Skip to comments.Benghazi and the IRS: Politics by Other Means (Michael Barone)
Posted on 05/16/2013 6:07:55 PM PDT by neverdem
Misleading voters about Benghazi worked. Did the IRSs misdeeds help Team O, too?
What do the Benghazi cover-up and the IRS scandal have in common? They were both about winning elections under false pretenses.
Winning elections, after all, is something Barack Obama is good at. He obviously loves campaigning and delivering grand orations to enormous adoring crowds.
He loves it so much that he flew off to Las Vegas to campaign the day after the first murder of a U.S. ambassador in 33 years.
A deliberate effort to mislead the voters was launched. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House press secretary Jay Carney, and the president himself talked about a spontaneous protest of an anti-Muslim video even though no evidence of that came from Benghazi.
The White House and the State Department altered the CIAs talking points not just in one minor particular, as Carney claimed, but through twelve separate versions. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, armed with the talking points, spoke sternly about a spontaneous protest and an anti-Muslim video on five Sunday interview shows.
The campaign-trail press grilled Mitt Romney for his (impolitic) statement immediately after the attacks. Obama went on talk shows and peddled his line about an anti-Muslim video.
Debate moderator Candy Crowley came to Obamas defense when he claimed that he had immediately stated that Benghazi was a terrorist attack a claim Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler has awarded four Pinocchios.
Mitt Romney, perhaps worried that Team Obama might wheel out the then publicly silent CIA Director David Petraeus in its defense, didnt press the point.
This attempt to mislead the electorate worked. It seems a stretch to say that it determined the outcome of the election. But it certainly helped the Obama campaign.
And what about the Internal Revenue Services targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) groups? Starting in March 2010, it questioned the tax-free status of one group after another with tea party or patriot in their names. Thats reminiscent of the Department of Homeland Security memo warning of the potential of such groups to engage in terrorist-type violence which of course hasnt happened.
An IRS official acknowledged and apologized for this misuse of government power last Friday. She attributed it to low-level IRS employees in Cincinnati. She said she had been informed about it in May 2011. Later news came out that tea-party groups received letters of inquiry from Washington and IRS offices in California, as well.
The IRS pressed some groups for very detailed information, e.g., Has a family member been a member of another organization or planned to run for political office?
The targeting continued into 2012, when the criteria were changed to political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement. We cant have people educating people about the Constitution, can we?
The acting IRS director, who assured Congress that no group was targeted because of its beliefs, was informed of the targeting of conservative groups in May 2012. Jay Carney has said that the White House had no knowledge of it until a few weeks ago. Maybe. Well see.
Top Obama political aide David Plouffe told National Journals Ron Fournier that the IRS misdeeds did not really matter because Obama opponents were able to spend plenty of money.
But they would have been able to spend more absent the IRS misconduct. Some tea partiers decided to fold up shop rather than face an extended IRS inquiry. Others ran up big legal bills.
The fact is that the targeting of tea party groups by the IRS helped Democrats win elections. Its hard not to believe that at least some IRS employees intended it to have that effect. Those who leaked confidential information certainly did so.
The president has denounced the IRS misconduct in strong terms if it happened. He acknowledged that any targeting of one point of view by a government agency is wrong.
But in 2009 at Arizona State Universitys commencement, he noted that he had not been given an honorary degree and added that the schools president and board of regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.
That doesnt sound so funny now.
― Michael Barone, senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor, and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. © 2013 The Washington Examiner
I have to wonder. Did they get audited by the IRS?
By removing references to terrorists and AL Qeda, Obama, Biden, Hillary and Rice lent aid and cover to Al Qeda.
Barone must be feeling a little better now that he knows the election was stolen.
If Michael Barone is quoting from a famous warrior who said that “war is just politics by other means”, then maybe there is more mileage to this than the libtard MSM can deny.
I am sick of these weasel words like ‘misleading’ and ‘disingenuous’ . Can’t these people just say ‘lie’ or ‘Bullshiite’?
Question that would make "Tail-Gunner Joe" proud.
An accurate recitation of what is known....... no insight
So, this IRS "official" who acknowledged and apologized for the misuse of government power....knew about it as far back as May 2011? Doesn't it seem obvious that this has come out now as a way to take Benghazi off the front burner? To deflect from the heat on this administration over Benghazi?
If 0bama is not impeached, it will embolden him. He will seek to consolidate his power. From there it will be Revolution 2.0, not CWII, and it won't be pretty.
The muslim marxist (no spell check, I will not use upper case), must go, and go now.