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JournoListís IRS Angle Begins to Gel
Posted By Bryan Preston On May 22, 2013 @ 7:50 am In Politics |
Late Tuesday we reported that several lefty bloggers known to be very close to the Obama White House were in fact meeting in the White House. The meeting came a day ahead of hearings in which IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify to the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee. Lerner even refused to testify about her own previous statements on the IRS abuse scandal.
Today, we may be seeing the results of that Tuesday afternoon confab at the White House.
The synchronicity is strikingJosh Marshall (10:15a.m.): Lerner Must Go http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2013/05/she_has_to_go.php Ö Ezra Klein (9:45a.m.): Heads should roll at IRS http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/22/yes-heads-should-roll-at-the-irs/ Ö
Yes, heads should roll at the IRS
It's hard to fire civil servants. But that doesn't mean it can't, or shouldn't, be done.
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Itís also an indication of just how worried the White House is, and how it intends to contain the scandal. First, get reliably friendly bloggers and columnists on board with a story that focuses attention away from the White House. Then, isolate and target someone who has already become a central figure in the scandal and, more importantly, who does not work directly for the White House. Finally, make it appear as if these reliably friendly bloggers actually take the IRS scandal seriously, so they become voices in the larger media advocating for a strong response ó just strong enough to look decisive, while keeping the White House outside the main storyline.
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The final part of this story, the breakdown of the strategy, is going to be key. The lefty bloggers and media are going to demand the heads of subordinates, while trying to shield Obama, but unless those subordinates are prepared to go to jail for their bosses, this can blow up in their faces. The correct answer whenever one of these bloggers tries to play this is to demand to know who in the White House was coordinating this and to bring up those congressional Democrats who demanded that the IRS do exactly what they did, and who are now seeking cover by pretending to support the probes.