Lerner just latest example of power run amok in Obama Administration
Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to formally request that Eric Holder and the Department of Justice pursue criminal charges against former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner. Today, the House Oversight Committee is voting on whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about her role in IRS targeting conservative groups. Both actions are attempts to hold Lerner accountable for her leadership in the IRS targeting scandal – something the Obama Administration seems completely uninterested in doing.
But that seems to be a common theme in Obama’s White House. Indeed, holding people accountable when things go wrong seems to be a leadership trait President Obama sorely lacks.
When a sting operation known as “Fast and Furious” left a border patrol agent dead, Eric Holder kept his job as Attorney General despite the fact that many lawmakers believe he lied under oath about his involvement. When a mob stormed a U.S. embassy in Benghazi and killed four Americans, the Secretary of State boldly marched onto Capitol Hill and asked, “What difference does it make?” She was allowed to keep her job until she decided when it was time to retire. When it became clear that the run up to, and eventual rollout of Obamacare was an unmitigated disaster, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius kept her job.
The common thread in all those instances is a lack of accountability, and a refusal to take responsibility. Lerner is just the latest to embody this theme. Does anyone in Obama’s network of administration members and bureaucratic officials face consequences?
The House Ways and Means referral argues that Lerner was, at the very least, involved in a concerted effort to target conservative and Tea Party groups that violated basic First Amendment rights of free speech. According to the committee, she then “impeded” Congressional investigations by giving misleading answers about when the targeting began. She even speculated about getting a job in the D.C. office of the Obama-affiliated Organizing for Action, while still working at the IRS. She also refused to cooperate with a House Oversight hearing, after arguably waiving her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
It’s time for Lois Lerner to be held accountable. And it’s time for the Obama Administration to learn that America’s patience with its complete disregard for the rule of law and accountability has run thin.