Alter: WH Staffers "All In Awe Of" Obama, "Have An Unhealthy Love For Him"


CHRIS MATTHEWS: Sometimes the best advisers are not sycophants, they don't depend on you for emotional response. They're willing to say: I'm only here for six months, to help you, I'm a pro. But sometimes, a professional or elected president says: I got elected, not you. I'm the boss. You know, it's hard to get the boss to come down from his ladder and say, you know, I need some help.

JONATHAN ALTER: [President Obama] in some ways kind of infantilizes the people around him. A lot of them are young. Some of them are very smart and talented. But they're all in awe of the president. They have an unhealthy love for him. Yes, they do sometimes tell him the bad news, which he says he wants. They're not all sycophants. But he has not figured out how to get some other people in. And, you know, we can go over a list of names. I think there are some very talented people who could help him with more creative ideas for getting on top of it.

On the IRS, for instance, he needs maybe former heads of the IRS to be special term-limited prosecutors, who have to report back after six months instead of six years, the way it was in the 1990s, and they need to make recommendations that include, not just possible prosecutions, yes its pretty bad what happened there, but also to strengthen the law. You have a situation, Chris, where Karl Rove, just to go into specifics about what Sherrod Brown was saying, Karl Rove in 2010 had a filing to the IRS where he said that Crossroads GPS, his (C-4) SuperPAC, was not predominantly a political organization, then they went and spent $70 million on attack ads in 2012. If that's not political, what is? So basically, in some ways, the IRS has not bee aggressive enough. The same thing applies to Bill Burton and the pro-Obama SuperPACs. The law is not being enforced to prevent these organizations from masquerading as social welfare group. They are political groups and should be fined by the IRS if they engage in that kind of political activity. That's not happening.

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