First president since Nixon to refer to his political opponents as enemies and a threat to democracy… The reason civil liberties fare worse under lefty administrations is that the Left demurs rather than hold them accountable. It’s more important to beat republicans than preserve liberty. Sad.
Steven Law, writing in today’s WSJ, What Enron and the IRS have in common:
These IRS employees believed that they had implicit consent to ideologically profile nonprofit advocacy groups. Where did that come from? Lois Lerner—the IRS official who headed the division overseeing tax-exempt groups and who is now on administrative leave—certainly didn’t elucidate matters when she exercised her right against self-incrimination rather than testify before Congress on May 22.
What the Enron scandal teaches is that such implicit permission can be communicated by a toxic culture fostered by the company’s top brass.
onsider the tone that has been set by the person at the very top of the government the IRS serves. President Obama is the first president since Nixon to refer to political opponents as “enemies,” in October 2010, apologizing only after a week of intense criticism. Around the same time, he assailed conservative advocacy groups as a “threat to democracy.” As the nation’s top law enforcer, Mr. Obama singled out groups such as Americans for Prosperity by name and suggested they could be taking illegal foreign funds. That’s toxic culture from the C-Suite.
Next, at least 10 Democratic senators publicly pressured the IRS to do precisely what it is now being excoriated for: harassing center-right groups for conducting the same spirited advocacy that environmental groups and labor unions have done for years.