Having lived through the Watergate scandal and the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon, I recall that one conservative journalist stood out from the pack. As the Washington columnist for National Review, George Will regularly exposed the Nixon administration’s lines of defense as the lies that they were. He distinguished himself both for his merciless analytical rigor and his skills as an anatomist.
Will was in the infancy of his now long and distinguished journalistic career. He had joined National Review in 1972, just in time take a front row seat from the beginning of the scandal. By 1973 he was devoting every one of his biweekly NR Washington columns to a dissection of the administration’s evolving “hangouts,” limited, modified or otherwise.
Will’s work aroused a torrent of criticism among National Review’s subscribers. It can’t have been a pleasant experience, either for Buckley the editor or Will the columnist. Yet Buckley stood behind him and Will went from strength to strength, beginning his syndicated column and, within a few years, winning a Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
George Will’s intellect made him one of a kind in the profession, but is there a liberal columnist who is willing to serve Will’s role in the current crisis of the Obama administration? Something is rotten in the Obama administration. The problem is that the political rot is instrumental to the goals of the Democratic Party. No liberal journalist has emerged to dog the administration on the multifarious IRS scandals. They are lapdogs all.
George Will, however, is still on the case. In his Washington Post column “The IRS’s behavior taxes credulity,” Will turns attention to the scandals at the heart of the Obama administration. This says it all:
The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.
At CPAC this week, Hans von Spakovsky moderated a panel featuring Cleta Mitchell, my daughter Eliana and IRS victim Christine O’Donnell on the IRS scandals (video below). Cleta Mitchell is the Washington superlawyer represents many of the groups victimized by the criminal misconduct of the IRS. She knows what she is talking about. As always, Cleta gives a short course in the scandals that constitutes a genuine contribution to public understanding and she has an important update at around 23:30.
Reminder: The charge that Richard Nixon attempted to misuse the IRS for political purposes made its way into the second of the three articles of impeachment against him. Nixon “endeavoured” to misuse the IRS, in the fancy British spelling of the word used in article 2. Nixon’s efforts to misuse the IRS were futile. They went nowhere. Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to “screw” their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.
Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a “monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.” As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something. By contrast with Nixon’s failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS have very effectively “screwed” Obama’s political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.