Saturday, May 18, 2013

No Ordinary Scandal

Peggy Noonan’s article about the IRS scandal is her best writing in some time. She nails it when she talks about how the IRS became a political instrument in the Obama administration’s hands:
"The Journal’s Kim Strassel reported an Idaho businessman named Frank VanderSloot, who’d donated more than a million dollars to groups supporting Mitt Romney. He found himself last June, for the first time in 30 years, the target of IRS auditors. His wife and his business were also soon audited. Hal Scherz, a Georgia physician, also came to the government’s attention. He told ABC News: “It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare.” Franklin Graham, son of Billy, told Politico he believes his father was targeted. A conservative Catholic academic who has written for these pages faced questions about her meager freelance writing income. Many of these stories will come out, but not as many as there are. People are not only afraid of being audited, they’re afraid of saying they were audited.
All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. The purpose, obviously, was to overwhelm and intimidate—to kill the opposition, question by question and audit by audit.
It is not even remotely possible that all this was an accident, a mistake. Again, only conservative groups were targeted, not liberal. It is not even remotely possible that only one IRS office was involved. Lois Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, was the person who finally acknowledged, under pressure of a looming investigative report, some of what the IRS was doing. She told reporters the actions were the work of “frontline people” in Cincinnati. But other offices were involved, including Washington. It is not even remotely possible the actions were the work of just a few agents. This was more systemic. It was an operation. The word was out: Get the Democratic Party’s foes. It is not remotely possible nobody in the IRS knew what was going on until very recently. The Washington Post reported efforts to target the conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency by May 2012—far earlier than the agency had acknowledged. Reuters reported high-level IRS officials, including its chief counsel, knew in August 2011 about the targeting."
President Obama’s high-profile ‘announcement’ that Jack Lew had asked for and accepted the resignation for the acting IRS commissioner was insulting. He’s leaving in 2 weeks anyway.
There’s too many instances of the IRS going after Republicans to ignore. There have been too many times where Republicans were targeted by multiple offices of the IRS to think this is the work of 2 rogue agents in Cincinnati.  Michele Bachmann’s gave a good explanation of how the IRS bureaucracy works. She said it was apparent a week ago that the official White House statement was fiction. 
 "The president speaks in the passive voice. He attempts to act out indignation, but he always seems indignant at only one thing: that he’s being questioned at all. That he has to address this. That fate put it on his plate. "
This fits his pattern. When Jeremiah Wright first became news, Sen. Obama said that he couldn’t criticize his rants. Then Wright criticized Obama. Wright got shoved under the proverbial bus in a New York minute.

That’s the pattern. After 5 years of watching the Tyrant From Chicago, we shouldn't be surprised that he’d use the IRS as a weapon against his political enemies.