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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

King Henry

It looks like next week will be eventful in the long chronology of the IRS scandal. Lois Learner (you know, the IRS senior exec who took the fifth when questioned about the targeting of opponents of the president) has been recalled to testify once again before a House committee. It should be interesting.

This week, the House passed a bill (supported by the ACLU, among other progressive groups) that would limit the IRS's ability to target opposition groups. As if on cue, House Democrat after House Democrat railed against the political motivations of the bill (the absolute height of hypocrisy, since nothing in Washington happens with "political motivations"). In a fury, other Democrats labeled the scandal once again as "phony." The president's trained hamsters in the media simply avoided the House bill and the story, participating in an information stonewalling activity that is working quite well. At least for now.

In an excellent discussion of the chronology of events that led to a Watergate-level abuse of power, Bradley A. Smith, presents an historical snippet:
In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" Four knights then murdered the archbishop.
Would a modern court of law indict King Henry for the murder of the archbishop? Unlikely. Was he complicit? Absolutely!

The story of King Henry is a metaphor for Barack Obama's complicity in the IRS scandal. No, he probably never wrote an email asking Lois Lerner to specifically target those who opposed him. But Bradley reports the following:
• Jan. 27, 2010: President Obama criticizes Citizens United in his State of the Union address and asks Congress to "correct" the decision.

• Feb. 11, 2010: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) says he will introduce legislation known as the Disclose Act to place new restrictions on some political activity by corporations and force more public disclosure of contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations. Mr. Schumer says the bill is intended to "embarrass companies" out of exercising the rights recognized in Citizens United. "The deterrent effect should not be underestimated," he said.

• Soon after, in March 2010, Mr. Obama publicly criticizes conservative 501(c)(4) organizations engaging in politics. In his Aug. 21 radio address, he warns Americans about "shadowy groups with harmless sounding names" and a "corporate takeover of our democracy."
Most presidents—Democrat or Republican—choose their words very carefully, avoiding any statement that might be misinterpreted by loyal members of their bureaucracy and executed in an illegal or unethical manner.

But not Barack Obama. In reading the entire Bradley piece, it's as if he said: "Will no one rid me of these 501(c)4 groups?" The Knights of the IRS gave it their best shot and the court jesters in the media are trying hard to protect them.