The machinations of the IRS went something like this: Sometime last year, several middle to low level workers at the Cleveland, Ohio office of the Internal Revenue Service started taking special interest in conservative political groups applying for tax exempt status. They looked for organizations with the words "Tea Party" or "Patriot" or "the Constitution" and, as the New York Times reported, sent them--and, it appears, them alone--detailed questionnaires to probe their political leanings, affiliations, and plans.
At the same time, the DOJ was investigating national security leaks to reporters. As part of that investigation, it sent a subpoena (or subpoenas) to phone companies to seize the records of at least 20 phone lines used by the Associated Press and several others at FOX News. The AP called the actions "overzealous" and "unconstitutional;" others went further, calling the DOJ's behavior part of a "pattern of cover-ups."
Republicans and conservatives are positively giddy at the apparent opportunity to tie the President to these "scandals," hoping to claim some skin in the game, or at least a political victory. But there is no evidence that the President knew. In fact, there is every evidence that these decisions were made at lower administrative levels and were kept out of the President's world.
That means that these "scandals" -- not to mention the Benghazi tragedy -- don't have legs in the traditional sense, like Watergate or even the Monica Lewinsky affair. They are not about what the President knew and when. They don't involve the President, or anyone close to him, lying. Nor are they about some sinister Administration plot to target enemies.
But they may damage the Administration, the Democratic Party, and modern progressivism in a more subtle way.
To see how, continue AFTER THE JUMP...