Joe Klein makes a valid point in his column:
As in most presidencies, there have been an awful lot of political hacks populating the mid-reaches of this Administration. In the Obama instance, these have shown an anachronistic, pre-Clinton liberal bias when it comes to the rules and regulations governing many of our safety net programs, like social security disability. And now they have violated one of the more sacred rules of our democracy: you do not use the tax code to punish your opponents.
Lois G. Lerner, the IRS official who oversees tax-exempt groups, said the “absolutely inappropriate” actions by “front-line people” were not driven by partisan motives.
Does anyone actually believe this?
Yet again, we have an example of Democrats simply not managing the government properly and with discipline. This is just poisonous at a time of skepticism about the efficacy of government. And the President should know this: the absence of scandal is not the presence of competence. His unwillingness to concentrate–and I mean concentrate obsessively–on making sure that government is managed efficiently will be part of his legacy.
When your basic strategy is to give federal agencies broad discretionary powers as is the case with the PPACA and Dodd-Frank, just to name two, if those powers are abused for what certainly appear to be political motives, it really casts doubt on the innocence of your intentions. Or, as Dan Drezner recently wisecracked, they’ve justified every paranoid conspiracy theory for the next half century.