Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rep. Issa blows up GOP talking point on IRS

Now that the attempt to create a controversy over the Benghazi story has pretty much fallen apart, the Republicans are going all-in on the IRS "scandal" to see if they can gin up something there that will hurt President Obama. We saw Nate Silver's takedown of Peggy Noonan's attempt to do that yesterday.

The thing that's making that difficult for Republicans is this statement in the Inspector General's Report.
We asked the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division; the Director, EO; and Determinations Unit personnel if the criteria were influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS. All of these officials stated that the criteria were not influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS. Instead, the Determinations Unit developed and implemented inappropriate criteria in part due to insufficient oversight provided by management. Specifically, only first-line management approved references to the Tea Party in the BOLO [Be on the Look-Out] listing criteria before it was implemented.
Oops, there was no attempt by President Obama to target his political opposition. So the only "scandal" they have left to exploit is the old canard about "what did you know and when did you know it?" Trying to find some way to suggest that Obama administration officials knew about what was going on prior to last week but did nothing is the focus of most of the chatter about this one lately.

Enter Rep. Darrell Issa to kill the buzz on that one. Here's the story: Last summer it was Rep. Issa who requested that the IG look into IRS targeting of conservative groups. It was the imminence of them issuing their report last week that broke this story to the general public. But the fact that they were doing an investigation was no secret. As a matter of fact, it was reported on their web site.

In needing to brag about all this, Issa told Bloomberg Businessweek:
"I knew what was approximately in it [IG report] when we made the allegations about a year ago. This is one of those things where it's been, in a sense, an open secret, but you don't accuse the IRS until you've had a nonpartisan, deep look. That's what the IG has done. "you don't accuse the IRS until you've had a nonpartisan, deep look." And that's EXACTLY what President Obama did. Once he'd seen the final report, he spoke out against the practice of political profiling and took action. And now AG Eric Holder is investigating whether any laws were broken.

Yet another "scandal" you can put a fork in.


  1. Are you satisfied with his action of only firing someone who had been there for a short tie and was scheduled to leave soon anyways?

    1. What I'm satisfied with is knowing that no matter what changes the administration makes as a result of this, folks like you will continue to whine about it.

      Say something interesting or move on please.