Friday is the day in Washington, DC when things come out that people don’t want to answer questions about. They hope that by Monday all will be forgotten and the American public will be on to something new. It’s like the suburban game of ‘Ring and Run’, when adolescents ring a doorbell and run away before anyone comes to answer. Sometimes there is a bag of dog poop lit on fire left by the door in hopes that whoever answers will try to stamp it out.
Yesterday was Friday and yesterday’s flaming bag of poop contained the news that the Justice Department has dropped and closed the investigation of Lois Lerner and the IRS. No charges will be filed. Lerner was at the center of the IRS scandal of withholding and delaying tax exempt status to conservative leaning groups. At the time the scandal broke it was blamed on two mid-level managers in the IRS Cleveland office. Probably because there was no YouTube video handy at the time and that excuse had already been used as well.
President Obama went from unknowing, to just as outraged as any American citizen, to “we’ll get to the bottom of this”, to laughing it off as he has done with every other scandal in the wake of his administration.
The IRS is the most feared of government agencies, followed closely behind by the EPA. The IRS was turned into a weapon and conservative groups were targeted. It’s not the first time a presumed enemy of the Obama administration was targeted, just ask the owner of Gibson Guitar.
All throughout the IRS scandal no one was fired, no one was held accountable, the head of the agency was changed but that is just window dressing. Lois Lerner pleaded the 5th in front of a Congressional hearing and she had every right to do so. She did resign her position with the IRS. But I wouldn’t worry about her, she has her government pension and anyone playing ‘ring and run’ at her home probably have a very long run down her driveway before leaving her property.
The question remains, who instructed Lois Lerner to do what she did? There were emails. Once again deleted, hard drives destroyed, subpoenas disregarded, FOIA requests shrugged off. All this from the administration that hails itself as the ‘most transparent ever’.
Try all the above the next time the IRS sends you a letter or brings you in for an audit and see if you get the same results.
I wrote the following last year and I feel it bears a 2nd publication here.
When the government does not live by the laws it sets down for its citizens you have a tyranny.
What is a Law ?
(originally published June 2014)
What is a Law? And what happens when we fail to enforce them?
We need to understand what is meant by the term ‘law’.
There are the scientific laws encompassing the way the universe interacts within itself. There is ‘Natural Law’ things that are determined by nature. Laws of Economics, Laws of Physics, The Ten Commandments, the laws given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai after the Jews left Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, many of which have become the basis for civil society. Thou shall not kill; thou shall not steal, etc. You know the rest. However, the laws I am talking are the rules which a civil society lives by and why an uncivilized society is considered lawless.
What makes people obey a law? Any law? Fear of the pain of consequence for failing to comply. The consequence could be anything from a monetary fine for illegal parking to execution for capital crimes.
A few hundred years ago, the main consequence of breaking the rules of civil society was Hell. The church served as the department of justice. If you broke the rules you were bound for Hell for all eternity.
Today, now that we are no longer allowed to discuss religion or faith, belief in a higher power is not politically correct. No God, therefore no Heaven, and certainly no Hell. Only the here and now exists. Take what you can, when you’re gone nothing matters.
So, we can only rely on our earthly means of regulating behavior. I am speaking of jail; loss of freedom, disgrace for you and your family. “Doing hard time.”
If you walked into a casino and played a game where if you won you won, but if you lost you still got to keep your initial bet what would you do? Well, initially your behavior wouldn’t change. You would still bet conservatively because you have been conditioned to know that if you lose, you lose.
That is called ‘risk’, and a very integral part of the risk/reward equation that has existed since animals had the mental capacity to think and evaluate every situation. Should I buy that stock? Can I afford to lose my investment? Should I try to stretch this double into a triple? What if I make the third out and kill the rally? Should I ask that cute girl to the prom? What if she says ‘no’?
When you realize that even when you lose, the chips in front of you remain. You will eventually bet larger amounts, as you can earn bigger sums without the risk of losing. With zero risk, you would be willing to bet amounts of money you would have never before allowed yourself to risk.
Zero risk. That is what we have today. Zero risk, lawlessness. Nothing controlling behavior because there is no danger of risk. No fear of the pain of consequence. Look at every scandal that has occurred since Obama has been elected. Benghazi; Fast and Furious; Solyndra, et al.; AP / Fox News; IRS; Sebelius demanding donations from companies HHS regulates; leaking sensitive information; so many that I can’t even list them all. Throughout them all, name a single person that has been held accountable. I’m not talking jail time, no one has even been fired. Zero risk.
Let’s be fair, every administration has been caught with their hand in the cookie jar from time to time. I’m old enough to remember when Richard Nixon was forced to resign because people that worked for him broke in to the offices of the DNC and stole some files. At the time, the attempted cover-up of “Watergate” was so big and so important in our nation’s mind that it actually changed the language. Adding “gate” as a suffix to make a word into something scandalous, i.e. Bridge-gate.
Yet today we are living under such an onslaught of offenses by this administration that by the time you get a full understanding of the Who What Why and How of one event, you’re 3 events behind and it’s old news. As a White House staffer said to Mike Wallace during an interview, “Dude, that was like two years ago.”
Obama has held true to his campaign promise. He has surely fundamentally transformed America.
Want answers to these scandals? Put someone in cuffs, let them do the “perp walk”, strip Lois Lerner of her government pension. You can plead the fifth, Ms. Lerner, but as your employers, we feel that you’ve violated your terms of your employment. No pension for you.
When you’ve applied enough pain to the small fish, the bigger fish will fry. This has been the basis of good police work for 100’s of years. It would work today.