Is It Possible That The Democratic Party Is As Corrupt As Its Conduct In The I.R.S. Investigation Suggests?

Corleone testifiesThis began as an Ethics Dunce post, but designating Congressional Democrats as ethics dunces for their current, apparently agreed upon and coordinated response to the disgraceful I.R.S. scandal—and it is a scandal—appears far more sinister than that. This appears to be a cover-up, and a particularly blatant, clumsy and desperate one, as well as a sickening display of a major political party abandoning its principals and constituency—meaning the American people and not donors, sycophants or “the base”—to impede an effort to get to the truth.

Here’s Post columnist Michael Gerson’s fair summary of the I.R.S. affair to date:

“To review: After President Obama blamed “two Dilberts in Cincinnati,” an inspector general’s report found that high-level IRS officials in Washington were involved in directing additional scrutiny toward tea party groups seeking tax exemptions. [I.R.S. official Lois]Lerner admitted as much, before taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before the House oversight committee. The House of Representatives held her in contempt. And now the evidence of possible communications between Lerner and other agencies (including the White House) has gone missing under suspicious circumstances. It could be a regrettable series of rogue operations, IRS management failures and technical glitches. Or they could be taking us for fools. If there was any political motivation for this abuse of power, it is a form of corruption — the kind of thing Americans like to criticize in countries they regard as less developed. And the circumstantial evidence is strong. This wave of heightened IRS scrutiny came after Democratic senators, warning of possible abuses spawned by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, demanded additional IRS scrutiny of nonprofit political groups. Because evidence of political influence is both plausible and circumstantial, a special counsel is needed to sort out the truth.”

The summary, in an accurate article titled “An arrogant and lawless I.R.S..” doesn’t include the fact that nobody has been disciplined or held accountable in any way for what occurred, including any of the imaginary scapegoats in the Cincinnati office. It doesn’t note that I.R.S. Commissioner Koskinen delayed informing Congress of the lost e-mails for months, after assuring members, under oath, that they would be provided. Yesterday, Koskinen stooped to Bill Clinton levels of deceitful parsing, arguing that when he swore to Congress that he would deliver all e-mails, he meant only all the e-mails that existed, since he couldn’t deliver those that no longer existed. Why didn’t he mention that those key Lerner e-mails had vanished? He wasn’t asked! Meanwhile, a government archivist testified yesterday that not informing Congress that the e-mails had been lost indeed violated a federal statute. Also yesterday, the I.R.S. admitted that it illegally played politics in 2012, leaking confidential tax information from an anti-gay marriage group to the pro-marriage Human Rights Campaign.

None of this was deemed newsworthy by most of the television news networks,  though a politicized I.R.S. using its vast power to further the political ends of the party in power threatens democracy, a proposition that was generally accepted during the Richard Nixon Watergate-related scandals but has apparently been stuffed in a memory hole, by order of the Obama administration.

And how did our elected representatives from the Democratic side of the aisle choose to do their duty to ensure the integrity of our Constitutional government and protect U.S. citizens from lawlessness and abuse of power? Essentially, they chose to act like Michael Corleone’s consiglieri in “Godfather II,” running out the clock with gratuitous praise for these fine public servants in the Internal Revenue Service who have displayed nothing but defiance, incompetence, and arrogance as Congress has attempted to exercise its oversight duties in a matter that demands them, complaining that I.R.S. officials haven’t been treated with sufficient respect, when their contempt for the public, fairness, process and decency warrants no respect, and making the boilerplate all-purpose deflection for all Obama administration scandals, that trying to squeeze the truth out of ideological hacks masquerading as objective public servants is a partisan exercise.

It is partisan because only one party is doing its duty, while the other has chosen to obstruct justice.

Here is a typical example of Democrats doing their Tom Hagen imitation, courtesy of Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA):

“This is about theater. Fair play, presumption of innocence, civility…are out the window. Because there’s an agenda that presupposes some guilt, that is based in part on supposition, on paranoia, on conspiracy theory—all of which fires up the base of the other party and plays on right-wing media outlets, at the expense…of the truth.”

One of the most powerful agencies in the government, and one that is absolutely required to be non-political, is shown to have attempted, and succeeded, in stalling conservative political groups, resulting in their advocacy activities in the 2012 election being seriously curtailed. The White House and the I.R.S. gives a cover-up story that proves to be false. The key employee at the center of the scandal refuses to answer questions, and essential evidence is mysteriously and conveniently destroyed after months of stonewalling. The Justice Department, itself thoroughly exposed as a political arm of the White House and in contempt of Congressional authority, refuses to organize a credible investigation. Fair play? It is the I.R.S. and the Obama administration that appears to have been “playing” dishonestly and illegally with our democracy. “Presumption of innocence”? If the I.R.S. wants to show it is innocent, why is it behaving in an adversarial fashion? Why are its officials taking the fifth like drug lords? How can anyone do anything but presume guilt when evidence is destroyed without any credible explanation? Civility? I think the anger and indignation expressed to Koskinen by Republicans—you know, the Congressmen and women who think the possibility that a powerful non-partisan agency was actively involved in influencing a Presidential election is worth looking into?—was both deserved and understated. He was actively defiant. He refused to apologize for the utter (incompetence/corruption) of the agency under his management, as if “oopsie!” was ever considered an acceptable excuse from the citizens the I.R.S. terrorizes. Paranoia? The e-mails that haven’t been destroyed show Lerner actively concerned about finding ways to mute the power of conservative groups. They show powerful Democrats making their desires clear to an agency dominated by partisans, including Koskinen, who contributed $85,000 to Democratic candidates. Gee, why would any Republicans think that the I.R.S. was hostile to them? At the expense of the truth?????? Who lost the emails? Who’s refusing to testify?

How could Connelly say something so manifestly dishonest, misleading and offensive, and not risk being ridiculed coast to coast?

I don’t understand it; I don’t understand why the news media is in league with him and his disgraceful colleagues, and I don’t understand why a single honest or fair American citizen of either party or any party tolerates it. Democrats should be as dedicated to finding out whether the I.R.S. is corrupted, incompetent beyond belief, or both, as Republicans….they are obligated to be so dedicated. Conspiracy theories? It is their astonishing behavior that makes conspiracy theories plausible. Democrats in Congress are actively impeding a critical investigation that goes to the core of whether this is to be a free society of not, and challenges the essence of trust in our government. If you are a Democrat and not deeply ashamed of your party, I really don’t know what’s wrong with you.

But believe me: it’s bad.

_______________________

Sources: Daily Beast, Mediaite 1,2,3; Daily Signal, Washington Post

28 thoughts on “Is It Possible That The Democratic Party Is As Corrupt As Its Conduct In The I.R.S. Investigation Suggests?

  1. About how long does the United States have? What’s the average time from total government corruption to civil war, rebellion and/or national dissolution?
    I wonder sometimes when history books are written about this time at the end of the history of the United States if people reading it will say, “How could they let this happen?”

    • About how long does the United States have? What’s the average time from total government corruption to civil war, rebellion and/or national dissolution?
      I wonder sometimes when history books are written about this time at the end of the history of the United States if people reading it will say, “How could they let this happen?”
      ***************
      I think the same thoughts ten times a day every day.
      It is sad.

  2. Is It Possible That The Democratic Party Is As Corrupt As Its Conduct In The I.R.S. Investigation Suggests?

    Yes.

    Democrats should be as dedicated to finding out whether the I.R.S. is corrupted, incompetent beyond belief, or both, as Republicans

    More so, in my opinion. It’s worse when “our team” is doing it, for it’s we who bear the responsibility of allowing it to happen.

      • My theory:
        They have decided that whatever “wrongs” were committed were done in the name of a “greater good” – whether it be enactment of the re-definition of marriage, ensuring that Obamacare would not be repealed, or ending the War on Terror, those things were to be done By Any Means Necessary.

        The campaign of harassment and witch hunts after Prop 8? Necessary int he name of civil rights. Use the IRS to harass the Tea Party or groups like True the Vote? Yes, maybe an abuse, but it was to protect Civil Rights. As for the cover-up? That, too was necessary, because the American people are too stupid to understand what was at stake.

      • Charles Krauthammer has a theory about this. He says basically, conservatives think liberals are stupid and liberals think conservatives are evil. That means conservatives treat liberals with caution, but liberals are free to treat conservatives as the enemy. No holds barred.

      • Perhaps it’s time to stop assuming they mean well and stop assuming they are simply corrupt, and start acknowledging they willfully support and believe in behavior, because their final objective (in their minds) warrants it.

    • “It’s worse when “our team” is doing it, for it’s we who bear the responsibility of allowing it to happen.”

      If to clarify potential Republican behavior, it is even more worse as the inevitably vindictive mood of any majority Republican government will be the basic rationalization for doing it. “Well they did it to us!”

      To which the response is:

      “So? You are supposed to be better than they are”

  3. I keep waiting for a reasonably powerful Democrat to turn on the administration and act as an avenging whistle-blower/crusader, not out of any actual conscience, but because it would be smart politics. Look for Bill and Hilary to shamelessly attempt to fill that role. At least Bill could credibly start speeches by saying: “EVEN I NEVER…etc…”
    Since Scott has been absent recently, let me take up his cri de coeur :
    Let it burn.

    • The problem is, Let It Burn, is not fully vetted. It is embraced by people who don’t look at the full implications of Let It Burn.

      It may Burn regardless, but we can’t Let It Burn without trying to fix it first.

      • I don’t wish for it, and perhaps it can be fixed. I tend to doubt it when one side of the political spectrum embraces the tactics that this scandal highlights. So “Let it Burn” is perhaps too extreme, but you have to admit that “Let it Smolder, and then maybe we’ll fix it” really blows as a cri de coeur.

  4. There’s an old saying which states that one should never ascribe to perfidity what is perfectly explainable by stupidity. However, the comes a point where even the most prevalent of stupidity falters. These people in question could have never gotten where they are with an I.Q. of forty. Ergo: They are malefactors. And if they act in concert, they are a criminal conspiracy. They should be treated as such without any further remonstrance.

  5. Unfortunately, such is never going to happen. When the means to prosecute corruption is in the hands of the corrupt, that prosecution will never get off of the ground.

  6. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    ….
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    ….
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    ….
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    ….
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

    • There is no shame or remorse when you believe your side is an undeniable Truth, the compulsion of which is more important than other values…like deliberative decision making, due process, republican democracy, rationalism.

  7. I am finding some interesting parallels in this administration and the events that led up to the invasion of Iraq. After 9/11, the Bush Administration spent two years working to develop his case that culminated in the Shock and Awe campaign. UN weapons inspectors from 2002-2003 were routinely rebuffed by Hussein in locating the supposed WMD; allowing some access when pressure mounted and prohibited access when world pressures subsided. They were shown a lot of sites but not always the ones they wanted to see. Hussein decided ultimately what would be seen and what would not. Government handlers escorted inspectors everywhere they were allowed to go. People were afraid to speak out, and tell what they know in fear of retaliation. During that same time hundreds of Kurds were shown to be gassed by the Hussein regime. Seems to me that is prima facie evidence that such weapons existed.

    It was not until we had had enough of the obfuscation, games of cat and mouse, lies and deception by the Hussein government did we engage in violence. In the end, no major stockpiles of WMD’s were found. Iraq’s a big country and ground fighting made searching difficult, so not finding huge stockpiles is not evidence that they never existed. It is plausible that during the lead up to the war the weapons were moved to Syria. Those who opposed Bush opposed intervention and later claim that Bush lied because no evidence (stockpiles of nerve agents or chemical weapons) was found. This does not mean that they did not exist it simply means that they were not found. That is the only absolute objective conclusion that can be drawn.

    The behavior of the persons involved in the IRS scandal closely mirrors that of the Hussein regime when confronted with demands to inspect evidence. Personally I am ashamed that Elijah Cummings represents citizens of my state. Evidence does exist that under his direction, and under the color of law, his office undertook an extralegal investigation of group True the Vote. As ranking member on the House Oversight Committee Cummings has done everything possible to stonewall a legitimate investigation. He has stated that the entire issue is a partisan witch hunt. He has no desire for truth. He only wants score political points. Unfortunately, his constituents are happy to have him do this. Let me remind them that they are not happy when they feel they are targeted (read Profiled).

    Scoring political points may also be true of Rep. Issah, but he is not ignoring what appears to be wrongdoing for purely political motives. Having watched Koskenin’s testimony, I can understand Issah’s frustrations with the witnesses whose answers are designed to be ambiguous so as to avoid perjury charges.

    What scares me the most is that, despite a recent poll in which nearly 75% of those surveyed don’t believe what’s coming from the Whitehouse on this and other issues, do not demand from their representatives a complete and full investigation of the IRS matter. Unless we stop this and send a clear message to both parties that the misuse of the power we grant them on a temporary basis is a cause for their termination. Constituent apathy toward their representatives rationalizing/legitimizing/defending any elected member’s use of taxpayer funded agencies to silence, minimize or otherwise interfere in the political activities of citizens who oppose them we will soon result in far greater tyranny.

    – message to the Rep. Delany of the 6th Congressional District in MD. – Condemn Cummings’ behavior. Get with it or I will consider you a co-conspirator and work to remove you from office.

  8. Well, we can’t do anything about this problem without understanding its nature. Here’s the story of how we got here, as far as I can tell: With the institution of democracy, back in Ancient Greece and later Rome, at first only the aristocracy could have any influence, as was the case in the early United States. This policy reflected the fact that the plebeians and/or proletariat had neither the time nor the education to figure out what policies and laws were best for the nation. They were too busy working to sustain themselves, for they had no great wealth to afford them contemplation, and in their free time they lacked the energy and inspiration to devote themselves to the pursuit of abstract wisdom. It was much more practical to develop wisdom pertaining to one’s immediate needs, rather than thinking of the big picture.

    Now, the fact that people are even now born into poverty and have no access to quality education is an indictment of humanity. That is the root of the rest of the problems humans cause, and it should not be hard to fix. The reason it is hard is because rather than giving people the time and resources to improve themselves and subsequently pursue their own goals and vote intelligently, as would be better for society as well as “fair,” humans decided to allow everyone to have a say in the democracy irrespective of education, and government has gradually grown more direct rather than representative. Politicians make no decision without first considering how the people will see it, even though the people have rudimentary and contradictory frames of reference for determining whether it is a good idea. The point of a representative was that they would be trustworthy enough of character and wisdom to make decisions, but what has happened is that politicians (from both parties) promise their designated masses everything they want, in exchange for the masses electing them into a position of power.

    When they give the masses what they promised, the results are often horrible because humans are short-sighted and simplistic in how they form opinions. “X is good, therefore more X must be better.” “Y is always bad, and people associated with Y have no good qualities.” “Following the rules will never steer you wrong.” “Acting out of love will make everything okay.” Humans have to use these simplistic worldviews because they don’t have enough time to develop new ones from scratch, and they aren’t given the tools to describe and compare different paradigms in the “education” system, so we find this country locked into a cycle of politicians making simplistic promises based on what voters ask for and those promises creating a broken system which the next generation of voters grows up in, with little opportunity to figure out the nuances of how to construct a system that is actually better.

    The majority of our problems, including poverty, still exist because politicians are pretending to be genies and the wishes they are asked to grant by their constituents aren’t wise enough to help the wishers in any meaningful way, least of all helping them figure out how to make better wishes. There is no system in place to help people become wise, and it’s certainly not happening to many humans during the normal process of living.

    I don’t advocate the idea of a philosopher king, but rather that as many people as possible be made competent in philosophy, at least enough so to reliably tell the difference between a good idea and a stupid one. The solution as I see it is to form independent institutions (probably advertised through impact and word of mouth) to make it easier for people to see the world as it is, rather than having to believe the people who tell them what they want to hear. We need to inspire people to take reason seriously and give them the tools to control their own lives. Only then will the populist parasites lose their niche.

    Welcome to Earth, people. I have the goal/obsession of uplifting this planet. Does anyone want to help me out and make sure I don’t turn into a supervillain? In any case, thanks for reading.

  9. The Democratic Party held all the cards and all the national goodwill from 2009-2011. They have never forgotten what that felt like and are determined to get back to that point. Unfortunately bad policy takes time to take effect, and this year, in a lot of ways the worst year for it to happen, a lot of the bad effects of bad policy are becoming apparent. Further, the corrupt way in which a lot of these policies were implemented, forwarded, and protected are coming to light, enough so that the man on the street is increasingly unwilling to give the president and his lieutenants the benefit of the doubt. I can only compare this to two major things off the top of my head: Watergate, of course, and Teapot Dome, both of which involved powerful figures behaving in a lawless manner, in the former case to maintain power in the latter due to simple greed and neglect. In both cases the wronged finally took things into court or court-like proceedings and finally the truth came out, partly because there were still reasonably non-partisan judges and partly because officials from the party to whom the wrongdoers belonged decided that they were officials before they were partisans. At this point it appears that the president’s party has decided that they are partisans before they are officials, and that, as such, their job is to protect their agenda no matter what the ethics involved. It’s a distinct possibility that they believe there is no other ethical way to handle things, because the alternative is an America where black people have to enter through the back door, gay people are persecuted, and women abort with coat hangers, and that’s just too horrible to think of.

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