Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff thinks that Republicans are taking the wrong line on the IRS scandal. He thinks that it’s a mistake to try to tie the scandal to President Obama; the idea that Obama fostered a
“culture of intimidation” won’t fly. I think he’s wrong about whether Obama can be blamed; as I’ve written before, Obama’s cavalier attitude toward misconduct, his lack of action on credible allegations, and his proven record of protecting wrongdoers in his administration create a perfect environment for these things to happen. Mirengoff might be right that it won’t fly, although each new revelation makes that narrative more believable.
But I think Mirengoff is right that we should not focus so much on Obama. We should be less personal, and more ideological. The real point to the IRS scandal and reporter surveillance scandal is that government cannot be trusted to use its immense power properly.
The line we should be taking on these scandals is they prove that the federal government’s power must be pared back. Unfortunately, far from it, we are dramatically increasing the reach of the federal government instead. We need to elect officials who will halt the growth of government power, and decrease it instead.
Crooked administrations come and go, but government misconduct is never-ending.