The New York Times initially covered the IRS scandal on page A11 of the Saturday paper. Having thought over the best line to take, the paper’s editors came up with this:
Sure, it’s all about politics! Deeper in the article, the Times explains further:
Since last year’s elections, Republicans in Congress have struggled for traction on their legislative efforts, torn between conservatives who drove the agenda after their 2010 landslide and new voices counseling a shift in course to reflect President Obama’s re-election and the loss of Republican seats in the House and the Senate.
As opposed to the Democrats, whose legislative efforts have gone swimmingly–like gun control and immigration, for instance.
Of course, you have to give the Times credit for consistency. I remember during Watergate how the paper headlined that Nixon’s misdeeds “give Democrats an issue to seize on.” One difference between Watergate and the present Obama administration scandals is that the Watergate investigation really was bipartisan. This is because Republicans in Congress put the public interest and the search for truth above partisan loyalty. The Democrats never do that, so any investigation of Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious or anything else will have to be carried out by House Republicans. This will help the Democrats to sell the idea that criticism of the Obama administration is partisan.
Speaking of Nixon, this was Article 2.1 of the articles of impeachment:
He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
The Obama administration is guilty of both of those charges, as we noted here. It is also significant that the Nixon articles were based, at least in part, on actions taken by Nixon’s “subordinates and agents,” not by Nixon himself. So as to this article, at least, we have an exact parallel in the Obama administration.