Producing 'Scandal Exhaustion'
The IRS's harassment went into overdrive against True the Vote, which can only be considered "conservative" if you concede that conservatives are the only people remaining in America who are interested in fair and clean elections free of voter fraud:
(TTV President Catherine) Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family's firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership--which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”
The IRS situation is probably Numero Uno in the scandal department among those who believe that a fair and impartial administration of the tax system is vital. Additionally, as with Benghazi, it would also be tops on the list for those who believe that the administration's deliberate concealment of its aggressive targeting of those who oppose it on every front arguably delegitimized the 2012 election. Then add to the scary statist mix the fact that the IRS is on track to be heavily involved in ObamaCare's implementation. Yikes.
Last, but not at all necessarily least, there's the Department of Justice's April-May 2012 phone snooping on the Associated Press and its more recently revealed pursuit of criminal evidence against at least three Fox News reporters and a producer several years ago.
At last count, DOJ's intrusions into AP involved "records for five reporters' cellphones and three home phones as well as two fax lines," along with "the records for 21 phone lines in five AP office(s) ... where 100 reporters worked."
The intrusions into the activities of the Fox News journalists were far more severe. DOJ's posture that those involved may have engaged in criminal activity by merely gathering information has set off fire alarms among press-freedom watchdog groups and pundits from across the political spectrum. One Fox executive told Mediaite that "the Obama White House is starting to make the Nixon administration look like Sesame Street." That may be an understatement.
Those who believe that the press has a right to pursue information wherever it is, that it's the government's problem if it can't protect its information from leaking out, and that it will be a frightening world indeed if the press, as bad as it already largely is, has to be worried about its members being jailed for obtaining information from "unapproved" sources will probably place the DOJ-AP-Fox situation at the top of their recent Obama scandal hierarchy.
The piling on of the IRS and DOJ scandals on top of Benghazi is no accident.
Lerner and the White House have both admitted that they brought out selected pieces of the IRS scandal at a time of their own choosing -- on May 10 at an American Bar Association conference -- by orchestrating a planted question. Though AP wisely held off reporting it until the next Monday, Eric Holder's Department of Justice sent its letter informing AP of its phone fishing expedition that same day.
The administration's apparent goal is to produce "scandal exhaustion," an exponentially advanced form of the "scandal fatigue" which served President Bill Clinton so well in the late 1990s.
Their bet is that very few people will have the time or energy to keep up with the "he said, she said" barrage, the hearings, the daily stonewalling, and the inevitably arcance legal and jurisdictional arguments. They're hoping that they will give up, retreating into their private lives and joining the already teeming ranks of low-information voters. They are further betting that the outrage which remains will be so fragmented that it can be safely ignored.
The administration's aggressive timing can be attributed to the current mediocre economy. Team Obama also needs the populace to become so disillusioned that it ends up resigning itself to accepting their current "new normal" circumstances as the best they can ever hope to see.
AP's reporters are doing their part, despite their aforementioned mistreatment. One recent headline: "Obama Agenda Marches on Despite Controversies."
Sadly, though it isn't occurring now, I wouldn't bet against it happening in the future.