Good lord do we love a Watergate in the PostScript Bunker.
President Obama and the executive branch of the government have spent the past few days sliding into Nixonian oblivion, writes George Will today, with the IRS and Justice Department evidently acting more politically that they should be. So let’s take a break from the last few PostScripts on last week’s Watergate, because we got two more in the chute! And they’re even MORE Watergatey, because President Nixon used the IRS politically and tried to investigate the press.
Boom. Watergate checkmate. Potentially.
For some commenters, Watergate was a simpler, less cynical time:
I worked as an IRS agent during the Nixon era. Ahh, memories . . . Two IRS Commissioners resigned because they refused to carry out Nixon’s orders to audit people on Nixon’s infamous enemies list. He finally found one who was happy to comply. We spent more time changing the letterheads to reflect current commissioners than anything else.
For some, it’s an indictment of liberalism itself:
The bottom line is, Obama’s revenue service is part of the oppressive, all-powerful, controlling government; and in that sense it was just doing its job by targeting and harassing citizens who could be stereotyped as being opposed to concentration camp-type government. Par for the course in Obama’s America.
And for some, this Watergate will actually end up tarring . . . Republicans:
Teapublicans will live to regret these investigations. They will reveal that many of the “Patriot” fringe groups played fast and loose with the rules, improperly advocated politics and should be disqualified from tax-exempt status.
Yes, says Judge:
Actually, turns out the IRS reviews were legitimate. Conservative groups were applying for tax-exempt status as “social welfare” organizations to hide their donors. Probably a setup by Karl Rove all along. Wonder how Fox will cover that.
“[From the link:] Current law forces the I.R.S. to enforce a vague set of campaign finance laws that have next to nothing to do with raising revenue. The conservative groups at issue were applying for tax-exempt status as ‘social welfare’ organizations rather than Section 527 tax-exempt political organizations.”
“The I.R.S. has been subject to attack from both sides. Indeed, as Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, recently noted, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has been investigating the I.R.S.’s failure to enforce the law that requires tax-exempt groups to be engaged exclusively in social-welfare activities, not partisan politics. In stepping up its attention, it is not surprising that some I.R.S. employees bungled their attempt to enforce the law.”
PostScript isn’t buying that without a lot more evidence, but it allows her to segue into something no commenter discussed, that she saw. Will writes a pointed paragraph about the way The Post covered the IRS story (much) as compared to the way the New York Times covered it (little). Judge’s quotes and link do provide a big ol’ contrast — the Times’ coverage is much less indicative of a scandal. If either of these new Watergates turn out to be Watergate, they’re going to look silly.
One of the givens of opinions section comments is that the mainstream media are do-nothing monolithic stenographers and yappy little dogs waiting for a treat from our master, Obama. Will’s example of highly divergent news coverage — news, not opinion — of the IRS matter, and the Justice Department snooping around the Associated Press, would undermine that characterization. No, commenters didn’t mention that, but PostScript does.