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pvtjokerus
Krauthammer: There's a fly in my soup
May 24, 2013 at 7:43 AM

 

Charles Krauthammer
Opinion Writer

There's a fly in my soup

  • May 23, 2013 11:48 PM EDT

The Washington Post
Published: May 23 E-mail the writer

 "Horrible customer service." That's what the newly fired IRS commissioner averred was the agency's only sin in singling out conservative political groups for discriminatory treatment.

In such grim proceedings one should be grateful for unintended humor. Horrible customer service is when every patron in a restaurant finds a fly in his soup. But when the maitre d' screens patrons for their politics and only conservatives find flies paddlewheeling through their consomme, the problem is not poor service. It is harassment and invidious discrimination.

And yet two IRS chiefs (Steven Miller and Douglas Shulman) insisted that the singling-out of groups according to politics was in no way politically motivated. More hilarity. It's definitional: If you discriminate according to politics, your discrimination is political. It's a tautology, for God's sake.

The IRS responds that this classification was for efficiency, to cut down on overwork. Ridiculous. How does demanding answers to endless intrusive and irrelevant questions, creating mountains of unnecessary paperwork for both applicant and IRS, reduce workload?

We are further asked to believe that a cadre of Cincinnati GS-11s is a hotbed of radical-left activism in America. Is anyone stupid enough to believe that?

That's why the IRS scandal has legs. And because pulling the myriad loose ends of this improbable tale will be the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Democrat Max Baucus. So much for any reflexive administration charge of a partisan witch hunt.

On Wednesday, however, the issue was in the hands of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It allowed Lois Lerner, the IRS official who had already apologized for targeting tea party groups, to read an opening statement claiming total innocence: "I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee." She then refused, on grounds of self-incrimination, to answer any questions.

Perhaps not wanting to appear overbearing, Chairman Darrell Issa gave her a pass, pending legal advice on whether she had forfeited her Fifth Amendment shield by making a statement. Then again, Lerner's performance may not have endeared her to the average viewer. Her arrogance reminded anyone who needed reminding why the IRS is so unloved. Try saying what she said - I deny, I deny, I deny, and I refuse to answer any of your questions - when you're next called in for an IRS audit.

Does the IRS scandal go all the way up to the top? As of now, doubtful. It's nearly inconceivable that anyone would be stupid enough to have given such a politically fatal directive from the White House (although admittedly the bar is rapidly falling).

But when some bureaucrat is looking for cues from above, it matters when the president of the United States denounces the Supreme Court decision that allowed the proliferation of 501(c)(4)s and specifically calls the resulting "special interest groups" running ads to help Republicans "not just a threat to Democrats - that's a threat to our democracy." It's especially telling when it comes amid letters from Democratic senators to the IRS urging aggressive scrutiny of 501(c)(4) applications.

A White House can powerfully shape other perceptions as well. For years the administration has conducted a concerted campaign to demonize Fox News (disclosure: for which I am a commentator), delegitimizing it as a news organization, even urging its ostracism. Then (surprise!) its own Justice Department takes the unprecedented step of naming a Fox reporteras a co-conspirator in a leak case - when no reporter has ever been prosecuted for merely soliciting information - in order to invade his and Fox's private and journalistic communications.

No one goes to jail for creating such a climate of intolerance. Nor is it a crime to incessantly claim that those who offer this president opposition and push-back - Republicans, tea partyers, Fox News, whoever dares resist the sycophantic thrill-up-my-leg media adulation - do so only for "politics," power and pure partisanship, while the Dear Leader devotes himself exclusively to the nation, the middle class, the good and just.

It's not unlawful to run an ad hominem presidency. It's merely shameful. The great rhetorical specialty of this president has been his unrelenting attribution of bad faith to those who disagree with him. He acts on principle; they from the basest of instincts.

Well then, why not harass them? Why not ask the content of their prayers? Why not read their e-mail? Why not give them especially horrible customer service?

Waiter! There's a fly . . .

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-theres-a-fly-in-my-soup/2013/05/23/0c5d83da-c3e0-11e2-8c3b-0b5e9247e8ca_story.html

Replies

  • pvtjokerus
    May 24, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Just yesterday I had a foreign government official ask me, "What happen to you guys?"  "You all use to stand for something now look at you."  Sadly, I could not reply in the positive.

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    May 24, 2013 at 7:46 AM
    Oh boy......you're on a roll today.
  • stormcris
    May 24, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    banging head into wall I think I found the twilight zone this morning...IDK maybe it is just me. Damn I  am seriously reconsidering the idea of mass culling as a good thing.

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    May 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM
    Demonize Fox News? LOL.
    Funny.
    The Blaze, Krauthammer.....who's next? Glenn Beck ? Ann Coulter ?
    :-)
  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    May 24, 2013 at 7:51 AM
    I think he's referring to the far right conservatives , the Tea Party....all of whom are making America look bad.

    Quoting pvtjokerus:

    Just yesterday I had a foreign government official ask me, "What happen to you guys?"  "You all use to stand for something now look at you."  Sadly, I could not reply in the positive.

  • pvtjokerus
    May 24, 2013 at 7:52 AM

     How would you like it if the IRS started digging around in your daughter's "stuff" for political reason?  How having DOJ pull toll records on you and your son for your political views?  Would you like it? Yes or No?


    Quoting lga1965:

    Demonize Fox News? LOL.
    Funny.
    The Blaze, Krauthammer.....who's next? Glenn Beck ? Ann Coulter ?
    :-)


     

  • pvtjokerus
    May 24, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    Yep, wrong again.


    Quoting lga1965:

    I think he's referring to the far right conservatives , the Tea Party....all of whom are making America look bad.

    Quoting pvtjokerus:

    Just yesterday I had a foreign government official ask me, "What happen to you guys?"  "You all use to stand for something now look at you."  Sadly, I could not reply in the positive.


     

  • lga1965
    by lga1965
    May 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM
    From my point of view as a moderate who used to vote Republican, I know I am right.
    The far right, the Tea Party ( people such as Michelle Bachmann) are making America look like whiny morons who favor white straight Christians and that is an embarassment.


    Quoting pvtjokerus:

    Yep, wrong again.




    Quoting lga1965:

    I think he's referring to the far right conservatives , the Tea Party....all of whom are making America look bad.


    Quoting pvtjokerus:


    Just yesterday I had a foreign government official ask me, "What happen to you guys?"  "You all use to stand for something now look at you."  Sadly, I could not reply in the positive.




     

  • tnmomofive
    May 24, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Seriously? :yawns:


    Quoting lga1965:

    From my point of view as a moderate who used to vote Republican, I know I am right.
    The far right, the Tea Party ( people such as Michelle Bachmann) are making America look like whiny morons who favor white straight Christians and that is an embarassment.


    Quoting pvtjokerus:

    Yep, wrong again.




    Quoting lga1965:

    I think he's referring to the far right conservatives , the Tea Party....all of whom are making America look bad.


    Quoting pvtjokerus:


    Just yesterday I had a foreign government official ask me, "What happen to you guys?"  "You all use to stand for something now look at you."  Sadly, I could not reply in the positive.







  • pvtjokerus
    May 24, 2013 at 8:11 AM

     Iga!  You are wrong.  The Tea Party and Michelle B. do not get a lot of overseas coverage from where I am located.  Your statement is laughable.  What gets coverage is Obama and his administration not some gal from up North.  Please, you give them too much credit.  What gets more coverage is these scandals.  And the believe me, these scandals are looking more and more like the Morales and Chavez Administration.


    Quoting lga1965:

    From my point of view as a moderate who used to vote Republican, I know I am right.
    The far right, the Tea Party ( people such as Michelle Bachmann) are making America look like whiny morons who favor white straight Christians and that is an embarassment.


    Quoting pvtjokerus:

    Yep, wrong again.


     


    Quoting lga1965:

    I think he's referring to the far right conservatives , the Tea Party....all of whom are making America look bad.


    Quoting pvtjokerus:


    Just yesterday I had a foreign government official ask me, "What happen to you guys?"  "You all use to stand for something now look at you."  Sadly, I could not reply in the positive.


     


     


     

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