“We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”So don't blame them if the orders aren't clear. But nothing partisan was going on. And if no one knows who issued that directive, what difference does it make?
But no matter how the Obama tries to shift blame to low-level bureaucrats and anonymous directives, the real blow is to the public's trust in the power of the government. If the administration is faced with the choice of being either illegally partisan in manipulating the IRS or just incompetent, they'll go with incompetence. But that doesn't encourage the public when they're also the very same people telling us that it is desirable to put so much of our country in the hands of these sorts of bureaucratic organizations. Really, Obama is doing more to encourage the growth of libertarianism than Ron and Rand Paul ever could.
This instinct to CYA explains how the administration reaction to the IRS scandal follows the pattern of most scandal cover-ups. Beware the presentation of passive verbs with no people named as the ones who actually carried out the action.
CBS's Sharryl Attkisson describes how the Obama administration has "perfected" the practice of delaying the release of public information.
David Ignatius is struck by the whole CYA-mindset of the many exchanges of opinions on how to water down the Benghazi talking points. Well, that is what happens when bureaucrats are put in charge of presenting information to the public.
The IRS's Lois Lerner earns "a bushel of Pinocchios."
And Dan Pfeiffer's full Ginsburg on the Sunday shows involved lying about the Benghazi talking points. But if he can disseminate his misinformation into the public, his mission is accomplished.
The Washington Post reports on how the administration has been investigating security leaks and expanding the power of the federal government to search the private emails of a Fox News reporter. I guess the media didn't care so much when it was a Fox reporter, but now that their tactics are directed at AP, everything seems so much worse.
So much of what the administration does is all about chilling free speech.
Jim Geraghty finds the common factor behind all the scandals affecting the Obama administration - their belief that the ends justifies the means.
So how can all these current scandals be blamed on Bush?
Even Bob Schieffer is getting fed up with the rear-covering attitude of the Obama White House.
The Obama administration is warning Republicans against a "partisan fishing expedition" in investigating what was going on with the IRS scandal. Oh, the irony. Isn't that is what is being accused of creating the scandal in the fist place?
Obama's rhetoric reveals how he projects his own motivations on to his political opponents whom he'll attack an a very ad hominem basis. It is what he does over and over again.
Fill out your own copy of the Obama Scandal Bracket.
Mia Love is itching for a rematch next year.