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Surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging Obama

There is“, writes Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades,

. . . a fundamental disconnect between the White House’s actions and the White House’s words on the IRS scandal. The White House has repeatedly claimed that the President is “outraged” over the targeting — but there are surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging the leader of the free world. One of the folks involved in harassing conservatives got a promotion. Another got several thousands of dollars in bonuses. Even the thought of legal consequences is tossed aside as “irrelevant.”

The president’s outrage coincides with the story of the IRS scandal hitting the headlines.  Interestingly, as Jonah Goldberg observed on Friday, when people the president “views as his ‘enemies’” first “complained about a politicized IRS, what did he do? Nothing.”

If Obama were truly outraged by the targeting, he would have ordered the IRS to investigate as soon as the first reports became public.  And would use stronger terms than he has.  He would be ordering the Treasury Secretary not just to hold “those responsible for these failures accountable”, but would also be making clear that those responsible could lose their jobs — and face prosecution.

To note, as per Jonah’s point, the president didn’t ask the immediate past Treasury Secretary to take action when the story first came to light.  Nor has he specified how those responsible would be held accountable.

Doesn’t seem like the consequences will be very severe.



  1. I wish my parents had been as “outraged” as Pres. Obama whenever I misbehaved as a kid. I could have gotten away with anything.

    It’s going to be up to Republicans to make sure the consequences are severe. They need to keep the pressure up and not get discouraged. Unlike a lot of scandals that involve a cover-up of some matter that might not be that significant in itself, the abusive use of the IRS goes completely against who were fundamentally are as Americans.

    Comment by Chad — May 20, 2013 @ 7:39 am - May 20, 2013

  2. I mean, “we fundamentally are”

    Comment by Chad — May 20, 2013 @ 7:40 am - May 20, 2013

  3. Remember when gun control failed in the Senate? Remember how angry and passionate Dear Reader was about that? Does his “outrage” at the IRS and other agencies seem extremely subdued in comparison?

    Comment by V the K — May 20, 2013 @ 8:11 am - May 20, 2013

  4. Even the liberal The New Yorker has begun to call Obama out:

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to reassure the American people that he has “played no role whatsoever” in the U.S. government over the past four years.

    “Right now, many of you are angry at the government, and no one is angrier than I am,” he said. “Quite frankly, I am glad that I have had no involvement in such an organization.”

    The President’s outrage only increased, he said, when he “recently became aware of a part of that government called the Department of Justice.”

    “The more I learn about the activities of these individuals, the more certain I am that I would not want to be associated with them,” he said. “They sound like bad news.”

    Mr. Obama closed his address by indicating that beginning next week he would enforce what he called a “zero tolerance policy on governing.”

    “If I find that any members of my Administration have had any intimate knowledge of, or involvement in, the workings of the United States government, they will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 20, 2013 @ 9:08 am - May 20, 2013

  5. Dan – Evidently, liberals are in denial (or pretending to be) about the fact that what the IRS did is illegal. Evidently, we need to drive home the point that what the IRS did is, in fact, criminal.

    As Gabriel Malor points out in your link: at a minimum, the IRS’ sharing of confidential information about people with liberal groups is punishable by up to a year in jail, for each IRS employee who did it.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 20, 2013 @ 10:28 am - May 20, 2013

  6. “the abusive use of the IRS goes completely against who were fundamentally are as Americans.”

    Agreed. It was wrong when it’s done by conservatives and liberals.

    However before we say no one is punished, I think we should wait for congress and the justice dept to have its say.

    Comment by mike — May 20, 2013 @ 10:34 am - May 20, 2013

  7. heliotrope – Good one 🙂 I had to read it a couple times, to see that it was satire: the satire is so close to life.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 20, 2013 @ 10:39 am - May 20, 2013

  8. This seems to be the sort of issue that splits liberals such that I don’t really expect them to be on the same page. I think many do actually have at least an instinctive if not sincere revulsion at the way certain groups were targeted by the IRS, even if they are loathe to blame Pres. Obama for whatever role he and his administration may have had in initiating or covering up the scandal. But there is a huge percentage of Americans who openly admit that they don’t see anything wrong with IRS discrimination against conservative groups since they don’t really believe that anyone has any right to disagree with them too much. I think the president would probably be better off if the second group would shut up so that the whole left half of America could present a united front of feigned concern.

    Comment by Chad — May 20, 2013 @ 11:38 am - May 20, 2013

  9. Agreed. It was wrong when it’s done by conservatives

    Uh, mikey, please cite proof that conservatives used the IRS to target their enemies. If not, STFU.

    Unlike your side of the aisle, we have respect for the rule of law.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — May 20, 2013 @ 12:01 pm - May 20, 2013

  10. littlelettermike,

    Let us stipulate that when any one of us veers out of control and knocks a little old lady off her pins and then backs over her, that we suddenly and forcefully believe that what “happened” is fundamentally against who we are as Americans.

    Fine. We has done a little obligatory self-flagellation. Now do we tell everyone that we need to move on and make sure it never happens again or do we appoint a special prosecutor whose own ass is not on the line to investigate the facts and arrive at the truth of what happened? Understand, this is not the best way for the mendacious minions of mediocrity to push the Progressive crusade for controlling statism forward.

    So what is an ideologue to do? Do you err on the side of transparency and truth or do you hunker down and play games in an attempt to get all of this behind you and move on?

    As an Obama ideologue, you have to make your choice as to whether you favor a full transparent exposure of the facts and let the chips fall where they may or whether you favor protecting your leader, your Progressive ideals and your ideology in its battle to fundamentally transform America into whatever your Progressive, unstated aspirations and goals are.

    Are you a useful mendacious minion of statist mediocrity and therefore believe your Progressive leaders should order “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead” in reaching your desired statist America? Or, are you willing to risk the discovery that there actually is something there there and permit an investigation which might possibly lead toward impeachment?

    When does an ideologue back off his talking points and open his own mind? Is he willing or even able to accept the truth or is it a case of where the truth lies before he knows whether he can handle it or not?

    Your comments are very slim in the serious issues department. Certainly you care whether Benghazi and four deaths were the result of inept planning and handling. Surely you care if the IRS is being used to target individuals and groups for political or religious reasons. You must care whether the Department of Justice is blindfolded so that it accords all citizens the due process of law, does not abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens, nor deprive any person of life, liberty or property without the due process of laws, nor deny any person the equal protection of the laws and that the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    If you have some doubts or conditional reservations about investigating malfeasance, misfeasance or applying the 14th and 4th amendments to the President and his merry band of political poltroons, then state them and justify them. Sending out ridiculous comparisons and bumper sticker philosophy is to build a straw man of farce, because we all know that you are covering up questions that have negative answers and will redound badly for the Obama Administration.

    Have you made yourself into an ideological eunuch who dares not allow the sunlight of truth expose the dark corners of your ideological ambitions? Can you are the merits of your methods and why they should trump the status quo in the name of unspecified change?

    Comment by heliotrope — May 20, 2013 @ 12:54 pm - May 20, 2013

  11. With the dark clouds of scandal hanging over the the White House and the possibility of more, the sad thing about it is how the BHO stillhas a 53% approval rating. How much more damage does he have to do, how many more scandals have to come to light before his numbers go down. W. made a few mistakes in his eight years but certainly didn´t deserve approval ratings in the 30´s when he left office.

    But as P.T. BARNUM said, ¨There´s a sucker born every minute.¨ They must be Democrats.

    Comment by Roberto — May 20, 2013 @ 1:48 pm - May 20, 2013

  12. Why would Obama be “outraged” over anything the IRS did? It’s tyranny, which is something Obama supports, based on every available piece of evidence (such as his background in Chicago, his recent commencement address, every action he has taken as president, etc).

    Comment by Rattlesnake — May 20, 2013 @ 3:48 pm - May 20, 2013

  13. Conservatives are powerless right now. That being said, if we would all band together, we could really make serious changes now if we all: 1- stop giving the IRS too much. If you get a refund, you have given this admin a free loan. Ask a tax professional how to insure you get a bill in April. Then mail it at 5pm on April 14th. 2- Start a grassroots conservative targeting campaign. Turn liberals in if they are breaking the law. Is your co-worker running an ebay business and not reporting income? There’s an IRS form for that. Did your greenie neighbor just use organic bug repellant in the front yard? Sounds like chemical dumping to me. Call the EPA. Did you hear a liberal teacher fuss at a kid? Sounds like it could be child abuse. You should call CPS just in case. A targeting campaign like this could have two outcomes: liberals get a taste of how fun big government really is and liberals are probably breaking more laws. Additionally, if liberals attempt to respond in kind, we could stop up the big government tattling apparatus altogether via the cloward-pivens model.

    Comment by Carolynp — May 20, 2013 @ 3:58 pm - May 20, 2013

  14. I like your idea Carolynp!

    Comment by Texann — May 20, 2013 @ 6:09 pm - May 20, 2013

  15. There was a time when President Mugabe did demand quick action and accountability

    Comment by V the K — May 20, 2013 @ 7:20 pm - May 20, 2013

  16. According to Jon Stewart, there are consequences for selling or using pot, but not for targeting people with the IRS, selling guns to drug lords, engaging in possibly overzealous investigations of journalists, lying about Benghazi, or being a banker who is involved in doing something possibly illegal when the financial crisis happens (liberals like Stewart are really mad Obama didn’t prosecute any bankers).

    Comment by Mitch — May 25, 2013 @ 11:58 pm - May 25, 2013

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