So the Amazing Keyboarding Vegetable has one of his standard, weaselly, more-in-pity-than-anger columns up about When Good Governments Go Bad. A sample:
Itâ€™s hard to tell now if the I.R.S. scandal is political thuggery or obliviousness. It would be one thing if the scandal is just a group of tax people targeting the most antitax groups in the country. Thatâ€™s just normal, run-of-the-mill partisan antipathy.
It would be far worse if the senior workers of the I.R.S. have become so isolated by their technocratic task that they didnâ€™t even recognize that using the search term â€œTea Partyâ€ was going to be a moral and political problem. If thatâ€™s the case, then the members of the I.R.S. leadership are suffering from a tunnel vision that turns outside reality into abstractions. When government workers lose touch with the normal human context of their job, thatâ€™s when the real horror show commences.
But it’s not really hard to tell now, because the IG report found that when upper management found out what the Cincinnati staffers were up to, upper management ordered them to stop. To give the Cabbage credit, he is silent on the issue of Benghazi emails, which may signal some parts of the Republican establishment are ready to shut up about them.
On the very same editorial page today, the editorial board of the New York Times writes,
The Internal Revenue Service, according to an inspector generalâ€™s report, was not reacting to political pressure or ideology when it singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny in evaluating requests for tax exemptions. It acted inappropriately because employees couldnâ€™t understand inadequate guidelines.
Here it gets juicy —
But reality simply isnâ€™t solid enough to hold back the vast Republican opportunism on display this week. Whatever cranky point Republicans had been making against President Obama for the last five years â€” dishonesty, socialism, jackbooted tyranny â€” they somehow found that these incidents were exactly the proof they had been seeking, no matter how inflated or distorted.
â€œThis is runaway government at its worst,â€ Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, said at a Tea Party news conference on Thursday about the I.R.S. scandal. â€œWho knows who theyâ€™ll target next.â€ Representative Michele Bachmann knew. Standing next to Mr. McConnell, she said the I.R.S.â€™s next target would obviously be the religious beliefs of people seeking health insurance.
For Senator Mike Lee of Utah, these incidents proved that the federal budget has to be cut even more deeply. â€œWe need to return it to a simpler, more manageable government,â€ he said, â€œbecause thatâ€™s the only way that weâ€™re ever going to prevent things like this from happening.â€
There are no â€œthings like this,â€ beyond a coincidence of bad timing. But they do have one thing in common: when bound together and loudly denounced on cable television and in hearings, they serve to obscure the real damage that Republicans continue to do to the economy and the workings of government.
Now, you and I already know this. But compare/contrast to the way media acted during the endless Whitewater/Monica investigations. CBS News has actually said that Republicans provided “doctored” versions of White House emails to make the White House look bad. And the report didn’t tack “Democrats do it too” at the end. At least some parts of national media are not helping Republicans cover their butts for a change.