Most. Transparent. Ever.
Isn’t that what Obama told us? That his administration would be the most transparent ever? Maybe he meant something else.
We’re so busy with the Clinton email mess lately that others get overlooked or forgotten. Fast & Furious, Benghazi are the go-to favorites. Many others are also well established matters of record. One I haven’t even had opportunity to get into yet involved media plants for the Iran treaty. That’s without even getting into ordinary bungling.
In all that, you can lose track of what’s going on with that *other* deleted email scandal: Lois Lerner & co. Remember how we were solemnly told that the number of organizations targeted for political reasons. That number, in 2013, was 298.
As Obama’s term draws to a close, new numbers are coming out. There are now 426 organizations listed as being targeted by the IRS. But really, what difference, at this point, does it make to him? Neither these, nor any other numbers can disrupt his plan to fundamentally transform America. The die is cast.
(Side note: can you name any other G8 nation whose administration could survive evidence that the taxman was used to bludgeon political rivals? But surely, we can trust our media to do their job.)
What can these new numbers represent, and what could they mean? It could be exactly what it looks like: new examples were discovered. The other option is that they were “discovered.” The significance of this news will hinge on whether or not the discovery was politically cynical.
Here are the possibilities.
1) The investigation simply uncovered more affected groups than first believed.
2) The numbers were internally known, but were deliberately withheld in 2013, OR they were deliberately leaked now, because someone is working the angles for either personal or political gain.
3) In a CYA damage control move they preferred to have the story break under a sympathetic administration then risk having an it handled by an unfriendly one.
Let’s break this down to the 3 simplest explanations. (This list is by no means exhaustive.)
1) If more organizations were legitimately discovered? It will indicate a greater use of political influence to hurt rivals than first believed. That’s pretty straightforward, there were just a larger number of victims.
If the discovery was a cynical release of numbers previously known, it gets more complicated. It could be either of the following:
2) An attempt to mask the political targeting of rivals.
If this were the plan, they might show all kinds of non-conservative (or ideally, liberal) groups having faced similar scrutiny. This could blunt the accusation of the public targeting of conservatives, and soften the public’s opinion already “meh” opinion of the practice. (In this example, dates become absolutely critical. If all the liberal groups on that list were not investigated until about the time this story first broke, we have all the makings of a cover-up, and will strengthen their case.
3) Damage control.
They might be leaking all the damning reports trusting that the present administration will be lenient. There is no guarantee that the next administration will be friendly toward any misdeeds under this one, should they come to light later.
Do any of these scenarios fit with an upright and straightforward government? Do they deserve a third term?