The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Obama hammers the IRS

Only a diehard, right-leaning partisan could question the sincerity of President Obama’s unequivocal outrage over the actions of the Internal Revenue Service. Troubling actions that he said he found out like the rest of us on Friday.

“This is pretty straightforward,” he said at his joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.“If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on … then that’s outrageous, and there’s no place for it. They have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity.”

Obama went on to say, “You should feel that way, regardless of party.” He correctly observed that “[t]his is something that I think people are properly concerned about.” And he added, “I am not going to comment on [the] specific findings [of the IRS inspector general report] prematurely. But I can tell you that if you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and bipartisan way, then it is outrageous.”

The president couldn’t have been more clear. And he’ll have to express the same outrage all over again when the inspector general’s report is issued publicly this week. That won’t be difficult, given what we already know. One other thing we already know? Obama’s critics won’t be satisfied, no matter what he says.

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