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That was stomach churning. Some employees within the IRS –and it sounds like a lot of employees– have simply been out of control, and in ways that will chill and disgust most Americans. It is as though the IRS hired exclusively from MoveOn, Kos, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. Ms. Lois Lerner in particular has much to answer for, but so do many, many other people and parts of the IRS and many, many other employees in other agencies. (Read this from the Thomas More Society, cited in today’s hearing.) Care must be taken not to damage the reputation and careers of the fair and the honest within the agency, but the “tip of the iceberg” analogy is completely accurate.
In January of 1975, a Senate shocked by revelations about the CIA put together the Church Committee. That Committee did enormous damage to the agency, paralyzing it and in many ways crippling the U.S. national security.
No such danger exists here, but the predicate is the same: An agency of the federal government with vast power has been systematically abusing it. There needs to be a Select Committee on Benghazi and there needs to be one on the IRS. If the Senate Democrats block a deep, thorough investigation into this cesspool, every Democrat up for re-election in the upper chamber should lose in 2014.
CSPAN (and any network that wants eyeballs) should replay the entire hearing this weekend so those at work can watch it for themselves. The IRS actually asked one group: “What was the content of your prayers?” People need to hear that, and they need to hear the story of Congressman Brady’s constituent, and the hundreds –thousands? tens of thousands?– of other cases of abuse.
One key area of focus: Who got leaks of what from whom within the agency? Today’s hearing established that Ms. Lerner used an outsider –Ms. Celia Roady– to try and set-up favorable IRS media coverage. Who else in the private sector and other government agencies have been manipulated by IRS senior leadership? That which done once is usually simply part of a pattern or a practice.
Posted below is Congressman Mike Kelly’s closing statement which brought applause and cheers to the room.