The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016


I live in Florida—a hot and humid subtropical climate for six months a year. It's the kind of climate that reeks havoc on houses. Dampness, heavy rains and heat lead to wood rot wherever and whenever water can penetrate a building. Most Florida residents recognize that this phenomenon occurs. In fact, if one were to look closely at wood near the foundation of a house the rot is often visually evident. And yet, because people are people, it's always easier to disregard evidence of rot (hoping it won't spread or get worse) than it is to remedy the problem.

Corruption is the "wood rot" of government. It often starts small with scant evidence it exists, but after a time the rot is undeniable. And yet, because people are people, it's easier to disregard or deny the evidence it exists.

During the past eight years corruption within major government agencies has become frighteningly obvious. Those agencies have worked as hard as they can to cover up the rot, to deny it exists, to stonewall any attempt to uncover and expose it. But like wood rot in Florida houses, it won't go away, remedy itself, or slow down.

William McGurn comments on two major scandals that involve the State Department and the IRS:
Mrs. Clinton says officials at State never told her what she was doing wasn’t allowed. That isn’t quite true. It’s more accurate to say she never asked the people who would have the answers to these questions. The IG report confirms it was made clear to State staffers that she did not want the questions asked.

It gets worse. Even today her former department is still resisting efforts to make public the emails she tried to hide. Groups such as Judicial Watch have done yeoman’s work in forcing the emails into the sunlight—but they have also had to get court orders to pry them out of an obstructionist State Department.

It’s a disturbing pattern, and unfortunately it’s not limited to State. There have been similar questions about the integrity and professionalism of the IRS ever since the American people learned in 2013 that it was unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.

Three years, many congressional hearings and disappearing hard drives later, there is still no evidence the IRS has ended the practice. Just last month, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals described the IRS approach to its targets this way: “You’re alright for now, but there may be another shoe falling.” This follows on a March ruling from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which blasted the IRS for refusing to produce a list of those it had targeted—as well as for its bad faith in defending itself by invoking a rule meant to “protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers.”

Originally the speculation was that the IRS effort had been orchestrated by the Obama administration. As the Journal’s James Taranto noted at the time, the IRS scandal is worse if it was not directed by the White House. “If it ‘went rogue’ against the Constitution and in support of the party in power,” he wrote, “then we are dealing with a cancer on the federal government.”
Of course, the Democrats are like the Florida homeowner who is in denial about the rot he sees. "It's really just discoloration of the wood", says the homeowner sagely, "it's nothing to worry about."

But it's neither of those things. The rot will spread; it will get more destructive and damaging. It will affect Democrats and the GOP alike—especially with a new president—Hillary Clinton—that not only won't act to remediate the rot, but will actively work to encourage its spread.