Would President Obama sic the IRS on his political opponents? Well, he does have a rather nasty habit of making “jokes” that turn out to be anything but, The Virginian blog notes today:
Remember, Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009. At the time, I warned about the damage to the “trust and voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends,” but Obama didn’t get much pushback elsewhere. Now, however, people need to be fired, and most likely prosecuted, to drive home the appropriate lesson. And Obama himself needs to be taken to task. The Post editorial is just a start.
Here’s what I have noticed about Obama’s “jokes.” They are a way of disarming the opposition by mocking them. If you joke about sending the IRS after your opponents, it makes it much harder for people the IRS is going after to get other to pay attention. They are going to be laughed at and ridiculed as conspiracy theorists. One of the Tea Party groups that had trouble getting a tax exempt status is in Richmond, Virginia. They complained but got no help from anyone in the press or in government.
Read the whole thing, to coin an Insta-phrase.
“How big of a deal is abusing the tax system to gain an advantage over the political opposition?, Ed Morrissey asks today in his post at Hot Air on the Obama-era IRS targeting conservative groups. This big a deal: “Don’t forget that it was one of the charges in the Watergate articles of impeachment.”
But if anything, Obama’s enemies list is far larger than Nixon’s.
Update: As with most of the networks, ABC has multiple ties to the Democratic Party, such as former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, and the sister of the network’s news division president who’s currently serving as an aide to Obama. Fortunately, though, ABC isn’t letting these familial connections get in the way of breaking this story wide open. Nightline’s Terry Moran wrote a tweet attacking “A truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration: IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups.” See, ABC can now say it’s is on the case:
This isn’t the first time Moran has tweeted about a case conservatives cared about and then failed to cover it on his TV show. On April 12, 2013, the host tweeted, “Kermit Gosnell is probably the most successful serial killer in the history of the world.”
Nightline and the ABC network have never mentioned Gosnell, charged with murdering four babies, or the gory details of the abortionist’s trial. Not once.
Most Americans don’t have their own TV show. Moran does. Perhaps rather than lamenting stories online, he should actually cover them.
Why start now?
1973: reporters investigate All the President’s Men. 2013: reporters are All the President’s Men.
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 11, 2013
Related: IRS targets “expanded to groups ‘educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights,’” Prof. William A. Jacobson writes at his Legal Insurrection blog.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post asks if yesterday’s news regarding the IRS could be considered a Friday night news dump:
Did some officials hope never to reveal this wrongdoing? Did others hope it could quickly get lost in the weekend news cycle? Misguided, if so. We hope to hear Democratic leaders as well as Republican ones loudly saying so.
Given that this is the paper that mentioned George Allen’s idiotic “Macaca” gaffe in 112 articles during the fall of 2006, the impact of these current revelations is ultimately up to the Washington Post, isn’t it?