IRS Scandal a Blow to Obama’s Moral Authority

IRS Scandal a Blow to Obama’s Moral Authority

There’s a show that airs on ABC called “Scandal.” It’s a political thriller starring Kerry Washington as an administration aide. Her character is tasked with handling crisis after crisis perpetrated by the fictional presidential staff.

They’re soap opera-y and hokey. Dramatized for primetime television. But it kind of seems like the current real-life Obama presidency may be serving as inspiration.

It seems to be one scandal after another since Obama was elected in 2008, and the 2013 IRS scandal might be one of the biggest blunders. During that well-publicized crisis, it came out that the Internal Revenue Service – supposedly a non-partisan governmental organization – was targeting groups that used words like “Tea Party” or “Liberty” in their name, displaying more scrutiny towards those groups when they applied for non-profit status.

Anyone see a problem with this?

As Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul noted publicly, the IRS targeting political groups that might oppose Obama isn’t just threatening the president’s political prowess; it’s threatening to corrupt any moral authority he might have.

As Bernie Becker of The Hill writes:

“Paul, appearing on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ said that the IRS and other recent controversies ‘really takes away from the president’s moral authority to lead the nation.’

‘Nobody questions his legal authority, but I think he’s really losing the moral authority to lead this nation,’ Paul added…’I don’t care whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, nobody likes to see the opposite party punishing you for your political beliefs.’”

The IRS has a history of potential abuse of power. But never before was partisan targeting so visible, almost embraced.

How did it get to that point? It’s still hard to say. But it didn’t happen before Obama took office, that’s for sure. It didn’t happen before frustrated Americans joined together and empowered themselves under the new Tea Party movement name.

But it’s happening now.

“Taxed Enough Already,” is a slogan many Tea Party supporters use. And it’s hard to argue the government doesn’t take enough of your money already. In fact, I don’t think anyone would.

But what’s scary is that the people collecting those taxes may not be as neutral as they’re supposed to be. They’re the ones handling your already-high taxes, and they might be targeting groups politically while under the Obama administration?

Paul’s right: There’s something morally wrong there.

 

 
Photo courtesy of Daniel Borman, via Flickr Creative Commons

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