Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sgt. Schultz White House Responds to IRS Misbehavior Towards Conservative Political Groups

The Obama White House has retreated into Sgt. Schultz mode yet again on a number of fronts. It's become very predictable behavior. From pretending the "Sequester" concept didn't come from the Obama White House to other matters, suddenly things have turned. And suddenly the press is paying attention. The multiple "we didn't know about that" defenses on multiple issues are becoming less and less credible.

Two weeks ago at an American Bar Association lawyers conference, an IRS official "apologized" for singling out Tea Party, Patriot and other conservative political groups, and harassing them or delaying the processing of their paperwork seeking tax exempt status. Would the IRS accept your "apology" if you filed your tax return late?

During the last campaign for President, multiple liberal groups and politicians demanded that the IRS "investigate" conservative political groups, including those operating as tax exempt. In October of last year for example, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. "I write to urge the Internal Service the purpose and primary activities of several 501(c)4 organization that appear to be in violation of the law," wrote Durbin, complaining of Karl Rove's "Crossroads" group.  Durbin wasn't squawking about any "liberal" or pro-Democratic Party groups in that letter.  The arch-liberal Huffington Post featured Durbin's letter at that time. Click here to read it.

After all that, was it mere coincidence that the IRS commenced their "investigations?" Too many coincidences are piling up at the front door of the White House on too many issues for that claim to be credible.

Tons of questions are emerging about this IRS matter which the White House is unable to answer, other than to retreat into Sgt. Schultz behavior of "I see nothing, I hear nothing, I know nothing." White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was beaten up in a pretty ugly press conference this week. It was pretty clear from reviewing video of that conference that Carney was not used to being treated in such a fashion by a normally tame and docile press.

The first White House reaction was a quiet "gee, that would be awful if the IRS did that" type of answer. Several days later as the story kept building and the Inspector General Report on the subject was ready to be released, President Obama suddenly emerged and stated such behavior was "outrageous" and of course, he would instantly get to the bottom of it. Attorney General Eric Holder is investigating, which should frighten no wrong-doers. In the meantime, numerous Democratic Congressmen and Senators nearly immediately condemned that IRS behavior, suddenly finding common ground with their Republican counterparts.

Our perpetually slow to react Congressman Brad Schneider, (D-IL10th) six days after the story emerged, finally issued a statement condemning the IRS actions. The language of his statement sounds suspiciously like that of someone who didn't want to say anything about it. Again, this occurred after nearly a clear majority of fellow Democratic Congressmen jumped in with condemnations.

Sgt. Schultz is an iconic television personality who emerged from a rather silly sit-com that ran on CBS TV for six years during the late 1960's and early 1970's.  The sit-com was set in a Nazi prisoner of war camp run by inept guards while the prisoners openly ran spying and covert operations out of the camp. The Schultz character, the chief guard, played by actor John Banner, was famous for knowing what was going on during each episode but always willing to ignore it or look the other way to save his own skin from being "transferred to the Russian front." Schultz' two catch phrases, "I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing" and "I see nothing, NOTHING!" ran throughout the series.

So, did the White House read an advance copy of the Inspector General IRS report on this subject and suggest changes, ala Bengazi?  Are there e-mails from the White House to the IRS requesting investigations? Are there also e-mails or letters from Obama campaign officials to the IRS requesting investigations? Why did IRS Commissioner Shulman last year deny such activities were occurring?  Why initially was the IRS activity claimed to be the actions of a few rogue officials working out of their Cincinnati offices?  Was this office really bogged down by over 350 applications, considering the millions of documents the IRS processes daily? Why was confidential information pertaining to Koch Brothers funded conservative groups and some Tea Party Groups, well demonized by Democrats during the past two years, released for review to liberal groups who requested it?  I always thought all information provided to the IRS by individuals, corporations and groups were confidential.

Not anymore.

Any questions being asked seem to represent just the tip of the iceberg.

Obama is being compared to Richard Nixon and his enemies list days just prior to his resignation as President and subsequent pardon by President Gerald Ford.  Is this a fair comparison?

Just ask Sgt. Schultz.

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