February 27, 2014 By Todd Cefaratti
The IRS scandal has served as a worrisome affirmation of some of the worst suspicions citizens have had of their government. Though it is no longer taught in schools, many of us grew up learning of American exceptionalism- that our system of government, while not perfect, protected citizens from a government that was intolerant of dissent.
Now, we maintain a government that spies on the people, lies to the people and targets political dissent.
The IRS scandal serves as a classic illustration as to how this administration handles scandal. When cornered, the Obama Administration never admits wrongdoing, but quite often, doubles-down.
When confronted with evidence of wrongdoing, the Obama Administration did not apologize and waiver; they offered up the Cincinnati office workers as “rogue agents” and shrugged off the scandal.
Now, this very same IRS that spent years targeting Tea Party and conservative groups is now looking to codify and legitimize this kind of harassment by instituting new rules and regulations within the IRS that would allow them to squelch nonprofits.
IRS official Lois Lerner has been called to testify before Congress, but Lerner has already begun to drag her feet and promise to testify only in exchange for immunity.
Lerner was called to testify last May, but before invoking her Fifth Amendment right to refrain from testifying, Lerner gave a statement denying her guilt. The House Oversight Committee voted 22-17 in favor of acknowledging that Lerner, by reading her statement, had waived her right to Fifth Amendment protections and now, Lerner is scheduled to be called before the Committee on March 5th.
Lerner is promising testimony only in exchange for immunity from prosecution; however, such legal maneuverings leaves one wondering, “What would she need immunity from if, according to President Obama, there isn’t a ‘smidgen’ of corruption in the IRS scandal?”
President Obama has repeatedly shrugged off allegations of corruption, even in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary. Sitting down with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly earlier this month, Obama claimed that the IRS scandal was a fake scandal, spurred on by sensationalized, rightwing reporting and claimed that there was not even a “smidgen” of corruption to be found.
If that’s the case, Lerner would not need immunity.
The IRS scandal is about so much more than mere harassment of political groups; it signifies a shift from a government that is willing to slightly bend the rules to a government run by people willing to outright break the rules and lie to cover them up.
TPNN’s Greg Campbell contributed to this article.