Noonan: The IRS Can't Plead Incompetence
In her latest column, Peggy Noonan writes:
What a culture of entitlement, and what confusion it reveals about what motivates people. You want to increase the morale, cohesion and self-respect of IRS workers? Allow them to work in an agency that is famous for integrity, fairness and professionalism. That gives people spirit and guts, not "Star Trek" parody videos.
Finally, this week Russell George, the inspector general whose audit confirmed the targeting of conservative groups, mentioned, as we all do these days, Richard Nixon's attempt to use the agency to target his enemies. But part of that Watergate story is that Nixon failed. Last week David Dykes of the Greenville (S.C.) News wrote of meeting with 93-year-old Johnnie Mac Walters, head of the IRS almost 40 years ago, in the Nixon era. Mr. Dykes quoted Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, who told him the IRS wouldn't do what Nixon asked: "It didn't happen, not because the White House didn't want it to happen, but because people like Johnnie Walters said 'no.'"
That was the IRS doing its job—attempting to be above politics, refusing to act as the muscle for a political agenda.
Man—those were the days.
President Nixon has garnered increasing amounts of Strange New Respect from the left in recent years; that will likely only grow as the horrors of the Obama era are further revealed.