The video below is from the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee. It makes fun of Darrell Issa and his minions for all their hysterical (and untrue) allegations that the White House had requested the IRS to go after Obama’s political enemies. Of course, there was nothing to this.
The video shows very clearly what Issa and others were saying and how it all came to nothing. Remember Fox News claiming that the IRS scandal was worst than Watergate? That was pretty typical. The video very smartly starts with a clip showing Darrell Issa saying that the IRS was targeting Obama’s “enemies.” Then it ends with Issa making what I guess is a technically true point that he never said it reached the White House. But it is clearly disingenuous because he couldn’t have meant anything else. Anyway, the video made me laugh:
What I think is important is that from the very beginning it was clear that this wasn’t a White House scandal. All that seemed to be going on at first is that some overworked IRS employees tried to simplify their work by targeting Tea Party groups because they were, after all, political groups that really shouldn’t have been granted 501(c)(4) status. But even that allegation fell apart quickly.
Here’s the thing. Liberals should not be focused on protecting the president. The IRS is a far more important liberal institution, and it needs to be protected. This whole scandal has made the IRS look really bad even as it is now clear that no wrongdoing occurred. The IRS was dragged through the mud for months but most liberals don’t even want to try to fix some of the damage. Now we know that Lois Lerner—the head of the tax-exempt organizations division of the IRS—had done nothing wrong when she took the 5th Amendment. Most likely she figured that she could count on the same level of support as the White House gave to IRS chief Steven T. Miller. That is: none.
This is more of the same from the Democratic Party. As a group, we are not loyal. And as members of that group, we know it. The IRS is always an easy target for the conservatives, even though they depend upon it even more than liberals, because the things conservatives want the government to do are expensive. As a result, the IRS continues to be under funded. And scandals like this just add ammunition against an institution that does a thankless job as well as it can possibly be done. The president doesn’t need any more liberal defenders; he has an army of them. The IRS does need defenders because there are damned few of them. And there are apparently none at all in the White House or Democratic caucus on the House Oversight Committee.
H/T: Steve Benen (Who is one of the Obama defender army.)