Paul L. Caron

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 247

IRS Logo 2

Wall Street Journal editorial:  Christie and the IRS Contrast the Governor's Contrition with Obama's Lack Thereof:

Now that we have your attention, allow us to explain. Governor Chris Christie apologized to New Jersey on Thursday for aides who closed traffic lanes in order to punish a Democratic mayor, and he fired a deputy chief of staff. We mention the IRS because Mr. Christie's contrition contrasts so sharply with President Obama's handling of the tax agency's abuse of political opponents and his reluctance to fire anyone other than a military general for anything. ...

Which brings us to the Obama Administration, which quickly leaked to the media that the U.S. Attorney is investigating the lane closures as a criminal matter. Well, that sure was fast, and nice of Eric Holder's Justice Department to show its typical discretion when investigating political opponents.

This is the same Administration that won't tell Congress what resources it is devoting to the IRS probe, and appears to be slow-rolling it. It has also doubled down by expanding the political vetting of 501(c)(4) groups seeking tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, who ran the IRS tax-exempt shop and took the Fifth before Congress, was allowed to "retire," presumably with a pension. Acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller resigned under pressure but no other heads have rolled. Yet compared to using the IRS against political opponents during an election campaign, closing traffic lanes for four days is jaywalking. We raise this mostly because our media friends have been complicit in dismissing the IRS abuses, and for that matter every other legal abuse during the Obama years.

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This is highly amusing, although I really don't care about Bridgegate or IRSgate, since neither one is a genuine scandal. It is worth noting, however, that Pres. Obama could not fire the IRS Commissioner who was heading the agency at the time of the inappropriate use of rubrics by Cincinnatti IRS. Commissioner Shulman's term--to which he had been appointed by the previous president--had already expired. Pres. Obama did fire the acting Commissioner, Steve Miller. Various other lower-level functionaries were removed from their positions. An new acting commissioner was appointed, who has now been succeeded by a presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed commissioner. What is it the WSJ wants?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 13, 2014 8:03:10 AM

I hope this blog continues coverage of the bridge scandal for 247 days.

Posted by: ZFH | Jan 11, 2014 10:09:08 AM