Paul L. Caron

Monday, June 30, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 417

IRS Logo 2Tax Analysts Blog:  Lost Lerner E-mails Latest Example of IRS Death Wish, by Jeremy Scott:

Democrats rushed to Koskinen’s defense. That is, perhaps, understandable, even though much of what the IRS has done during this scandal is indefensible. Democrats probably want to defend their president’s pick to head the IRS, and maybe they want to try to change the narrative heading into a potentially disastrous midterm election. But the reality is that the IRS isn’t doing them any favors. There’s only so much incompetence and disingenuous behavior that can be run through a political spin machine. The Democrats’ reflexive defense of Lerner (whose conduct can’t be excused) and their apparent willingness to accept any explanation from Koskinen (who didn’t even try to adequately explain why he hid information on the lost e-mails from February until late June) is baffling. Democrats weakly attempted to paint the GOP as on a witch hunt for a conspiracy, as though the IRS’s mismanagement and appearance of bias weren’t enough to justify congressional inquiry.

Is there a conspiracy or coverup? Christopher Bergin eloquently explained why it’s hard to know and why that doesn’t matter because tax administration has been damaged either way. And that’s the key point. Lerner, former acting Commissioner Steven Miller, and many other officials have engaged in conduct that might have irreparably harmed the Service’s reputation on Capitol Hill and that once again undermined the public’s trust in the nation’s tax collector. And Democrats’ desperate attempts to rush to the president’s defense to limit the damage to their party’s electoral chances will not fix that problem. Instead, the solution will take serious soul-searching at the IRS and a commitment to being genuinely open and transparent with lawmakers and taxpayers.

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No, Publius Novus, “the bottom line” is that the IRS, the Attorney General, and the President are acting like small town Southern sheriffs during the 1960s civil rights era – denying rights of free speech and justice to anyone who protests and taking punitive actions against them, with no recourse of the attacked but to follow the legal process and object until, hopefully, enough attention is drawn to cause the ultimate authority of the people to prevail and weed out corruption.

What can anyone outraged by IRS attacks do except to continue to protest cover-ups and to expose government lies, while, in the meantime, justice continues to be denied and no **independent** prosecutor appointed, which one selected by AG Holder, based upon his history, would not be? What other legal options are there for protection under the Constitution, short of impeachment?

During the civil rights era, ultimate protection came from federal involvement. Today, the Obama Administration has turned the tables and is the one attacking rights and rejecting the authority of individuals, states, Congress, the Courts, and the Constitution to move him to respect the law. Obama is like George Wallace standing in the school house door of free speech and protest rights.

Obama and his mouthpieces say, “Boy, you don’t know your place and you better shut your mouth if you don’t want something bad to happen to you.” Republicans and conservatives get as much justice from Eric Holder as did Edgar Evers got from a Mississippi sheriff.

Were the Freedom Riders “playing politics to generate a scandal” against Southern Democratic politicians, segregation, and the denial of equal rights? Didn’t they have a right to peaceful protests and a right to expect protection from the police without being beaten? The only difference in the beatings of then and today is that the IRS has replaced the Klan.

Now, the Southern sheriff has been replaced by Chicago-styled politics. And, to think, you support that. If you call that “politics” and a “phony scandal” rather than a fight for justice, then you, Bull Connor, Richard Daley, and Obama have a lot in common.

Posted by: Woody | Jul 1, 2014 7:26:59 PM

Woody: So, bottom line, I was right. All the talk about appointing a special prosecutor is simply a ploy to generate another "scandal." Something to keep flogging until 2016.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jul 1, 2014 6:45:53 AM

The Justice Department is in the thick of the IRS scandal. AG Holder has conducted an investigation in name only for a year, and the Justice investigators refuse to cooperate with or testify before Congress. The FBI and Justice Department didn't even interview the victims of the IRS political attacks. Sure Republicans should have a problem with any "independent" investigator that AG Holder selected, as that person would be as much of a Democratic crony as is the current IRS Commissioner who is covering up evidence. You can't have the accused running the investigation against itself. For the investigation to progress, Holder needs to go. If he isn't removed or impeached, his boss should be.

Posted by: Woody | Jun 30, 2014 9:41:25 PM

There's a lot of talk here about appointing a special prosecutor. Based on history, this would have no effect on the "scandal." If AG Holder or Pres. Obama were to appoint a special prosecutor this afternoon, regardless of whom they appointed, by this evening Republicans and their masters in the right-wing media would be in high gear complaining about and condemning the person he appointed. Then Chairman Issa would want all of the memoranda and emails leading up to the appointment of the special prosecutor. You can take it to the bank.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jun 30, 2014 6:18:35 AM