What Danny Werfel signifies

When the Bush administration had to contend with enormous public distrust of the Department of Justice in its last year, President Bush sought out and appointed a man of impeccable integrity as Attorney General. In his short time in office, Michael Mukasey added luster to an already distinguished career.

Contrast the Obama administration’s approach to the crisis in which the IRS finds itself today. It is embroiled in genuine scandals. At the outset Obama acknowledged the gravity of the misdeeds revealed in the Inspector General report that kicked off the scandal, but his actions since then reflect nothing but spin and coverup. Consider, for example, the case of Elijah Cummings, a faithful servant of the Obama administration. Cummings has done his best falsely to disparage and to obstruct the investigation of the IRS by the House committee on which he serves as ranking member.

Obama pretended to address the scandal in some meaningful fashion by relieving Stephen Miller of his duties of acting commissioner, although Miller’s time was up. In place of Miller Obama appointed one Danny Werfel as acting commissioner.

Who is Danny Werfel? By all appearances, he is an Obama loyalist. Like Cummings, he has done his best to obstruct the investigation with diversionary falsehoods. The latest example is the report Werfel released this week finding no wrongdoing by the IRS. Werfel’s report, however, was “incomplete.” He is peddling rather obvious falsehoods, rather obviously designed to obscure the truth in the service of his political masters.

Werfel has a brief record of public service, all of it in the Obama administration. It may have been difficult to get a bead on him at the time of his entry onto the scene. In his short time at the IRS, however, Werfel has proved himself a weasel. That Obama has sent a factotum and fixer over to the agency is another sign of the gravity of the IRS scandals.

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