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Ed Driscoll

Obama and the IRS: Worse Than Watergate

May 27th, 2013 - 4:10 pm

A video interview of James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web” column by Mary Kissel of the Journal, discussing his recent columns on Obama’s myriad scandals, not the least of which includes siccing the IRS on his enemies:

As we wrote Friday, this will be a scandal like Watergate if it turns out that the IRS was acting under orders from Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett. If the White House’s conduct turns out to be unimpeachable, then it is something far worse: a sign that the government itself has become a threat to the Constitution.

But it’s worth pondering how Watergate helped bring about the current crisis of authority. It oversimplifies matters only slightly to say the liberal left owes its cultural authority to three events in the 1960s and 1970s. The culmination of the civil-rights movement in 1964-65 established its moral authority. The antiwar movement’s success at securing defeat in Vietnam established its political authority. Watergate discredited the Republican Party. (It also made heroes of journalists and provided impetus for restricting the political speech of those who are not media professionals.)

The political result of all this was more polarization. The ascendant left became dominant in the Democratic Party, driving conservatives into the Republican camp, which in turn encouraged liberal Republicans to become Democrats. The cultural result — the effect on journalistic, educational, charitable and scientific institutions — was both polarization and left-wing domination.

The left, certain of its moral authority, felt entitled to rule. The grandiose Barack Obama was the personification of that attitude, if not a caricature of it. The Portland Press Herald notes a lovely example from the newly released memoir of Maine’s recently retired Sen. Olympia Snowe:

In an earlier phone call, Obama had told the Republican that she could be “a modern-day Joan of Arc” by supporting his health care bill, now known as “Obamacare.” When Snowe pointed out Joan of Arc had been burned at the stake, Obama reportedly replied: “Don’t worry, I’ll be there with a fire hose!” She still voted against the bill on the Senate floor.

Try to imagine Lyndon Johnson or Bill Clinton making that pitch.

Moral authority entails a moral hazard: the temptation to abuse political and cultural power. Today’s liberal left conceives of itself as being on the side of all that is good, right and reasonable. It caricatures the right as racist, extremist, greedy, dishonest, fanatically religious, prone to violence — and dangerous because, through the Republican Party, it has maintained parity in the political arena. Of the 10 presidential elections since Watergate, each party won 5; and voters haven’t entrusted the Democrats with full control of government for more than two years since the Carter era.

Fortunately, the Washington Post, which sometimes simplifies the events of the 1970s down to thinking of itself as the Paper That Brought You Watergate, is equally hard on Mr. Obama’s men and women as it was on All the President’s Men who served under Mr. Nixon. For example, check out these two recent headlines:

In the 1920s, H.L. Mencken described his vision of journalism as a fundamentally adversarial one, no matter who was in charge. “It is the prime function of a really first-rate newspaper to serve as a sort of permanent opposition in politics.”

And then there’s whatever the Washington Post is. Journalism, baby.

Related: Andrew Klavan, with an assist from Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessup, on how “The Left Can’t Handle the Truth.”

And from Glenn Reynolds, “Penalties for Politicians” — or the lack thereof: “We entrust an inordinate amount of power to people who don’t feel any pain when we fall down,” the Professor writes in his USA Today column.

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Top Rated Comments   
When someone inquired why Demaratus was an exile from Sparta, being a king, he said, "Because her laws are more powerful than I am."

The current administration has turned this truth on its head.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What can you say about a party that has taken the single greatest mass act of lawbreaking in our history, illegal immigration, and turned it into my racism?

Dems don't care about law.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"He has tried Gun control measures that would have NO EFFECT on criminals or MASS MURDERS in his OWN WORDS"

And that doesn't even include the Orwellian (and deadly) Fast & Furious scandal.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (19)
All Comments   (19)
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BIN LADEN AND OBAMA'S IRS USED COURIERS FOR THE SAME REASON!

By HAVING SHULMAN hand carrying Documents to Obama's People, 157 TIMES, there was NO RECORD OF THE TRANSFER!

THEY USED THE THE SAME TRICK BIN LADEN USED SO THERE WOULD BE NO EMAIL RECORD FOR CONGRESS TO TRAIL TO FOLLOW!!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have to disagree with Mr. Taranto here:

" It oversimplifies matters only slightly to say the liberal left owes its cultural authority to three events in the 1960s and 1970s. The culmination of the civil-rights movement in 1964-65 established its moral authority."

It doesn't slightly oversimplify matters, it COMPLETELY oversimplifies matters. The Left NEVER had any moral authority in civil rights. They are the ones who established the KKK, turned fire hoses and unleashed the dogs on blacks, wrote the Jim Crow laws, stood in the doorways of schools, and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Senator Al Gore Sr. voted against it.

The only reason people think they have moral authority is because they have been so successful in rewriting history and demonizing their opponents. (Demonizing their opponents is the only they do well; they pretty much suck at everything else.)

Don't fall into their trap of accepting their premises and granting them moral high ground, because they don't deserve it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Come on Ed, this is not a hard thing to figure out.
Obama arm twisted and bribed ObamaCare into existance, which by the way is against the law, but he did it anyway and no one said boo.
The Obama announced that the IRS would be his implementation arm for ObamaCare. This will accrue Millions of Dollars to the IRS each year forever.

The IRS is a Private Closed Corporation incorporated in Delaware, and under contract to the U.S. Treasury, much the same way as the Federal Reserve System, another Closed Private Corporation, again under contract to the U.S. Treasury. Do you think the owners of both Corporations are the same folks?
NOw come the election of 2012. Obama vs Romney
If Romney wins the election the IRS can kiss the Millions of Dollars per year goodbye as ObamaCare will be dumped in the ash can of History.
What a delemma, should the IRS work for the Obama election or not???
Do you think that there were some meetings between the IRS owners and the Obama administration??
Do you think the owners of the IRS and the IRS administration did some thinking about how to put Obama back into the WH so that the Millions of Dollars per year would not be in Jeopardy.
Do you think Jarrett or Axelrod or some other Chicago Crony was in the scam?
These are things that can only be found out if all contacts are immunized against prosecution and maybe even put in witness protection forever. We are dealing with Political Corruption of the highest order and we have it on many hot items. Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Ap, IRS and who knows what else is going to come out of the closet......
What we can count on for sure is this Gang Cannot keep from being who they are and they are Thieves and Liars, constantly!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
obama pushed his communist muslim political agenda a little at a time. no one paid attention so he pushed it farther. no one paid attention so he pushed it to the brink, which finally opened people's eyes.
obama's just like hitler before world war two. he took over germany and no one paid attention. hitler took over austria, czechoslovakia, poland and france and no one paid much attention.
then hitler started bombing england. people finally opened their eyes and started paying attention.
obama is has become so emboldened he bombing america's constitution and the american people with his radical communist muslim agenda. maybe people will pay attention to a guy who's "transformation of america" is destroying it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In Watergate, you basically had Republicans vs. Democrats, while in the current IRS scandal you have Democrats vs. citizens. This is like comparing the relative wrongness of the German massacre of POWs at Malmedy to the Nazi death factories at Buchenwald.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
May be, but the Media sharks which circled around Tricky Dick are in Trickier Dick's tank ready to strike at those who try to get away.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Of course you're kidding.

Amazing at the knee jerk association of this Obama's tactics with what would in a rational world be the misdemeanours by Nixon and his team.. We see, and Obama is revelling in our apparently helpless dismay, Obama and his team in actual in our faces, stop me if you can felonies.

But Obama cannot be touched. THAT is exactly why he was the choice of the DNC as their candidate for POTUS, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. Pelosi the Chair for the DNC with the Second from Clinton to nominate this Obamas candidate as "eligible" for POTUS. There is scuttlebutt that the first draft included the words "legally eligible" per Constitution" which on second draft were omitted.

And even stranger that this Obama immediately on taking the Office of POTUS, SEALED documents from public, congressional and court review.

WHAT documents? WHY sealed? WHY so little curiosity from ANY - except a small group of samizdat - quarter of the socalled ethical information institutions? INCLUDING Congress and Court about this incredibly bizarre behaviour of a person taking up a position of Trust? AND as pre-eminent Officer of the Law of the USA? Do we remember the FUNDAMENTAL Law of the USA is the Constitution?

And this is only the beginning of Obama's actions.

Yet given these WMDs his actions are equated without apologetic smirk with Nixon's behaviour which did not endanger the US as does Obama in domestic and foreign policies.

His blitzkrieg, using whatever means and persons available and amenable, to institutionalise the measures for the CHANGE and Fundamental tranformation of the nation the "democratic" party has had for their long game.

These are NOT misdemeanours, In comparison with Obama's trashing of the Constitution and Laws of the USA Nixon's actions were a spitball.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When someone inquired why Demaratus was an exile from Sparta, being a king, he said, "Because her laws are more powerful than I am."

The current administration has turned this truth on its head.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What makes Obama far worse than Nixon? The Americans who have been murdered due to Obama's gross criminal malfeasance -- Americans murdered needlessly (from Ambassador Stevens to Brian Terry, border guard), and Obama lying to cover it up.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If I had a nickel for every proclamation that a "scandal" was "worse than Watergate"...

There ought to be some corollary to Godwin's Law for Nixon/Watergate.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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