Two Reasons Obama’s IRS Scandal Is Not Like Watergate

1. The Nixon political apparatus tried but failed to get the IRS to harass its political enemies, and it tried but failed to cover up evidence of its misdeeds. By contrast, the IRS under Obama succeeded in doing what Nixon tried but failed to do, and the Obama political apparatus has, so far, succeeded in destroying or covering up evidence of its transgressions against the rule of law.

2. A majority of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee joined all of the Democrats in adopting Article Two of the Articles of Impeachment, which concluded that

Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in disregard of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has repeatedly engaged in conduct violating the constitutional rights of citizens, impairing the due and proper administration of justice and the conduct of lawful inquiries, or contravening the laws governing agencies of the executive branch and the purposed of these agencies.

The first count in that indictment was that Nixon, both

personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner. [Emphasis added]

So far, not one single elected Democrat has even been willing to condemn the political harassment actually conducted by the IRS, in stark contrast to the Watergate era Republicans who voted to impeach Nixon for only endeavoring to do what the Obama IRS has done.

So, it is true that the Obama IRS scandal bears little resemblance to Watergate.

Biased Or Incompetent News: It’s Not Just The Mainstream Press

Seven years ago I began a post on media bias with the following opening paragraph:

It is not uncommon for conservatives or bloggers — and especially conservative bloggers — to engage in rants about the bias of the “mainstream media.” This is not one of those rants. It is a rant about an extraordinary expression of bias up one creek of what might be called the tributary media, the small, specialized publications that cover one industry or topic.

Seven years later conservatives, and even other sensible people, are even less  surprised by biased or incompetent news articles in the mainstream press. Two recent examples, however, provide a useful reminder that biased or incompetent news coverage is not limited to the mainstream press.

Inside Higher Ed

Scott Jaschik is editor and one of three founders of Inside Higher Ed, a highly specialized industry-specific publication dealing, as you might guess, with higher education. A few days ago, in a long, tendentious article, “Freedom of Religion or Freedom to Discriminate?” editor Jaschik wrote:

Just days after the Hobby Lobby decision, the U.S. Supreme Court barred the government from requiring Wheaton College of Illinois to fill out a form to be exempt from the new federal requirement that employers provide health insurance coverage that includes contraceptive coverage.

In fact, the Court did no such thing. The authority Jaschik cites in the passage above for his misstatement is … another article by Jaschik, “Religious College Exemption,” whose lead paragraph has the same misstatement:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court, in a surprise ruling Thursday, barred the government from requiring Wheaton College of Illinois to fill out a form to be exempt from the new federal requirement that employers provide health insurance coverage that includes contraceptive coverage.

Jaschik’s immediately following paragraph, however, begins with a sentence that reveals why his sweeping  statements are misleading to the point of being false: “The Supreme Court order says that, pending a full review of the case, Wheaton needs only to inform the government that it has religious objections to parts of the health care law.”

That’s right. The Court has not ruled on whether Wheaton must fill out the forms required by the Obamacare regulations. All it did was rule that Wheaton need not fill out the forms while its challenge was being litigated, a far different and more limited result.

This is not the first time I’ve noticed Jaschik engaging in behavior that would, or should, make most professional journalists embarrassed. For chapter and verse on Jaschik going even beyond inviting college “diversity” officers to tell him what to write by offering to give them “off the record” coaching sessions, see my old post on “Egregious Media Bias At InsideHigherEd” from which my opening paragraph here is taken.

Roll Call

Roll Call, another speciality publication covering one industry, Congress, has a blog-like section called “Inside the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.” In a piece there yesterday, “Birth Control Legislation Stalls in Senate,” Sarah Chacko wrote:

Senators blocked legislation Wednesday that would have required Hobby Lobby and other private employers with religious interests to pay for birth control….

The bill (S 2578) would upend a Supreme Court ruling last month in a case involving Hobby Lobby, in which they [sic] argued that they [sic] should not have to cover employees’ contraception, as required by President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, because of the owner’s religious beliefs. The Supreme Court agreed.

Hobby Lobby, of course, never argued — and hence the Supreme Court certainly never agreed — that it “should not have to cover employees’ contraception….” It has not objected to covering 16 of the 20 forms of contraception on the FDA’s approved list relied on in the HHS implementing regulations (not in “President Barack Obama’s signature health care law”), limiting its objections to the four that run afoul of its owners religious beliefs regarding abortifacients.

When an editor like Scott Jaschik edits himself, one thinks of the old saw about the quality of the client when a lawyer represents himself. But in the case of of Roll Call‘s Sarah Chacko, doesn’t Roll Call have editors?

 

EXTRA! EXTRA! More Discrimination…

[NOTE: I've played around with this post a bit. Thus this version may be slightly different from what you read earlier, if you read this earlier.] [NOTE 2: This post has been UPDATED] We interrupt our ongoing, 24/7 coverage of liberals going nuts over the recent Supreme Court decisions (Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College) that […]

Washington Post Whimsy

Whimsy, n. playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor (Apple MacBook Oxford American Dictionary) One doesn’t usually think of the Washington Post‘s stable of serious, establishment OpEd columnists as whimsical, but today (actually, posted online last night) two of them offer observations that many will regard as whimsical (although Attorney General Eric Holder will probably regard at least […]

The Obama White House: Comedy Farce Central

[NOTE: This post has been UPDATED] If the White House weren’t the White House the destroy-the-border immigration scam they’re pulling might be almost funny. Almost. But, alas, it is the White House, and because of the sensitivity of the incumbent’s sycophantic supporters describing what we’re seeing as “black humor” is not an option. Dark humor […]

Princetonian Bias At CNN? CNN Bias At Princeton?

In 1968 George Wallace used to say there wasn’t “a  dime’s worth of difference” between the tweedledum of the Democratic Party and the Tweedledee of the Republicans. If he were alive today (not only invokers of Lincoln and Martin Luther King can play that game), and paying attention, he’d be likely to say the same […]

Separating The Wheaton From The Chaff

From Apple’s MacBook Dictionary: chaff, noun. • worthless things; trash. • strips of metal foil or metal filings released in the atmosphere from aircraft, or deployed as missiles, to obstruct radar detection or confuse radar-tracking missiles. Chaff, in other words, is the perfect description of most of the liberal commentary about Wheaton College v. Burwell,  a follow-up to the recent blockbuster Hobby Lobby […]

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