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President Asterisk

James Taranto explores "Why the Obama IRS scandal may be worse than 'a cancer on the presidency:'"

No one can deny that Barack Obama is a highly skilled politician, at least by the measure of election outcomes. His record is undefeated, save for an ill-advised 2000 primary challenge to an entrenched incumbent congressman. His 2008 presidential victory, after a fraction of a term in the U.S. Senate, was especially dazzling. It disproved those who said that Hillary Clinton was invincible, that a left-wing Democrat couldn't win, and that America wasn't ready for a black president.

No one can deny that Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire were highly skilled athletes. But their accomplishments are forever tainted by their use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. The use of the Internal Revenue Service's coercive power to suppress dissent against Obama is the political equivalent of steroids. The history books should record Obama's re-election with an asterisk to indicate that it was achieved with the help of illicit means.

Read the whole thing. And then check out Rick Moran at the PJ Tatler, who writes that the "Timeline of Obama Foreknowledge of IRS Scandal Continues to Slip."  Rick notes that "The list of people who knew months ago of the IRS targeting program and yet somehow forgot to tell their boss, the president of the United States, about it is growing longer. And so is the witness list for House hearings on the matter."

Of course, you could argue that the time begins in 2009, when Obama first "joked" about siccing the IRS on his enemies. Once Obama flashes the Barack Signal, the underlings know how to take it from there, As Mickey Kaus writes:

We now know, of course, that you don’t need direct White House involvement to politicize the IRS, at least for Democrats.** The underlings know what to do! The idea that they are apolitical professionals was always a myth.*** It’s even more of a myth now, in the era of Daily Kos and Greg Sargent. I wonder if McCurry, now safely through the revolving door, would like to revisit his statement. …

Read the whole thing, and follow the "****" for more on All the President Asterisk's Men.