In a February 2011 email, Ms. Lerner advised her staffincluding then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Pazthat a Tea Party matter is "very dangerous," and is something "Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on." Ms. Lerner adds, "Cincy should probably NOT have these cases."
Is she implying an actual, physical threat from a Tea Party group? Or is it more of a political danger?
I wouldn't put it past her to be trying to imply an actual threat, given what we've seen in various "domestic terrorism" documents trying to link the Tea Party and other political groups on the right to violence. Yet somehow, the violence never quite seems to materialize. Well, almost never.
In any case, it's obvious Lerner was involved in IRS suppression efforts. Some emails have been extracted from the IRS that indicate Lerner was involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups. From Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp:
There is increasing and overwhelming evidence that Lois Lerner and high-level IRS employees in Washington were abusing their power to prevent conservative groups from organizing and carrying out their missions, he said. There are still mountains of documents to go through, but it is clear the IRS is out of control and there will be consequences.
"It certainly appears that the IRS was weaponized for the political purpose of one party," Gohmert said on the House floor in reaction. "Here we are with a group of Democratic operatives doing things with the IRS that Richard Nixon could only dream of doing. "I think there are criminal implications here that need to be followed up."
The core problem here isn't limited to the specific abuses during the 2012 election, however. The real problem is that we have an entrenched bureaucracy within the federal government, to which politicians have unconstitutionally delegated their lawmaking powers, and which has formed a alliance with the Democrat party:
The first possibility is bad enough, but is presumably remediable with stricter rules. The second possibility, however, calls into question the possibility of a nonpartisan career civil service, and certainly the possibility of fair administration for something as complex, and involving as many discretionary decisions, as the Internal Revenue Code. Worse yet, given that overwhelming partisan identification with Democrats pervades the civil service as a whole, it calls into question the very possibility of a nonpartisan and politically neutral civil service.
It's exactly the same problem journalists have. When people really believe in being objective, and the political shape of the profession matches that of the nation as a whole, trying to be non-partisan can actually produce appropriate results. When the reality is that the people running an organization are overwhelmingly from one political party, though, the desire to be objective becomes nothing more than a facade to hide abuse of power.