The White House has had just about as many explanations for the IRS scandal as they did drafts of the Benghazi big lie talking points. I lost count after Politico published a list two weeks ago. But of course the great thing about the big lie is that no matter how often it's exposed, Dems will always find a way to repeat it. They did so again this past week when Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) called the hearings that were taking place a "circus" and "political theater" then played the role of the clown by suggesting that the actions of IRS employees was simply the result of overwork and went on to blame the Tea Party groups for applying in the first place.
It didn't matter to McDermott that the number of applications for tax exempt organizations had dropped over much of the period in question. Besides, it's preposterous to assume that even if these IRS employees were deluged with work their response would be to create more work by issuing reams of intrusive new questions such as demanding to know the content of applicant's prayers.
It also doesn't matter that the myth that only low level employees at an IRS office in Cincinnati were involved was been exploded by the revelation that the scandal covers multiple IRS offices including the Washington headquarters. There are some who will keep repeating the lie anyway and hope you didn't notice the truth.
Scandal is Bigger than IRS
But all of this, the changing story line, the putting up of false walls that are later demolished all suits the Administration's purpose. It keeps us looking at the trees instead of the forest. When we step back from the IRS scandal we see similar activities taking place across the federal government directed at suppressing and punishing political activity of those who might dissent from Obama.
The best illustration of this comes from the group True the Vote whose mission is to support "free and fair elections" by exposing voter fraud. That's an important issue especially when you consider that a top Democrat congressional aide resigned recently after being implicated in a ballot scheme in Florida which may have cost Rep. Allen West (R-FL) his re-election last fall.
Democrats went after True the Vote with a vengeance and it wasn't long before The IRS, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and an EPA funded group all descended one of the group's founders Catherine Engelbrecht. Coincidence? I don't think so. Imagine the chilling effect on free speech when armed federal agents come to your door repeatedly after you dared to start a group to combat voter fraud!
Speaking of voting rights, Attorney General Eric Holder was very vocal about defending voting rights for minorities yet also active in eliminating any investigation or prosecution of blacks involved in voter suppression. See the case of the Philadelphia Black Panthers for more.
What happened to True the Vote was an extreme example but it's hardly the only one. There's Mitt Romney supporter and businessman Frank VanderSloot who was investigated by both the IRS and Department of Labor after his name appeared on an Obama campaign web site suggesting he was a ”wealthy individual with less-than-reputable record." And how about the 25 year Army veteran and conservative Christian who is being punished for having a bumper sticker that reads "Political Dissent is NOT Racism." Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers has also been told he cannot read books by conservative authors while on duty as it might cause "unit disruption" and offend other soldiers. Imagine the Army telling a Muslim he can't read the Koran!
Also, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave preferential treatment (hello IRS) to liberal groups and denied the same privileges to conservative or libertarian groups.
These are just a few examples and I invite readers to share more. Where did all this discrimination and abuse come from? The top of course.
Obama's Heavy Handed Chicago Politics
A few weeks ago I shared with you the article by Chicago columnist John Kass in which he describes why his family members, outspoken on political issues, feared to take a stand in Chicago. They understood that if any of them spoke up, the power of City Hall would descend on their homes and businesses in the same way we are seeing it done now by the federal government.
I've often said you can take the politician out of Chicago but you can't take the Chicago out of the politician and it fits this case perfectly. What's happening now with this systemic corruption and abuse across the government is no accident. Writing at the Wall Street Journal Kimberly Strassel has been on the front lines exposing how this toxic environment started during the 2008 Obama campaign with officials demanding investigations into groups which were critical of Obama. Bob Bauer, general counsel for the campaign led that effort. He later became Counsel to the President at the White House. After he left, his deputy Kathryn Ruemmler succeeded him. Ruemmler is a prime figure in the IRS scandal.
At the same time that Bauer and others were working behind the scenes, the President and his allies launched a full scale public attack on groups opposed to Obama's policies. Beginning in August 2010, at the same time the IRS began targeting conservative groups Obama made repeated attacks on conservative groups calling them "shadowy" and suggesting they were some sinister "foreign-controlled entity" (never mind that George Soros, the prime moneybags for liberal groups is foreign born who as a child helped send Jews to the gas chamber in Nazi occupied Hungary). Obama went so far as to call conservative groups a "threat to our democracy."
In a follow on piece Kimbery Strassel at the WSJ has the political timeline of Obama's attacks and concludes:
These were not off-the-cuff remarks. They were repeated by the White House and echoed by its allies in campaign events, emails, social media and TV ads. The president of the United States spent months warning the country that "shadowy," conservative "front" groups—"posing" as tax-exempt entities and illegally controlled by "foreign" players—were engaged in "unsupervised" spending that posed a "threat" to democracy. Yet we are to believe that a few rogue IRS employees just happened during that time to begin systematically targeting conservative groups? A mere coincidence that among the things the IRS demanded of these groups were "copies of any contracts with and training materials provided by Americans for Prosperity"?At the very center of this web is Obama. Whether there is a smoking gun directly linking him to each of these scandals is unclear. But he did make his position very clear and it's hard to see how other bureaucrats with similar attitudes could fail to pick up on the call to action. Wherever the current investigations lead, it's Obama that is responsible. But will he be held accountable for this rampant corruption and abuse? Don't bet on it. You'd be called a racist for even suggesting he be blamed!
This newspaper reported Thursday that Cincinnati IRS employees are now telling investigators that they took their orders from Washington. For anyone with a memory of 2010 politics, that was obvious from the start.