In the early days of the IRS scandal, Douglas Shulman – who was IRS Commissioner during the period when the abuses of power against conservative and Tea Party groups began – was asked why he spent so much time at the White House. With the arrogant condescension we’ve all grown to know and love from his corrupt agency, Shulman claimed it had a lot to do with the White House Easter Egg roll.
In a more serious vein, Shulman also mentioned consulting with the White House about tax policy changes, the IRS budget, and other sundry matters… none of which goes very far toward explaining why he felt the need to visit the White House over a hundred times.
At the time, it was thought Shulman had visited the White House 118 times over the course of two years, which is probably more work than the Easter Bunny puts into planning for Easter eggs. But now the Daily Caller has gone through the White House visitor logs and discovered Shulman made a total of 157 visits during the Obama Administration, which is far more than the number of recorded visits from any Cabinet official. For example, Shulman’s boss, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, only made 48 recorded visits.
And there might be even more Shulman visits to the White House yet to be revealed, because not all of the records covering his tenure as IRS commissioner have been released yet.
This is not normal for IRS commissioners. Shulman’s predecessor, Mark Everson, only visited the Bush White House once during four years. What, no Easter Egg roll? No extensive discussions of tax policy changes?
We’ve had many occasions to play the “what if a Republican did it?” game throughout the Obama years, but this time it’s really mind-blowing to reverse the political polarity of the scandal and imagine the reaction. Suppose the IRS was caught giving rough treatment to liberal groups – let’s say liberal minority groups – right before an election where the defeated Democrat challenger’s base didn’t show up in the expected numbers. Suppose we had powerful congressional Republicans on the record urging the IRS to go after these groups. Imagine the IRS commissioner was found to be making incredibly frequent visits to the White House throughout the scandal.