Time for Heads to Roll at the White House and IRS
As regular readers know, I’m trying to focus on writing a series on the problems with ascending ideology in America. As such, I’ve been trying to avoid posting things that fall squarely into the “grossly partisan” camp, as is my usual. Fortunately, others here have been picking up the slack. But I came across an article over at Josh Marshall’s joint that described gross partisanship so worthy of condemnation that I couldn’t resist the urge to break away from my project to spit some fire.
From the Associated Press:
“The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday.
Organizations were singled out because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.
In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said…
Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice. She did not say when they found out.”
Pardon my cynicism, but I find the line that there was “no partisan agenda” involved to be insulting to my intelligence. If you think that heads should have rolled for someone in Bush’s White House for knowingly cranking up false Amber Alerts during election season (and you should have), then be aware that this is significantly more troubling. That the IRS would “just so happen” to target conservative citizens for harassment, fines and God only knows what else should be placed squarely in the “criminal” camp.
Readers here will know that I am not one to take a report on potential nefarious activity by the Obama administration without several grains of salt, but this one needs to be investigated – swiftly, thoroughly, and mercilessly. I know enough insider baseball to know that there’s almost no chance that the President was ever told about these actions (because Presidents are always allowed the luxury of not knowing by their staffs), but I have a hard time believing someone in the administration wasn’t fully aware. That person (or persons) need to be sacked, and perhaps even more – as does the head of the IRS and the head of the Cincinnati office that seems to have performed the harassment. At best, this is a crime of managerial negligence; at worst, it is something far more foul. In either case, it has to be considered to be inexcusable.
If we’re really to be a country that stands for being anti-corruption rather than anti-the-other-guy, voters need to find a way to send Obama and any presidential candidates who might follow him the very strongest messages: that this will not be tolerated.