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May 8th, 2014 12:10 am
Democrats’ Pathetic Response to IRS and Benghazi Scandals
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From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to hold Lois Lerner, a former Internal Revenue Service official accused by Republicans of abusing power, in contempt, laying bare the bitter divide over which much of the midterm elections will be fought.

Separately, the House approved a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that the I.R.S. targeted Tea Party groups.

Then there are the accusations of a cover-up. On Thursday the House is expected to approve a resolution to establish a select committee to investigate the fatal 2012 attack on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans accuse the White House and Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, of repeatedly lying about what set off the killings and the United States’ response to them.

Democrats mocked their Republican colleagues. “It is a circus,” said Representative Jackie Speier of California. “Psychologists will tell you that when somebody says something is not, it clearly is.”

Before the vote on Ms. Lerner, Representative Elijah E. Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, listed what the investigation has yielded so far: $14 million spent by the I.R.S. responding to a stream of requests from Congress, and hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. “After all of that, we have not found any evidence of White House involvement,” he said. “I will not walk a path that has been treaded by Senator Joseph McCarthy.”

Now, put aside whatever suspicions you have about the White House for a moment and just deal with the facts. At a bare minimum, this is what we know: First, the IRS — violating the essential trust invested in it to be a neutral arbiter of the law —  went out of its way to shut a segment of Americans out of the political process during an election year on the basis of their convictions. Second, four Americans, including an ambassador, were murdered by terrorists and senior Administration officials continued to push a false narrative about what happened well after any confusion regarding the intelligence had been cleared up — also, by the way, in an election year.

You don’t need a conspiracy in either one of these cases — the facts, on their face, are damning enough. These are failures of the core functions of government. The idea that any elected official would mock efforts to understand what happened — or clutch their pearls in faux-distress — is appalling. (Though Rep. Speier’s quote is unintentionally hilarious given that her second sentence nullifies her first).

It’s also rich of Rep. Cummings — who himself seems to have been a player in the IRS scandal — to object to the cost and difficulty of the investigation. Since when does Cummings — a reliable vote for every spending increase and bureaucratic make-work project known to man — have compunctions about the cost or burdens of government? Millions for subsidies, but not one cent for justice!

Principled Democrats could do themselves and their party a favor by taking these investigations seriously, even if they are less suspicious of the Administration than their conservative colleagues. Serious matters of state are at stake. Instead, members of the party increasingly seem to be closing ranks around the White House. Voters should remember this allegiance to the powerful over the people come November.

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