IRS commissioner has a lovely day on Capitol Hill

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen enters the House Ways and Means Committee Thunderdome to answer questions about the destruction of emails pertinent to the Tea Party targeting scandal… and finds Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) bungee-jumping off the wall at him, chainsaw in hand.  Two men enter, one man leaves… without giving much in the way of either explanation or apology.

Watching Koskinen fumble to explain why the IRS never previously bothered to inform Congress of these “hard drive crashes” drives home the point that, whatever you might think about the idea of Lois Lerner and other officials deliberately destroying evidence in a cover-up, it is simply beyond dispute that the agency dragged out investigations of the targeting scandal to a ridiculous degree, and did not take Rep. Camp’s initial inquiries very seriously.  The half-assed nature of the IRS’ record-keeping created an environment in which slow-walking and cover-ups are easily engineered… or, if you’re inclined to accept the IRS excuses, in which random accidents and mistakes can create precisely the sort of information void that the Internal Revenue Service will not accept, under any circumstances, from American citizens.

Never has it been more clear that transparency and accountability is purely a one-way street.  We are held to high standards by our Ruling Class and their pet bureaucracy, but they feel no such obligations towards us at all.  The most benevolent possible explanation for the IRS scandal is that Lerner and her underlings heard Democrat politicians whining about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, received a bit of direct prodding from top Democrats on the Hill, and took it upon themselves to “fix” the “problem” by becoming campaign-finance vigilantes.  That is absolutely intolerable and should mean both the end of careers, and criminal punishment… but to this day, Administration officials and Democrat politicians are treating it as no big deal, perhaps a bit of excessive enthusiasm.

I’m not sure how anyone can square what the IRS actually did with sincere concern about the violation of campaign finance laws, since they didn’t just set high standards for non-profit groups and deny those who failed to meet them.  They didn’t give yes-or-no answers to the targeted Tea Party and pro-life groups at all.  They just dragged the process out until the 2012 election was in the bag.  The approval process dragged on for years in the worst cases.

After all the tactics employed to delay the investigation to this point, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) was in no mood to hear Koskinen justify using his own discretion to decide which documents Congress would see, and when.  “This is the most corrupt and deceitful IRS in history,” said Brady.

You’ll notice the equally corrupt Democrat Party once again trying to turn the hearings into a circus in the Brady video.  They’re all-in on protecting the IRS, going so far as to demand that we the people should be apologizing to the IRS for inconveniencing them with all these complaints about the abuse of power.  This was too much for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who said he simply could not believe what he was seeing, and informed Koskinen that nobody seriously following the case believes what the IRS is saying any more.  Paul Ryan doesn’t get this angry very often, especially the way he looks about three minutes in:

This story drags on forever because it’s been dribbled out to the public in bits and pieces, each of which can be argued over like birds squabbling over a kernel of corn.  The truth can become deceitful, when diced finely enough.  But when you look at the whole story at once, the way Brady and Ryan summarize it, the whole thing really is beyond belief.

The question now becomes: what are the people of the United States of America prepared to do about it?  Dividing into partisan camps, from which Democrats blow the whole thing off because their political adversaries bore the injury, is a license for the further abuse of power, and it will escalate.  What happened to those conservative groups is the beginning, not the end, unless we end it.  And it won’t be ended merely by securing dire consequences for a few officials.  It will end when the weapons used against those Tea Party groups have been destroyed as thoroughly as Lois Lerner’s hard drive.