Alea iacta est… the Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and we have the results for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
Usually, it’s the coverup, not the crime. But in this case, it’s both.
This week’s winner, Bookworm Room’s Is the IRS scandal the worst political scandal in American history? I say “yes, examines the IRS scandal in a great piece that went fairly viral this week. Here’s a slice:
There’s been a lot of debate swirling amongst the pundits lately. Is the Watergate cover-up worse than the Benghazi cover-up or vice versa? Is the only scandal that matters the Justice Department’s decision to tap Associated Press phones, because that’s the only one that the media will care about? What did Obama know and when did he know it?
Ignore all that. The absolute worst scandal that’s emerged lately, and the worst administration scandal in American history is the IRS scandal. Why? Because you, the People, became the targets of a comprehensive federal government effort to stifle dissent, one made using the government’s overwhelming and disproportionate policing and taxing powers.
All of the other scandals, going back to Andrew Johnson’s post-Civil War scandals, Warren G. Harding’s 1920s Teapot Dome scandal, Nixon’s Watergate, Reagan’s Iran-Contra, and Clinton’s Oval Office sexcapades have actually been narrowly focused acts of cronyism, garden-variety political chicanery, or personal failings. It’s been insider stuff.
The IRS scandal, by contrast, is a direct attack on the American people. Right now, Progressives throughout America are pretending that this scandal doesn’t matter: “Obama wasn’t involved.” “Tea Partiers had it coming because they’re all corrupt.” “Obama would have won the election anyway.” “It was just a coincidence that the only groups that had their applications scrutinized, sometimes for years, were politically conservative. It means nothing that, when one group changed its name to sound Progressive, its application was approved in only three weeks.” “This is just a bureaucratic snafu.” “It’s a few rogue agents in Ohio.”
Those who offer these excuses are either morally flawed themselves or delusional idiots. Pastor Martin Niemoller, who once supported the Nazi party, finally and famously figured things out after World War II:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Once a government gets the bit between its teeth and starts targeting special interest groups, that is the end of freedom, not just for those first groups targeted, but for everyone.
Okay, that was the throat-clearing. Now it’s time to add the latest chapter in the long list of examples showing that the IRS engaged in a politically motivated witch-hunt against people who don’t toe the Progressive/Democrat party line:
The Thomas More Society (a Catholic organization) says that an IRS office in California ordered a group called “Christian Voices for Life of Fort Bend County, Texas” to detail the meaning and content of the prayers they offered. That was not an isolated event. IRS agents demanded the same information from “Coalition of Life of Iowa,” which was required to explain what went on at the group’s prayer meetings.
When Rep. Aaron Schock (R., Ill.) asked outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller whether these were appropriate questions, Miller didn’t even have the courage to say “no.” Instead, he said meaninglessly that “It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either.”
In our non-Council category, the winner was the one and only Mark Steyn with The Autocrat Accountants, submitted by The Watcher. It’s pure Steyn, as he looks at the IRS scandal and its deeper implications with his usual brilliance. Do read it.
Okay, here are this week’s full results:
- *First place with 4 1/3 votes! – Bookworm Room – Is the IRS scandal the worst political scandal in American history? I say “yes
- Second place*t* with 2 votes – Joshuapundit – DHS Is Training Law Enforcement To Give Muslim Brotherhood, Radical Islamists A Pass
- Second place *t* with 2 votes – The Noisy Room – The Enemy Among Us – Even in Idaho
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes – The Right Planet – #Scandalpalooza
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Shock And Shush
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Political Commentator – Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano going back…
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – The Razor – Scandal Scorecard
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Simply Jews – Glenn Greenwald or the douchebag’s lines of defense
- Fourth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – My Response To @WhiteHouse #ObamaCareInThreeWords Meme
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – New “Scotty” Spouts Off on the New Trek’s Politics
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Mellow Jihadi – Autumn Sandeen, a Sailor with No ESWS Pin?
- Fifth place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – VA GOP Convention: Conservatives and TEA Party Send Republican Establishment a STRONG MESSAGE! Overcome DIRTY TRICKS and WIN!
- *First place with 3 votes! – Mark Steyn – The Autocrat Accountants submitted by The Watcher
- Second place with 2 votes – Doug Ross@Journal – That Crazy Benghazi Conspiracy Theory? It Just Got Less Crazy submitted by The Right Planet
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – American Thinker/Thomas Lifson – Never Mind Impeachment; Keep your Eyes on the Prize submitted by Bookworm Room
- Fourth place*t* with 1 1/3 votes – Caroline Glick – Obama and the “Official Truth” submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – A.J. Adler/The Algemeiner – A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism submitted by Simply Jews
- Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes – Ta-Nahisi Coates/The Atlantic – How the Obama Administration Talks to Black America submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Contentions – Exploit Hizballah’s Vulnerability submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Jonathan Rosenblum – The Price Of Blindness submitted by Joshuapundit
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Amil Imani – Saluting Pamela Geller: a Champion of Liberty submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Big Jolly Politics – The Real Scandal with the IRS: Organizing for Action and the Chicago-style Misuse of Governmental Power submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Reason.Org – The Myth of the Scientific Liberal submitted by The Razor
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Kirsten Powers/Daily Beast – How Hope and Change Gave Way to Spying on the Press submitted by The Watcher
See you next week! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited special guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day with short takes and weigh in… don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!