The reputation of the Obama White House has, among conservatives, gone from sketchy to sinister, and, among liberals, from unsatisfying to dangerous. No one likes what they're seeing. The Justice Department assault on the Associated Press and the ugly politicization of the Internal Revenue Service have left the administration's credibility deeply, probably irretrievably damaged. They don't look jerky now, they look dirty. The patina of high-mindedness the president enjoyed is gone.Obama has been arrogant his entire career and that arrogance carried forward into the White House. Like all arrogant men, their arrogance often leads to a downfall. In this case it has fed the prejudices of Obama's underlings and set the tone for his administration. To them they thought nothing was forbidden to them and they worked to destroy anyone foolish enough to question The One. Now that work is coming back to haunt them and their Dear Leader, and rightfully so.
As always it comes down to trust. Do you trust the president's answers when he's pressed on an uncomfortable story? Do you trust his people to be sober and fair-minded as they go about their work? Do you trust the IRS and the Justice Department? You do not.
Reading the comments to Noonan's piece it appears the Left is working hard to deflect any criticism of Obama by building every straw man argument they can think of, in most cases trying to paint a picture that shows Nixon was far worse than Obama. But Nixon's downfall wasn't the actual break-in at the Watergate, it was his efforts to cover it up. Obama's downfall may well be that he was either directly or indirectly involved in the actions that created the scandals now plaguing him. That's a big difference from what Nixon did. For one thing it has made everyone on both sides of the political aisle question the integrity of the government. Once people of all political stripes stop trusting the government the government is in trouble. And so it is with Obama.
Another thing so different from the Nixon era? The 24/7 news cycle.
Between the news channels and the citizen journalist – aka the blogosphere – there's little that escapes scrutiny. Fact checking is so much easier due to the Internet. The ability to claim “I didn't say that!” or “I was misquoted” has almost disappeared, particularly with help from websites like YouTube. While Nixon was skewered by the press, the press is the least of Obama's worries.
Congressional Democrats are distancing themselves in greater numbers, not wanting to be associated with the debacle that is the IRS, Benghazi, and the AP. They are less likely to put themselves on the line to pass legislation Obama needs “right away” or to push unpopular programs no one wants just because he does. When he's lost members of his own party you know he's in trouble.
Obama's only four months into his second term and he may already be a lame duck president.