Posted by Brother Bob on 22 June, 2013 at 9:09 am. 46 comments already!


As Scandalpalooza rolls on, Jonah Goldberg wrote about this particular gem on how the Democrats are responding to the IRS scandals

with an analysis that wasn’t too different from my own reaction when I read it:

“I keep staring at this tweet like one of those posters with the hidden flying saucer in it. Maybe if I just relax my eyes enough, the outlines of his argument will come through?”

I don’t need elaborate on Woodhouse’s comment to illustrate the stupidity of it, but I’m more concerned about how the term “overreach” is allowed to be used here. I’m also at a loss over how the Republicans have failed to use such an obvious deflection when talking to any of the White House’s Public Relations staffers, aka “journalists”. When posed the challenge of Republican “overreach” there is a simple response:

“What would an appropriate level of ‘reach’ be?”

Image courtesy of The People’s Cube

It’s a simple question, and it completely deflates the leftist defense of the president. Overreach is easy for leftists to call for, invoking how the GOP attacked President Clinton back in the 90’s. Yes, the GOP was correct to attack the president for lying under oath but I think they got a bit too consumed by the attack itself and put too much energy into it. There’s more to say on the Clinton/Lewinsky scandals, but it’s too much of an aside to go into here.

Getting back on topic, how does one throw out the notion that one side has gone too far without establishing how far one should have gone in the first place? With all of the scandals that have come down lately I’ll just focus on the one that is most near and dear to me – the IRS targeting Tea Party groups. We all know that the IRS made an effort to target non-profit groups with Tea Party sounding names and subjected them to inappropriate levels of scrutiny. At the time of this post we’ve seen a few weeks pass since this scandal broke, and what has been resolved so far? We’ve had hearings, angry accusations, and the “firing” (In DC terms that would mean prematurely ending an executive’s work detail) of an agency head. And that’s it. The root of the problem hasn’t been uncovered, some IRS employees have been given paid vacations (paid leave pending further investigation), and absolutely no reason to believe that the malevolence we have seen has stopped, nor that it will not be repeated. Even though I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for 14 years now and have been basically working for the government under various contractors for nearly a decade, I still think of things in terms of how they are handled in the private sector, or for any DC insiders reading this, what is known to most Americans as “reality”. Had a scandal like this broken in any company I’ve worked for (government contracting or not) here is how things generally go down:

Day 1: Employees within the organization have engaged in unethical, and possibly illegal behavior. Any employees seen to be directly involved are immediately questioned. Given the scope and magnitude of the problem IT staffers are called in to gather records of any e-mails, files, call records, etc. that may have pertained to the situation. Any employees who have either admitted to, or have evidence to support wrongdoing, are fired. Any who are responsible and do not come forward know that they will also face termination, as well as potential legal liability if they choose to hide their role in any such operation. Management immediately charges staffers to draft procedures and enact policies to ensure that such abuses will never happen again. If they fail to do so the company will lose all credibility, and will be the subject of lawsuits and, if public, will watch a massive sell off of those who chose to willingly invest in said company.

Day 2: There is no day 2, at least in terms of investigation. Yes, it may go on longer depending on the magnitude or how high up the scandal goes. Or it may get similar blackout treatment if the company is large enough and those responsible at the top donate enough to the proper political campaigns and/or have enough friends among elected officials who might also be implicated (as in the financial crisis of 2008), but for the most part even the larger organizations I worked for dealt with wrongdoing pretty quickly. We had to – the accountability and potential liability for failing to do so was just too great. Any company that fails to show respect for its customers and stakeholders doesn’t stay in business very long.

This is also why we see such inaction at the federal government level – there is no accountability, and certainly no respect for the citizens our “public servants” are supposed to serve. The unions protect the IRS workers from any real accountability to the public, which should be raising another uncomfortable question of why public sector unions should even exist in the first place.

This also raises uncomfortable questions of how too many leftists consider this issue resolved and something that we should move on from, when we should ask:

  • Have we fully identified the cause of the problem?
  • Have all guilty parties been identified and are being appropriately disciplined?
  • Do we have assurances that such transgressions will never happen again?

My guess is, that in the end the answer will be that none of these questions will get fully answered, because our government and media don’t feel respect and accountability to those who they claim to serve. The Conservasphere will keep beating the drums, the mainstream press will allow the story to gradually wither on the vine, and eventually this scandal will disappear without any meaningful action or change. If you don’t believe me then tell me what outcome, aside from one mass murderer going to jail, came from the Kermit Gosnell story? Which is a shame, because the real story behind the IRS scandal, and all of the scandals is our culture in Washington that allows these scandals to happen. A recent article in The American Thinker pointed out that even though there is no smoking gun pointing to a direct order from President Obama for the IRS to target Tea Party groups, there was never a direct order from Hitler ordering the Holocaust, either.

Relax, lefties. I’m not comparing the president to Hitler. I’m not suggesting that Tea Party members are going to be rounded up an murdered. The point is that the culture of hate and divisiveness that was necessary to get the president re-elected might not be a very effective way to govern, and does not create a positive culture among our elected officials and the bureaucracies that they oversee. And as much as I hate to end this post on such a negative note, I just don’t see anything constructive or positive coming out of the ashes of the IRS scandal, or any of the other scandals, for that matter.

OK, maybe one thing. With any luck as punishment for Windows Vista and Windows 8, maybe Microsoft will be forced to hire Lois Lerner.

Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

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