Conservatives have long tangled with Lerner, who was director of enforcement at the Federal Election Commission from 1986 until 2001, when she moved to the IRS.
"Everything we have seen at the IRS was reeled out first at the FEC," says Jim Bopp, a noted election-law attorney who represented the Christian Coalition in its successful fight to quash the FEC's attempt to impose a $5 million fine on the group for political activities. The FEC lost the case on summary judgment in a 1999 opinion written by a Jimmy Carter appointed judge.
"In a dozen out of the 81 depositions in the case, the FEC wanted to know about people's religious beliefs or the content of their prayers," Bopp told me. "Lerner took the speech-chilling culture she developed at the FEC right over to the IRS."
We know there was an emergency meeting of the Journ-o-list membership within the White House on Wednesday. Several known left-wing "journalists" and pundits were spotted entering the White House, presumably to strategize the response to the scandals. Those who came out were sticking to the same story: It was all Lois Lerner's fault and doesn't go any higher than that.
There seems to be ample evidence that Lerner would not object to the sort of tactics used in the improper IRS investigations, but the fact that we are being fed Lerner as the target suggests to me that there's more to it than that.
It seems the IRS has decided that Lerner's work is so good she deserves a paid vacation.