The funny thing about Teflon is that when it’s new nothing will stick to it, but when it gets old everything sticks.
Peter Wehner at the Joe Moneybags Gazette:
President Barack Obama assured us earlier this year that the IRS targeting of conservatives has “not even a smidgen of corruption.” The American people, in overwhelming numbers, disagree.
According to a new Fox News poll, more than three-quarter of voters –76% — think the emails missing from the account of Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the heart of the scandal, were deliberately destroyed. Broken down by parties, we find 90% of Republicans believing the emails were intentionally destroyed, 74 % of independents saying that’s the case, and fully 63% of Democrats saying Ms. Lerner’s emails were destroyed. (Only 12% of voters believe the emails were destroyed accidentally.)
In addition, nearly three-quarters of those surveyed – 74%–say lawmakers should investigate the IRS “until someone is held accountable.” (Among Democrats, 66% feel that way.)
These numbers are quite problematic for the president for several reasons. One is that the effort to dismiss this scandal as a conspiracy thought up in the fevered minds of Republicans just isn’t working. The amassing circumstantial evidence is simply overwhelming: What we’re seeing is a criminal coverup done to hide the abuse of power by the government’s most feared agency.
A second problem for the president is that this kind of thing will eat away at his credibility and trustworthiness, two of the most important qualities a president must retain. When they go — when the public begins to think the chief executive sits atop an administration that is duplicitous and mendacious — the entire presidency begins to collapse on itself.
Nobody likes paying taxes. It’s like paying a utility bill – you have to do it but it’s not something you look forward to doing.
Nobody much cares for the IRS either. You never hear little kids say “When I grow up I want to be an auditor!” The IRS is very powerful and you damn sure don’t want to piss them off. Al Capone was a brazen gangster who committed murders and got away with it, but the IRS put his ass in prison for tax evasion.
But wait! There’s more!
CHUCK TODD: Time now for my “Takeaway.” The controversy surrounding IRS may be more than a year old but of course we’re still talking about it. On Monday, the IRS Commissioner testified before Congress. A week after the IRS told Senate investigators that two years of e-mails disappeared in a computer crash back in 2011. While this certainly doesn’t make the Obama administration nor the IRS look very good, it’s important to remember what this actual story is about because it’s gotten lost.
The question at hand is whether explicitly political organizations should be filing as tax exempt social welfare groups under the tax code and both political parties are pointing blame. Republicans say that just conservative-sounding groups were targeted by the IRS. That’s why they want to see the e-mails. Democrats have responded by claiming, hey, liberal groups were targeted, too. But here is the story many are missing. Why should primarily political organizations get a taxpayer exemption, basically get a handout from the tax code? Both sides are in an uproar because they couldn’t take advantage of a borderline shady way to raise money for political purposes or launder money for political purposes.
So while the IRS is certainly not a good guy here they have been terrible about being forthcoming. Are there any actual real victims? Folks, this scandal is not black and white since frankly two wrongs don’t make a right. We know what really is working here for Republicans. Beating up the IRS, good for the base. Good politics there makes for great fundraising e-mails. But let’s remember what the controversy itself is about.
“Are there any actual real victims?”
Yes, Chuck, there are a quite a few actual real victims. About 300 million of them. Abuse of power is not a victimless crime.
The Lapdog Media wants to convince us that the IRS “controversy” isn’t a real scandal. They want us to believe that it’s really complicated stuff that we are incapable of understanding.
While it is true that most people probably don’t understand exactly what was going on in Lois Lerner’s department, just about everybody understands that when a government official pleads the Fifth that something bad happened. They understand that emails don’t just vanish. People know that it is suspicious when someone claims their hard drive crashed just 10 days after an investigation was started – especially when that same person is the one who took the Fifth.
This one has legs. It ain’t going away.
I would like to point out that Obama could have done the right thing when this whole thing first hit the news and killed the scandal while it was still in diapers. He could have fired everyone involved and appointed an independent prosecutor to put the guilty parties in prison. With the Lapdog Media protecting him he would have easily weathered the storm.
Maybe the thought never occurred to anyone in the Obama administration. When John Dean was asked during the Watergate hearings who ordered the cover-up he replied “Actually, nobody ever suggested there not be a cover-up.”
The Nixon henchmen had to try to cover-up Watergate because the trail of corruption led right to the Oval Office. So where will this trail of corruption lead?
The missing emails of Lois Lerner are the ones relevant to the investigation that were to and from people OUTSIDE the IRS and Treasury department. People in Congress and/or the White House. The people who gave Lois Lerner her instructions.
Maybe even someone in the Oval Office?