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The Emerging Junta
National Review ^ | 5/16/2014 | Kevin D. Williamson

Posted on 05/16/2014 3:01:20 AM PDT by markomalley

I will confess to a little despair over the relatively mild reception that has greeted the evidence, now conclusive and irrefutable, that the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of senior leaders affiliated with the Democratic party, was used as a political weapon from at least 2010 through the 2012 election. It may be that the American public simply does not care about the issue; it is always difficult, if not impossible, to predict what issues will seize the electorate’s attention, or to understand why after the fact. It may be that the public does not understand the issue, in which case a brief explanation of the known facts may be of some use.

Here is what happened. In the run-up to the 2012 election, senior IRS executives including Lois Lerner, then the head of the IRS branch that oversees the activities of tax-exempt nonprofit groups, began singling out conservative-leaning organizations for extra attention, invasive investigations, and legal harassment. The IRS did not target groups that they believed might be violating the rules governing tax-exempt organizations; rather, as e-mails from the agency document, the IRS targeted these conservative groups categorically, regardless of whether there was any evidence that they were not in compliance with the relevant regulations. Simply having the words “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” (a reference to one of Glenn Beck’s many channels of activism) in the name was enough. Also targeted were groups dedicated to issues such as taxes, spending, debt, and, perhaps most worrisome, those that were simply “critical of the how the country is being run.” Organizations also were targeted based on the identity of their donors. Their applications were delayed, their managements harassed, and the IRS demanded that they answer wildly inappropriate questions, such as the content of their prayers. When an internal review threatened to expose the fact that, in the words of the IRS’s inspector general, the agency was “using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status,” Ms. Lerner staged an event at a tax-law conference at which she used a planted questioner to preemptively disclose the issue on her own terms, and the agency began claiming that the tea-party targeting, while regrettable, was the work of a few misguided agents at a satellite office in Cincinnati. In fact, the direction came from Washington and was, in the words of the agency’s own e-mails, “coordinated with” a senior manager there, Rob Choi, director of rulings and agreements. This began at the behest of Democratic officeholders, including Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, who requested that the IRS disclose to him information about tea-party groups that it would have been illegal for the IRS to disclose. It subsequently emerged that IRS officials had intentionally misled members of Congress and investigators about the matter.

During this period, IRS operatives were, according to the Office of Special Counsel, openly campaigning for the reelection of Barack Obama on IRS time using IRS resources. A few were later disciplined for their actions, but the extent of the political activity of IRS agents remains unknown.

The IRS is not just a revenue agency — it is a law-enforcement agency, a police agency with far greater powers of investigation and coercion that any normal police force. Its actions in this matter are not only inappropriate — they are illegal. Using government resources for political ends is a serious crime, as is conspiring to mislead investigators about those crimes. But so far, other than holding Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to comply with the demands of congressional investigators, almost nothing has happened. The characteristic feature of a police state is that those who are entrusted with the power to enforce the law are not themselves bound by it.

Context is again here important. The IRS scandal is not a standalone issue but comes at a time when the Democratic party is seeking to radically expand the power of the federal government to regulate political speech; we can safely assume that the same people who were using the IRS’s political-speech regulations for political ends will have precisely the same motives and precisely the same opportunity to use other political-speech regulations for precisely the same political ends: to benefit their allies and persecute their enemies. So committed are the Democrats to keeping their critics under the thumb of federal police powers that they have introduced an amendment in the Senate that would effectively repeal the free-speech provisions of the First Amendment, those having proved inconvenient to Democrats in Supreme Court rulings such as McCutcheon and Citizens United, the latter case involving a federal attempt to make it a crime to show a film critical of a political figure under unapproved circumstances.

The most important question that must be answered in this matter does not involve the misbehavior of IRS officials and Democratic officeholders, though those are important. Nor is it the question of free speech, vital and fundamental as that is. The question here is nothing less than the legitimacy of the United States government. When law-enforcement agencies and federal regulators with extraordinary coercive powers are subordinated to political interests rather than their official obligations — to the Party rather than to the law — then the law itself becomes meaningless, and the delicate constitutional order we have enjoyed for more than two centuries is reduced to a brutal might-makes-right proposition. Elected officials and public servants of both parties take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of their office. That oath is now being tested. The IRS investigation is no mere partisan scandal, but a moral challenge for the men and women who compose the government of this country. Whether they are sufficient to meet that challenge is far from obvious, but the evidence so far is not encouraging. 


TOPICS: Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: irs; obama; teaparty

1 posted on 05/16/2014 3:01:20 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Many care, they just don’t see how anything can be done about it. Would you have them storm the capitol and evict the occupants? Voting doesn’t seem to change much of anything.


2 posted on 05/16/2014 3:06:35 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: markomalley

And the sheep of the US electorate care not as long as the feedlot is well stocked. What happens when the opiate of nearly endless subsidies, EBT cards, and wealth redistribution schemes of boundless variety bring the house down on their simple little minds?


3 posted on 05/16/2014 3:09:12 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: All

I hate to even admit this, but the Marxists know it, and that’s why they own all the networks.
unless brian Williams leads his broadcast with a slow and solemn pronouncement, the people will not regard it as important.


4 posted on 05/16/2014 3:10:50 AM PDT by willywill
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To: Truth29

Never fear, citizen:

Powder People: Could It Possibly Be Healthy to Eat Nothing But the Food-Substitute Soylent?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3085178/posts

Who Needs Food When You Have Soylent?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/3051564/posts


5 posted on 05/16/2014 3:14:15 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: markomalley

The IRS scandal is not a standalone issue but comes at a time when the Democratic party is seeking to radically expand the power of the federal government to regulate political speech; we can safely assume that the same people who were using the IRS’s political-speech regulations for political ends will have precisely the same motives and precisely the same opportunity to use other political-speech regulations for precisely the same political ends: to benefit their allies and persecute their enemies.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Its a planned evolution towards the establishment of a fascist state. This is where Obama is going with all of his initiatives.

This has been predicted for years:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html


6 posted on 05/16/2014 3:21:12 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article:(http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html))
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To: markomalley

Oompa, oompa, stick it up your junta…


7 posted on 05/16/2014 3:26:16 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: markomalley
Its actions in this matter are not only inappropriate — they are illegal. Using government resources for political ends is a serious crime, as is conspiring to mislead investigators about those crimes...

People in DC are being fed lies... the people behind the lies are the one's we need to expose.

8 posted on 05/16/2014 3:31:11 AM PDT by GOPJ (Obama - when will you tell radical muslims to stop clinging to their guns & religion?)
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To: markomalley

“It may be that the American public simply does not care about the issue; it is always difficult, if not impossible, to predict what issues will seize the electorate’s attention, or to understand why after the fact. It may be that the public does not understand the issue, ...”

The democratic public DOES NOT care if elections are fraudulent because they are confident that fraud will continue in their favor. Why would they worry and who will stop it from happening?


9 posted on 05/16/2014 3:41:18 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: markomalley

The leaders of both parties want to do away with the tea party and keep
The gravey train rolling


10 posted on 05/16/2014 3:44:35 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy lied and lied and lied)
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To: markomalley
"Elected officials and public servants of both parties take an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of their office. "

My disillusion with the U.S. Federal Government became complete when I realized that President George W. Bush had no intention of enforcing U.S. immigration laws.

11 posted on 05/16/2014 4:01:45 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Hubris and denial overwhelm Western Civilization. Nemesis and tragedy always follow.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

For one thing—voter fraud is widespread.


12 posted on 05/16/2014 4:12:02 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Hubris and denial overwhelm Western Civilization. Nemesis and tragedy always follow.)
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To: Truth29
"What happens when the opiate of nearly endless subsidies, EBT cards, and wealth redistribution schemes of boundless variety bring the house down on their simple little minds?"

Detroit

13 posted on 05/16/2014 4:13:22 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Hubris and denial overwhelm Western Civilization. Nemesis and tragedy always follow.)
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To: markomalley

Revolt is coming.


14 posted on 05/16/2014 4:56:10 AM PDT by Biggirl (“Go, do not be afraid, and serve”-Pope Francis)
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To: Joe Boucher

I was accused of drinking the kool-aid yesterday for pointing that out. It shouldn’t take an advanced degree from the school of the bleeding obvious to see what is happening.


15 posted on 05/16/2014 5:08:46 AM PDT by Orangedog (An optimist is someone who tells you to 'cheer up' when things are going his way)
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To: Savage Beast

Rome during the empire period collapsed. Byzantium lasted about 1,000 years longer.

Maybe one should investigate why.

Rome-high taxes, public welfare, corruption, unsustainable spending and debt.

Byzantium, wars upon wars, defeated by islam in the end.

So is the US Rome or Byzantium?


16 posted on 05/16/2014 6:24:16 AM PDT by the anti-mahdi
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To: the anti-mahdi

Rome


17 posted on 05/16/2014 6:35:16 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Hubris and denial overwhelm Western Civilization. Nemesis and tragedy always follow.)
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To: Biggirl
<>Revolt is coming.<>

The uniparty police state is more than ready. They look forward to it.

18 posted on 05/16/2014 6:41:47 AM PDT by Jacquerie (To restore the 10th Amendment, repeal the 17th.)
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To: Orangedog

Gots to get rid of them Tea Party Crazies,
They are trying to ruin everything.
Gots to keep that gravy train rolling rolling rolling.


19 posted on 05/16/2014 7:10:26 AM PDT by Joe Boucher ((FUBO) obammy lied and lied and lied)
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To: Truth29
I think enough of the sheep might wake up, so long as they are given a real alternative to the status quo, but even many of those who claim to be Conservative are working hard to prevent that.

When your supposed allies are in the enemy camp, there are few alternatives left.

20 posted on 05/16/2014 7:29:58 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: markomalley
Bttt.

5.56mm

21 posted on 05/16/2014 7:40:00 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: markomalley
It would appear the Free Sh!t Army and their enablers in both Parties and the media are prevailing.

As long as the Gravy Train is rolling on, it will continue and that is the job of All Of The Above. When the bloated thing derails (and it will, when the economy genuinely collapses, the Dollar craters, and runaway inflation arrives) the result will be a catastrophic fireball that blows up what used to be union of the USA.

Can the USA Survive Until 2024?

22 posted on 05/16/2014 7:55:37 AM PDT by Gritty (Climate hysterics shriek on. Loud and apocalyptic is the only setting on the machine.-Mark Steyn)
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To: Gritty

That is why the Pentagon is prepping for the zombie apocalypse.


23 posted on 05/16/2014 8:08:18 AM PDT by Texas resident (The democrat party is now the CPUSA)
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To: markomalley
The question here is nothing less than the legitimacy of the United States government. When law-enforcement agencies and federal regulators with extraordinary coercive powers are subordinated to political interests rather than their official obligations — to the Party rather than to the law — then the law itself becomes meaningless, and the delicate constitutional order we have enjoyed for more than two centuries is reduced to a brutal might-makes-right proposition.

Bold statement coming from NRO. Glad to see them figuring it out.

24 posted on 05/16/2014 9:23:01 AM PDT by kristinn (Welcome to the Soviet States of Obama)
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To: markomalley

bkmk


25 posted on 05/16/2014 10:15:08 AM PDT by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: markomalley
This is a great summary of the IRS scandal to date.

However, since the Administration and the Democratic Party are directly complicit in these crimes, and half of the Republican Party wished them well in their endeavors, I don't see any chance that any of these people will go to prison where they belong. Instead, this will only serve to alert those guardians of the administrative state that they can do as they like without fear of the consequences.

26 posted on 05/16/2014 12:50:16 PM PDT by mojito (Zero, our Nero.)
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