I watched some of the House hearing on Friday when outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller was being questioned. First impressions can be wrong at times, but my first impression of Miller was confirmed as the hearing progressed. What I saw was a man who seemed to think it somehow beneath him to be forced to appear before these congressmen. I sensed an air of superiority in Miller, combined with a thinly veiled disdain for the entire proceedings.
His testimony, such as it was, only furthered the theme of the entire Obama administration as these scandals unfold. Yes, mistakes were made, but nothing, absolutely nothing, was carried out from a political motive. It was just a coincidence, I guess, that groups with Tea Party, patriot, 9/12, or constitutional in their names were singled out for extra scrutiny, while progressive organizations flew through the process with nary a second thought. Miller never admitted any real wrongdoing; he even said he didn’t consider it illegal to set up a different standard for targeted groups. Actually, he refused even to acknowledge the word “targeted” because he said it was too pejorative a term. How dare we judge the motives of our civil servants.
This is insulting to the intelligence of the American people. I just hope enough of them feel sufficiently insulted to respond by resisting the numerous attempts to run roughshod over them. In the person of Steven Miller we see the ultimate bureaucratic character: unresponsive, haughty, more-intelligent-than-thou. We also see, in a microcosm, the heart of the problem with any government agency, but particularly one with the power of the IRS.
One of the highlights of the hearing was the articulate lecture offered to Miller by a congressman from Pennsylvania, Mike Kelly. He aimed directly at the IRS’s power over people and the intimidation factor. His mini-lesson was, to use a word overused by the younger generation, awesome. It was greeted with a standing ovation from the spectators in the room. That, in itself, should be a message to this administration.
Yet they still don’t get it. In the middle of all the muddle, the president found time to attend another one of his unending celebrity fundraisers. At the event, he blamed all his problems on Rush Limbaugh. And when Jay Carney appeared on Piers Morgan’s program on CNN, he said there were no scandals. He called Benghazi a “total concoction by Republicans” and even boasted that the released e-mails showed “Republicans are wrong.” So, in his mind, everything is fine.
Who recalls Baghdad Bob, the media hack for Saddam Hussein, who went on what was left of Iraqi TV at the time of the invasion, to assure everyone that there was no real invasion? That kind of disconnection with reality is cropping up in our current circumstances. Perhaps Carney needs a change of clothes so he can play the part more effectively:
There’s an aura of unreality about all of this. How long can blatant, public lies continue to carry their contrived message?
The “I didn’t know anything” theme is getting kind of old, too:
Well, maybe someday they’ll find who’s really responsible for all these misdeeds:
Is that really out of the question? Who knows to what depths they will sink.