Sunday, October 25, 2015
IRS’ LOIS LERNER SKATES; AN UGLY PRECEDENT IS SET
The Law: The Justice Department declined to file charges against IRS enforcer Lois Lerner, who singled out Tea Party groups for scrutiny on political grounds. With no accountability, it's now open season on dissidents.Is there anyone out there subject to an Internal Revenue Service audit or a multiyear delay in approval for tax-exempt status who won't be concerned that the process is politically rigged against them?That's the message the Justice Department sent when, in a classic Friday night news dump, it decided to not file charges against IRS tax-exempt groups chief Lois Lerner. In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Justice said that while it found "mismanagement, poor judgment and inertia," there was no case for a criminal prosecution.This is absurd. Lerner was caught red-handed targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups, wrote partisan emails to prove it, then engaged in a massive cover-up effort — with a suspiciously crashed server, an oddly missing BlackBerry and plenty of excuses.She evaded even more accountability by shielding herself with the Fifth Amendment in Congress. The consequences to her have been . .. retirement on a full pension with all her bonuses to a multimillion-dollar mansion in the deep D.C. suburbs.As for her victims — and they were many — there is no justice. Now everyone, no matter what their political leanings, will wonder if they too are a political target by an out-of-control agency protected by the Justice Department.Because that's the real consequence of this failure to hold Lerner accountable: A precedent has been set.IRS officials now know they can go after any political opponent they want, ruin them any way they wish, swing an election — as occurred with Lerner's actions — and get away with it.No wonder confidence in government has plunged. Last June, Gallup conducted a survey on confidence in public institutions and found it "below historic norms" and with confidence in justice dropping to its lowest point since Barack Obama took office. Just 23% of the public had high or some confidence in a justice system that could play fairly; 34% had little or no confidence.The Democrats may giggle with glee at seeing another of their own skate free based on the president's executive actions through his DOJ flunkies.But two can play that game. If a Republican as unscrupulous as Obama wins the election, the same banana republic politics in government will make Democrats the next victims.The next GOP president may not be a gentleman of the George W. Bush variety. Political parties should be careful what they wish for.
I see no one on the Republican side who is willing or able to subvert the law to Obama's extent. That's why the Left is not afraid of retaliation.