COMMENTARY | While there is no smoking telephone call or email directly tying President Obama with the IRS campaign to intimidate conservative and tea party groups, he did subtly suggest such actions should take place in word and deed.
That was the conclusion of a panel on the IRS assault on the president’s political opponents held at the Heritage Foundation, as reported by the Christian Post.
“‘The best way to look at this is as a continuum of a very long and determined political strategy that dates back to 2008 and a man named Barack Obama,’ Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, declared at The Heritage Foundation on Friday. Strassel argued that “this is a president and his team of political operatives who have always understood the power of speech, but more importantly, the power of denying it to their political opponents.”
Obama campaign operatives filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission against groups supporting his primary opponents such as Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” ruling, which held that the First Amendment prohibited restrictions on political activities by corporations, labor unions, and independent organizations, and the failure of Congress to pass the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, the president began railing against “shadowy” conservative groups and openly wondered who is paying for their activities.
The IRS, according to the panel, took the hint. They started going after these “shadowy” groups and started denying them their nonprofit status, in effect using the tax code to go around the Citizen’s United ruling. What’s more, the IRS is getting ready to regularize its regulations to make such lawless behavior, in effect, legal.
Back in the 12th Century, when King Henry II of England was in a struggle for power with Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett, he once muttered, “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest.” Taking the hint, a group of knights went down to Canterbury and duly murdered the Archbishop in his own church.
The difference is that King Henry, once he sobered up, repented of what he had done and made acts of contrition. Obama was not drunk when he railed against conservative and tea party groups. And he is not sorry that his minions took the hint and went after them.