The lies, deceit, and wrong doing uncovered during the grilling of the outgoing IRS Commissioner would take your breath away if not for the fact that if one was paying attention, one knew this was happening. What we didn't know was how widespread and systemic it was, nor did we have a full realization of how morally bankrupt the people running the IRS and the people carrying out the schemes really are. No one has died as a result of the IRS's harassment of Conservatives, TEA partiers, Constitutionalists, or Jews, but a comparison to Nazi Germany is in order because this is the direction the U.S. is headed unless we stop it. Hannah Arentd coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to describe Eichmann, but the "ubiquity of evil seems to be more applicable in this case.
That the man heading a powerful agency of the government does not think it is wrong to treat opposing philosophies on governing with prejudice to those with whom he does not agree is simply amazing. His job was to fairly execute the tax law, a daunting task in and of itself. Deciding on the basis of their beliefs who should and should not receive tax exempt status was not in his job description. Still, one wonders after the demonization by the DHS of such groups as "terrorists" if the Commissioner and his minions did not think that perhaps it was a good thing. After all, such groups want to bring the entire government crashing down...except that isn't true. What such groups want is to return government to its Constitutional scope. If bloat is not good for the human body, it is also not good for the body politic. One will never know what wonderful things might have been had the government not taken the money for taxes, and then squandered it on cronies like Solyndra, or bailing out the "To Big To Fail" banks, or "investing" in Government Motors.
I realize that I have a fairly savvy readership, but there are some things about tax exemption that I did not know, or forgot. You can find a Basic Primer on the IRS scandal at the American Thinker today by Jonathon Moseley. Its a good general introduction to a topic that is pretty dry, and that most will pass over simply because it is boring. But make no mistake, boring or no, these guys were engaged is silencing political opponents. Actually, Rush Limbaugh made a telling statement yesterday that puts the IRS scandal in perspective. He said that to the Right, the Left is uninformed or wrong headed. They are opponents to be debated and persuaded. But to the Left, the Right is the enemy, to be crushed and destroyed by any and all means possible. I leave it to you to imagine what the phase "any and all means possible" could mean if they got their hands on the whole of government, but a little 20th Century history should inform your imagination.
The hearings with the outgoing IRS Commissioner produced some incredible statements that, even if that actual acts prove not to have been explicitly illegal (and I find this to be unbelievable as well) will certainly put him in jeopardy of perjury. Hotair has some out takes of the hearing that you must see to believe here. Notice that in staging the roll out of the scandal at a sleepy meeting of tax lawyers on a Friday afternoon, they sought to blunt the news and hopefully make it go away. That act, trying to cover it up puts the lie to the notion that they did not know what they were doing is wrong. They knew it, but either did not care, did not think they would be caught, or figured that they would be shielded from prosecution as have the principles in the Fast and Furious scandal.
Whatever their reasoning, National Review's Kevin Williamson has the story of the Nine Lies of Lois Lerner. In those lies we find out that in addition to slow rolling conservative groups' tax exempt status, they additionally passed information about these groups to left wing opponents. I don't know what you call such shenanigans, but I call them political sabotage. I also know that such acts are indeed illegal. One wonders if Harry Reid had similar information from the IRS on Romney's taxes, and knew that what he was saying was a lie? One wonders if that is why he spoke on the Senate floor, since speaking on the Senate floor exempts him from slander laws? We will probably never know.
The Founders intended to protect political speech, not go go dancers, or Hustler Magazine, or any of the other uses to which "free speech" has been put. What the IRS scandal represents is an attempt to silence political organizations with which they did not agree, while at the same time magnifying the political speech of those organizations with which they agreed. Whether the President, or his Treasury Secretary ordered them to do it, or simply set the tone at every turn that led to the IRS taking actions that clearly violate the Constitution and laws of the United States, we can fairly conclude that President caused this to happen. If the President had set a tone that required every agency to follow the law, and root out corruption, none of these scandals, from Fast and Furious to Benghazi, to the IRS scandal would now be plaguing the President. But the Left always believes that the laws do not matter, that they are above the law, if what they are doing advances their cause. It is time to tell them they must obey the same laws everyone else must obey. That means someone goes to jail.
Update: Fay Voshell writing at the American Thinker Sunday, May 19, 2013 has an interesting take on the IRS scandal unfolding. She points out that what is transpiring here has echoes in the Stasi of East Germany, and in the Russian experience written about by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Go read Voshell's piece.
Bob Beckel, again on the Five, pointed out that Left wing groups were often once targeted, which makes a kind of tit for tat moral equivalence. One thing that is different about the Left wing groups, is that that many of them took their orders from the Soviet Union. Not all, and I don't condone harassment of anyone. If the government has actionable intelligence of treason, and that is what it is, then act, as they did with the Rosenbergs. But the United States should not be in the business of silencing people. Being Communist isn't illegal, spying on the United States for a foreign power is. Trying to persuade people that Communism is the way to go isn't illegal, but trying to overthrow the United States is. Persuading people that part of the reason the government acts outside of Constitutional limits is because we are Taxed Enough Already is not treason, unless and until you formally revoke the Constitution. Not prepared to do that? Then stop harassing conservatives.