On Morning Joe Wednesday, former Obama Senior Strategist David Axelrod essentially pleaded ignorance on behalf of his former boss when MSNBC host Joe Scarborough asked him what he would tell his University of Chicago politics class about the recent IRS scandal.
“Well, look, it’s an interesting case study, right, because if you look at the Inspector General’s report, apparently some folks down in the, bureaucracy, ya know — we have a large government — took it upon themselves to shorthand these applications for tax exempt status in a way that, as I said, was idiotic,” Axelrod began. “Part of being president is, there is so much beneath you that you can’t know, because the government is so vast.”
This is not exactly a defense that can help Obama right now. In fact, if anything, it will help solidify a counter-narrative that threatens not only Obama, but the entire Democratic Party. Politico’s Alexander Burns and John Harris write Wednesday:
For five years, this president has been making the case that a growing and activist government has good intentions and can carry these intentions out with competence. Conservatives have warned that government is dangerous, and even good intentions get bungled in the execution. In different ways, the IRS uproar, the Justice Department leak investigations, the Benghazi tragedy and the misleading attempts to explain it, and the growing problems with implementation of health care reform all bolster the conservative worldview.
So, thanks, David Axelrod, for making the conservative case that “government is so vast” that it is impossible to make it competent and accountable in its current size.