The hard left doesn't debate, they demonize. Their opponents don't have policy differences, they are fundamentally evil people. They don't want to merely win the argument without having to engage, they want to drive their opponents wholly from acceptability in the public square.
If you contest Obama's policies, you're a racist teabagger. Object to abortion on demand, you hate women. To be a Christian in the U.S. today is to be a second class citizen. This is the world of the radical 60's lefties who have come to control power in America today, and their standardbearer is Obama, a man who regularly paints those who disagree with him as having the basest of motives. Any criticism of him is "partisan" and "political." Obama has regularly steamrolled over his opponents and the law. The examples are numerous - the GM bondholders, the war in Libya without Congressional authorization, and most recently the decision to implement the DREAM Act by unilaterally picking and choosing which laws to apply to name but just a few examples. And if Congress wants to investigate wrongdoing, they are fought ever inch of the way by a regime that holds itself above the law.
And now left wingers in the IRS used their power to punish people on the right over a near two year period leading up to the 2012 election. I would be amazed if Obama has any knowing involvement, though I would be less surprised if one of the many political operatives in the White House had dirty hands. But given the mindset of the left, the IRS scandal is no surprise at all - and make no mistake, it is Obama's scandal.
As Peggy Noonan wrote in today's WSJ:
A president sets a mood, a tone. He establishes an atmosphere. If he is arrogant, arrogance spreads. If he is too partisan, too disrespecting of political adversaries, that spreads too. Presidents always undo themselves and then blame it on the third guy in the last row in the sleepy agency across town.
The IRS scandal has two parts. The first is the obviously deliberate and targeted abuse, harassment and attempted suppression of conservative groups. The second is the auditing of the taxes of political activists.
In order to suppress conservative groups—at first those with words like "Tea Party" and "Patriot" in their names, then including those that opposed ObamaCare or advanced the second amendment—the IRS demanded donor rolls, membership lists, data on all contributions, names of volunteers, the contents of all speeches made by members, Facebook FB +1.28% posts, minutes of all meetings, and copies of all materials handed out at gatherings. Among its questions: What are you thinking about? Did you ever think of running for office? Do you ever contact political figures? What are you reading? One group sent what it was reading: the U.S. Constitution.
The second part of the scandal is the auditing of political activists who have opposed the administration. The Journal's Kim Strassel reported an Idaho businessman named Frank VanderSloot, who'd donated more than a million dollars to groups supporting Mitt Romney. He found himself last June, for the first time in 30 years, the target of IRS auditors. His wife and his business were also soon audited. Hal Scherz, a Georgia physician, also came to the government's attention. He told ABC News: "It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare." Franklin Graham, son of Billy, told Politico he believes his father was targeted. A conservative Catholic academic who has written for these pages faced questions about her meager freelance writing income. Many of these stories will come out, but not as many as there are. People are not only afraid of being audited, they're afraid of saying they were audited.
All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. The purpose, obviously, was to overwhelm and intimidate—to kill the opposition, question by question and audit by audit.
This IRS scandal is not the rot inside the Obama administration. It is a symptom of the rot inside the entire left wing of our nation.