Strib:  Appoint a special prosecutor in IRS imbroglio

Strib doesn’t think it’s bullshit or a phony scandal apparently

http://www.startribune.com/opinion/264985911.html?src=news-stmp#FFDHKDBIHKLfSV0K.97

Big thing is the canard that “conservative and liberal groups were equally targeted” doesn’t withstand serious review.  From the editorial:

Democrats and IRS officials sometimes portray that report as exonerating the agency because agents gave extra scrutiny to a variety of groups applying for similar status. But a thorough reading of the report underscores that conservative groups were targeted. While applications for other groups were sometimes forwarded for additional review, the Inspector General found that “all cases with Tea Party, Patriots or 9/12 in their names were forwarded” for extra scrutiny during the time investigators sampled.

It’s useful here to restate what this imbroglio is exactly:

  • There’s the offense, which was probably merely Lerner and her cabal querying for tax exempt political groups, and then harassing the conservative ones.  In an Occam’s razor way, I think it’s reasonable to speculate that the White House didn’t order it or offer any guidance or encouragement.
  • There are the investigations by Issa and Camp, which are in measures both real oversight and political theatre.
  • There’s the stonewalling and coverup by the Treasury and IRS

I don’t know that an editorial board like the Strib’s has any real desire to see the Obama administration made accountable over the IRS.  Thing is, it is an imbroglio, and it is damaging to the Obama administration and Democrats, to which the Strib’s board are sympathetic.

As Lerner and her cabal have probably abused process as public officials, they aren’t testifying and providing insight.  So Issa and Camp are able to demagogue without limitation.  They can even shade to say things that are probably not true, and there won’t be much in the way of substantive, factual retort.  This can go on and on, through to the fall election and past.  It’s probably a very damaging narrative in a year where Democrats aren’t going to turn out robustly.

You know what would put an end to the Issa show and this damage it’s doing? A special prosecutor’s investigation.  Yes, a special prosecutor appointment would be a smart move for the President or Attorney General.  A special prosecutor would take the investigation away from Issa.  There would be quiet for some months or a year until the report came out.  When it does come out, it would probably be a better reflection of the truth, with referrals for Lerner and a few others.

Eazy peazy, no big deal.  And I think the Strib probably understands this.

In any event, a special prosecutor is probably a practical response for the President and Attorney General, but also one that is very unlikely to happen.  There’s a psychological hurdle there, that being President Obama and the Democrat’s group psychosis for the notion of liberalism’s superior ethics.  A special prosecutor’s appointment violates that notion.  They can’t come to grips with the idea Lerner was wrong.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Strib:  Appoint a special prosecutor in IRS imbroglio

    1. Erik Petersen Post author

      It’s fair to say it’s something if a govt agency is cowed into not doing its job. I don’t know about ‘scandal’. I’d say some variant of regulatory capture falling short of scandal as we use the term.

      Which is not a good thing, but in this case it’s the result of having been exposed for capricious enforcement and harassment. I am not a manic conspiracy theorist, but there’s something there. That something is a litany of process abuse seemingly justified by an institutional notion at the agency that conservatives are abusing dark money more than liberals. Which I doubt is true.

      Reply

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