Friday, May 17, 2013
White House Tries to Shed their Sgt. Schultz Image.
Which begs the question: If these are not scandals then why are they reacting like they are?
After first claiming no control over the IRS, President Obama announced that he asked Treasury Secretary Lew to seek the resignation of the current Interim Director, whose term was expiring in June. The Director then resigned.
Now President Obama, suddenly interested in swiftly showing the nation he actually governs and does not lead from behind, or is apathetic or bored with the day to day governance of the ever expanding Federal Government, appoints a new Interim IRS Director, who comes from the President's Office of Budget and Management, and who was in charge of implementing "Sequestration" constraints on spending.
Is he the same fellow who closed White House tours claiming a lack of funding? Placed Air Traffic Controllers on furloughs even though the FAA later suddenly found funding to reverse that decision? The White House kept coming up with various doomsday scenarios resulting from the sequestration, only to see them shrugged off unless some overly outrageous action was implemented. Does this mean a less consumer friendly IRS down the road?
Which begs another new question: Is the President merely rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic by inserting someone in that position who will do his bidding? If so, will it be in a bid for reform or to quietly reinstate the status quo?
Now a few friends of mine who are not Republicans are complaining over how I am portraying our President and White House over these matters. It is much ado about nothing, they complain. Using the confused, bumbling, know nothing, see nothing, hear nothing Sgt. Schultz to describe the White House is unfair to them.
Sorry. They need to take this more seriously. When you provide information to the IRS in an application for a certain tax status or a tax return, you provide that information under penalties of perjury. The IRS demanded information about membership, supporters, who conservative groups were supporting, sources of funding, their activities, all as part of an application process, that again, included penalties of perjury. Intimidating? You bet. Squelching free speech? You bet.
President Obama is also now requesting increased security at U.S. Embassies around the world. Has he finally learned his lesson from the Benghazi tragedy? Time will tell.
President Obama is also requesting passage of a bill protecting or shielding reporters from revealing their sources, something he previously opposed. But he "makes no apologies" for the actions of his Justice Department in seizing telephone records of numerous reports of the Associated Press.
Nice to see the President become so suddenly engaged. Maybe the President will finally keep his long time promise to Americans to make the Federal Government more transparent, open and accessible. His administration has been anything but since he first assumed office. Those references to Nixon must be galling to Obama.
The President needs to agree to a series of independent counsels to investigate these matters. No one trusts the Holder Justice Department, The Treasury Department or the IRS to investigate these matters. That would be the same as investigating oneself. Congressional investigations in turn will allow Democrats to snipe and claim partisanship. The scrambling of this White House so far is designed to contain the scandals, not to reveal all the facts so that the public can determine if they are scandalous or not.
Independent counsels? Sgt. Schultz would never agree to that!