparalleled in the brazenness of the scandals, but the denials and the cover-ups strain credibility to the point where calling it a “-gate” no longer suffices. And the skill in orchestrating these scandals is unparalleled in American history. As Bill Kristol wrote a couple of weeks ago in the Weekly Standard, Obama is no Nixon. I had been Chairman of Utah Youth for Nixon in 1968 and remember well how awful I felt when I finally had to come to grips in 1973 with Nixon’s dishonesty. It was an awful thing, and deserves its place in history. But Obama has surpassed Nixon several times over. Not only has he bungled and lied and covered up, but he has been able to command astounding discipline from those who surround him. Nixon had key members of his administration turn against him. Obama has not only kept his people in line, he has, until recently, kept the press in line. And the magnitude of the scandals has surpassed that of Nixon by a good order of magnitude. A burglary is awful. IRS audits of political enemies are shameful. But with Obama we have an ambassador assassinated, assault rifles being delivered to Mexican drug cartels, and the institutionalizing of the intimidation of the opposition by the IRS. It is totally unfair to Obama to compare him with an amateur like Nixon.
And for this supreme scandal skill, the least we can do is coin a new suffix in his honor. So let’s roll out -ghazi.
So we can have the Benghazi scandal, the AP phone-ghazi scandal, the James Rosen-ghazi scandal, the Fast and Furious-ghazi scandal, the IRS-ghazi scandal, and so forth. We can maybe still use -gate for the more amateurish scandals and save -ghazi for those with higher degrees of professionalism like that displayed by the Obama administration and their accomplices in the media.
It’s the fortieth anniversary of Watergate. It’s time we update our language.
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