If there was one scandal I thought might actually stick on Barack Obama, it was his widespread use of the Internal Revenue Service to target his political enemies.
I should have known better.
I witnessed a scandal of this magnitude forgotten about by the media, by Congress and by other investigators after initial outrage was expressed. And that’s exactly what appears to be happening this time around.
To review what happened this year, with this administration, the IRS initially admitted holding up tax-exempt letters for tea-party organizations. For days, and even weeks, it was a steady drip, drip, drip with new admissions, new revelations, officials pleading the Fifth Amendment, resignations, etc.
The scandal grew beyond the tea-party movement to other conservative groups and individuals. There were audits. There was harassment. There was stalling. There were excuses.
House Republicans promised they would not let go of this scandal.
But then they did.
No more coverage in the daily news cycle. No more hearings. A few members of Congress vowed to use the scandal to end the IRS. But the momentum was gone. Once again, Obama was allowed to regain his political balance to reset the nation’s talking points to subjects he was more comfortable with.
I don’t know how I got fooled again.
I had seen this movie before – when I was an active participant in blowing the scandal wide open.
That was back when Bill Clinton was in the White House. He, too, was caught red-handed using the IRS to go after his political enemies. Anyone and everyone who opposed Clinton politically, anyone and everyone who defied him or got in his way, anyone and everyone who asked tough questions were hounded by the IRS.
The pinnacle of the scandal came when the Wall Street Journal published 11 editorials and several op-ed columns (including one by me) laying out the undeniable case for the public.
But the story went nowhere from that point. There were a few hearings in Congress. A few heads rolled. But even though this was a scandal that went right to the top, Bill Clinton never paid a political price for it. No one, besides me, even talks about Bill Clinton’s abuse of the IRS today. The only presidential name anyone associates with the topic is Richard Nixon, who never actually did it, though it was one of the charges against him in the articles of impeachment.
Judging from the way the story has dropped from the headlines and the way the House schedule of hearings looks for the next few months, that’s exactly what is going to happen with the Obama IRS scandal.
The so-called “opposition” has moved on.
The so-called “watchdog press” has tired of the story that should have rightfully removed Obama from office.
That means Obama got away with it – and so will future presidents who are as viciously partisan and ethically challenged as him.
It also means the good-hearted efforts to end the IRS are not likely to go anywhere either – unless, of course, you do something about it.
What can you do?
It starts with getting up to speed on the problem. You can do that by getting the latest issue of Whistleblower magazine, which does a great job of providing in-depth coverage of the endemic problems associated with the IRS in one convenient package or “special report.” (It’s just $7.50)
Then it entails pressuring members of Congress not to drop the ball, again. Don’t bother with Democrats. They don’t want to hear about it. They will just tell you the problem was isolated to a few “rogue” agents who went off the reservation. Just focus on the Republicans, who claim they oppose this sort of thing and take it seriously.
Be prepared to be relentless. That’s what you will have to do to get through to them.