Embedded in a column full of invective and excess verbiage, Michael Gerson provides a pretty fair description of the IRS scandal:
To review: After President Obama blamed “two Dilberts in Cincinnati,” an inspector general’s report found that high-level IRS officials in Washington were involved in directing additional scrutiny toward tea party groups seeking tax exemptions. Lerner admitted as much, before taking the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before the House oversight committee. The House of Representatives held her in contempt. And now the evidence of possible communications between Lerner and other agencies (including the White House) has gone missing under suspicious circumstances. It could be a regrettable series of rogue operations, IRS management failures and technical glitches. Or they could be taking us for fools.
It seems to me that there are at least four competing reactions to the problem:
- The White House is behind all of this and should be investigated hammer and tongs until Barack Obama is out of office.
- There’s an actual scandal here that’s worthy of better investigation than the House is likely to do.
- Nothing to see here, move along.
- What difference at this point does it make?
I think that #1 is unlikely but it seems to be the tack that partisan Republicans are taking. #2 is my position. #3 seems to be the tack that partisan Democrats are clinging to, a task that becomes more difficult with the passage of time. #4 could be attached to just about every story that comes out of Washington these days.