The Nights Before Christmas: White House guilt in the IRS targeting of conservative groups

Shhhhhhhhh, do you hear that dear reader?  SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  It’s a few nights before Christmas and not a creature is stirring…………..not even a mouse.  Instead, they are all huddled together in the cracks of society planning what to do next.  If you listen carefully you can hear them making their plans at damage control.  Did you wonder why Obama suddenly showed courage and support for Hollywood in the face of North Korean aggression when he had blamed an anti-Muslim video for the whole Bengahzi incident?  And could the timing of the Cuban deal have come months before, or several months later—instead of right now.  And how about the executive orders in favor of amnesty?  SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, listen carefully.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report Tuesday that found the Obama White House turned the IRS into a political organization that has spent years attacking conservative groups.  Yet with all the noise surrounding Christmas, the 18 trillion-dollar debt, the Korean crises, the Cuban crises, the Chinese crises, the declining Russian economy, the parade of scandals following the Obama White House like tin cans chained to a beat up car hosting newlyweds after a shotgun wedding, the race wars in America, the plummeting gas prices, there just isn’t any room in people’s minds for the most important news item of them all—how the government from the very top used the IRS as a personal weapon to attack political rivals so that their regime could stay in power during the 2012 election.  Here’s some of what the report said:

“The Internal Revenue Service has compromised its traditional position as an independent tax administrator,” the report found. “The IRS’s inability to keep politics out of objective decisions about interpretation of the tax code damaged its primary function: an apolitical tax collector that Americans can trust to treat them fairly.”

The report indicated that improper IRS activities began with a 2010 comment from President Barack Obama, who said some of the Tea Party groups were being funded with corporate money, and “we don’t know where this money is coming from.” That criticism was prompted by Democratic reactions to the Citizens United case in the Supreme Court, which many Democrats blamed for allowing the wealthy to pour more money into campaigns.

Five days after Obama spoke in 2010, former IRS official Lois Lerner spoke at Duke University and said many wanted the IRS to “fix the problem.”

“The pressure to ‘fix the problem,’ as articulated by Lois Lerner, originated with President Obama and senior party leadership,” the report found. “For twenty-several months, from February 2010 until May 2012, the Internal Revenue Service systematically targeted conservative tax-exempt applicants for additional scrutiny and delay.”

“As prominent Democratic politicians and the media condemned conservative non-profit groups, the IRS sought ways to rein in the groups’ political speech,” the report found. “Lois Lerner initiated a ‘c4 project’ — careful to ensure that it was not ‘per se political’ — and called applications filed by Tea Party groups “very dangerous” because she believed that they could undo existing IRS limits on non-profit political speech.”

That led to additional scrutiny of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. The report said that while a few groups were targeted with the words “progress” or “progressive” in their title, almost all were conservative-leaning organizations.

The decision to target conservative groups was followed by later decisions to cover it up, and blame lower level workers for the initiative.

The report also blamed Obamacare, which gave the IRS a key role in implementing Obama’s health program, for turning the IRS into an arm of the White House, when it should have remained independent.

“Evidence shows an IRS responsive to the partisan policy objectives of the White House and an IRS leadership that coordinates with political appointees of the Obama administration,” it found.

It said efforts to cover up the scandal were ultimately led by Obama himself. Obama initially said the IRS’s actions were inexcusable, but later said there was not a “smidgen of corruption” at the IRS.


Yet there’s a good bet that the report will be largely ignored.  Most of the premier newscasters are on vacation using replacements to fill the airtime while everyone has their eyes on the Christmas Holiday and time with families.  The story will likely die on the vine as everyone is thinking about everything but the IRS.  Even those who do watch the news over the holiday season do not give it much weight as their minds are heavily encumbered with social obligations—and that is all by design.  Obama and his White House simply overloaded the news cycle with news bits with such density that most people’s heads would simply explode if they tried to take it all in.

So punishment for the IRS crime and the “smidgen” of evidence pouring in from the White House will go unpunished.  When the senate released their report about the waterboarding torture conducted by the CIA under the Bush administration—the entire news cycle covered the story even as Paul Gruber was testifying on the Hill about the deceptions that helped Obamacare get passed as a new tax because Americans were too stupid to notice—his words.  But regarding the White House aggression in using the IRS as a personal political weapon next to nothing will be said, even on Fox News because all the heavy hitters are on vacation and by the time they come back in January, there will be new things to talk about and the IRS story will be old hat—and uninteresting.

But the proof that the White House was involved from the very start of the scandal is there.  You just have to listen very closely to hear it.  SHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  Do you hear it now?  Good, so can I..  Now, what do you want to do about it?

Rich Hoffman

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