Saturday, December 15, 2018
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

This I.R.S. Matter -- Res Ipsa Loquitur

June 3, 2013 --

Imagine John McCain had been elected president in 2008. Imagine further that beginning in 2010 the Internal Revenue Service singled out for "special scrutiny"
leftwing organizations seeking tax exemption status, while expediting applications for tax exemptions from conservative groups.

It is LPR's hunch that within days of the "special" treatment hindering leftwing applications, Democrats and the media would have assailed the McCain administration for denying leftwing organizations due process and equal protection of the law, and would have demanded hearings, special prosecutor, with plans for impeachment to follow.

In our political real world, it has taken three years for some attention to be paid the singling out of conservative groups for "special scrutiny" by the IRS. The most curious IRS explanation given for such treatment is faulty management, and the head of the IRS Exempt Organizations office, Lois G. Lerner, has, thus far stone-walled Congress. For LPR, all this suggests a certain tweaking of Lincoln's suggestion that all the people cannot be fooled all the time. It seems to LPR that leftists are convinced that most of the people can be fooled all the time, especially if the media is takes a leading role in the hoodwinking.

Once again, LPR will cite a New York Times editorial to gain insight into the leftist mindset. In its lead editorial, May 29, the Times asserted that Republicans "want to dismantle government, using whatever crowbar happens to be handy...."
Turning the accusation inside out, we understand that the left seeks to dismantle conservative groups, particularly Tea Party organizations and found that the IRS would be a handy crowbar for this purpose.

As of May 30, Congressional Republicans appear, yet again, to have been flummoxed by the Obama administration. It was by Google search, not from the pages of The New York Times, that LPR learned that William W. Taylor III, the Washington lawyer who accompanied Ms. Lerner when she appeared May 22 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is a partner at Zuckerman, Spaeder and that Leslie Kiernan, the current Deputy White House Counsel was a Zuckerman, Spaeder parter before joining the Obama administration. To read news articles in The New York Times, Republicans are trying to link the IRS matter to the President -- yet, as of May 30, no Republican has raised questions about the Zuckerman, Spaeder ties of Mr. Taylor and deputy White House Counsel Kiernan.

Of course, to read The New York Times, one is to understand that the only partisanship visible is raised by those questioning the singling out of conservative organizations by the IRS, not by the fact that conservative groups were singled out.. The New York Times regards this IRS matter as a "stumble" (editorial, May 14) used by Republicans "to obscure the real damage that [they] continue to do to the economy and the workings of government." LPR is concerned that the IRS matter represents gross abuse of power by government.

As of May 30, The New York Times has not offered any editorial comment on Lois G. Lerner's appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, May 22. The paper did mention Ms. Lerner in its May 14 and May 16 editorials on the IRS. Ms. Lerner has been mentioned in Times news articles about the IRS matter on May 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23 and 24. None of the references to Ms. Lerner gives much personal information about her, other than the fact that she headed the exempt organizations office of the IRS. Perhaps the Times, if not Ms. Lerner, herself, will find the occasion to place her, favorably, in the Lillian Hellman context. Playright Hellman, called to appear before the House Committee on Un--American Activities, in 1952, famously sent HUAC Chairman John S. Wood (Dem, Ga.) a letter stating that she would waive her fight against self-incrimination if she were not asked to name names. In that letter, dated May 19, 1952, Ms. Hellman famously wrote, in part, "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions...."

Ms. Lerner, according to the news account in The New York Times, May 23, told the House Oversight Committee that she had done nothing wrong, and then invoked her Fifth Amendment rights. This has puzzled LPR. If Ms. Lerner believes she has done nothing wrong, violated no laws, given no false information, what then was she invoking via the Fifth Amendment -- her right to not tell the truth about a matter that would not incriminate her? Or is it that she just does not want to name names, especially to a congressional committee chaired by a Republican.