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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

75 Days

It has now been 75 days since the IRS scandal first broke. Supporters of the president call the entire episode a "distraction" and label the investigation of the scandal "political." At the same time they refuse to entertain the suggestion that IRS targeting of ideological opponents of Barack Obama in an election year was in any way political. This, of course, is similar to the actions of supporters of Richard Nixon, whose considerably less serious Watergate scandal during his presidency resulted in his resignation many years ago.

At the same time, the mainstream media has now dropped any pretense of unbiased and objective reporting and has decided to spike the entire story. When a baby was born to the royal family, the MSM spent dozens of hours and hundreds of pages of coverage on the infant. The IRS scandal during that same time got exactly zero coverage by the MSM.

And yet, the investigation proceeds, getting ever closer to the White House. Last week I noted that concrete evidence of involvement by Obama's political appointee, William Wilkins, the IRS Chief counsel based in Washington, DC, was noted in committee testimony. This week we learn that Wilkins met with Obama two days before the first IRS action to target the president's opponents occurred. Just a coincidence, right? I wonder why there's no mention of this interesting coincidence in the NYT, the LAT, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, or a hundred other media outlets?

James Taranto comments:
As this column has argued before, the higher this scandal goes, the better it is for the country. We say that not because we don't care for Barack Obama--let's be honest, a President Biden would be no bargain either--but because the president can be held accountable if it turns out he or his top aides essentially instructed the IRS to steal the 2012 election. A corrupt administration can be dealt with, as Richard Nixon's was 40 years ago.

By contrast, if career IRS employees acted on their own, it means the integrity of American democracy itself is threatened by an out-of-control administrative state. In that case, how to solve the problem is not at all clear.
Was this, as Obama's supporters suggest, just a rogue IRS operation precipitated by "confusion" with no political agenda? To be honest, that contention strains credulity, and when complemented by a consistent stream of lies ("the Cincinatti office did it") and stonewalling (think: acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel who is either incompetent, terminally forgetful, or willfully ignorant of his own organization) and administration/Justice Department obfuscation, this is a big story.

With the help of his Praetorian guard in the media and Democrats who are doing everything possible to derail the investigation, Barack Obama may emerge unscathed. That will be good for Barack Obama, but very bad for the country.

Update (7/25/13):

Yesterday at the start of a new round of vacuous speeches on the economy, Barack Obama said that the many scandals that are plaguing the most corrupt administration in my lifetime were "distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals." Really? The IRS released tax records illegally (think: Christine ODonnell) and targeted his political opponents in any election year. That's a "phony" scandal. This after the president (two months ago) initially expressed outrage saying: “If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions. And people have to be held accountable, and it’s got to be fixed. . . . I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it.”

As James Taranto notes: "We’re sure his outrage over the phony scandal was genuine."


And his media puppy dogs wag their tails and don't ask the obvious questions. Disgusting.