Krauthammer’s Take: Holder’s ‘Days Have to Be Numbered’
The newly fired IRS commissioner has said the agency’s only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment was “horrible customer service.”
Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post:
Horrible customer service is when every patron in a restaurant finds a fly in his soup.
But when the maitre d’ screens patrons for their politics and only conservatives find flies paddlewheeling through their consomme, the problem is not poor service.
It is harassment and invidious discrimination.
And yet two IRS chiefs (Steven Miller and Douglas Shulman) insisted that the singling-out of groups according to politics was in no way politically motivated.
It’s definitional: If you discriminate according to politics, your discrimination is political.
It’s a tautology, for God’s sake.
Kimberly Strasse writes in the Wall Street Journal:
If the country wants to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal, it must first remember the context for this abuse. That context leads to this White House.
On Aug. 21, 2008, the conservative American Issues Project ran an ad highlighting ties between candidate Obama and Bill Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground.
The Obama campaign and supporters were furious, and they pressured TV stations to pull the ad—a common-enough tactic in such ad spats.
What came next was not common. Keep in mind that Bob Bauer was general counsel for the Obama campaign and later became general counsel for the Obama White House.
First, Bauer wrote to the criminal division of the Justice Department, demanding an investigation into AIP, its officers, directors and anonymous donors.
When AIP gave Justice a full explanation as to why it was not in violation of any law, Bauer wrote a second and a third letter to Justice again demanding the AIP be prosecuted.
Then Bauer wrote a letter to the Federal Election Commission condemning AIP.
Then Bauer wrote to AIP itself, demanding they send him confidential information to which he had no legal right.
This was a continuation of an Obama campaign scheme started in the spring of 2008, when Bauer attacked a group supporting John Edwards and filed a complaint with the FEC against a group backing Hillary Clinton in the primary.
In August 2008, Politico reported Bauer’s threats had had the desired effect of scaring off supporters and drying up contributions.
There’s nothing like success to spawn spin-offs. In August 2008, Obama supporter and liberal activist Tom Mattzie created a new leftwing group called Accountable America whose goal was to threaten and harass GOP groups and their supporters.
Mattzie was open about their intentions, telling Mother Jones, “We’re going to put them at risk.”
In 2012, Bauer used these tactics on pro-Romney groups and on private citizens who donated to these groups. Democratic senators pitched in by demanding the IRS investigate these organizations.
Whether or not Obama ordered or was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits, he and his people clearly supported and encouraged an environment in which such behavior was tolerated, acceptable and … as we’ve seen … rewarded.
As Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman noted this week, White House counsel Bob Bauer “is one of the Democrats’ leading experts on campaign law” so “it’s hard to imagine that the Obama inner circle was oblivious to the issue of what the IRS was doing in Cincinnati.”
Hard to imagine? More like inconceivable.