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Phony Baloney

A pathetic new scandal defense.

Aug 12, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 45 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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And heads did roll. Lerner was placed on leave, while acting commissioner Steven Miller resigned and the commissioner of the tax exemption division, Joseph Grant, retired early. If, as the administration now contends, the scandal was nothing more than Republicans trying to “score political points,” why did it force these officials out?

“There is a fundamental difference,” Pfeiffer said last week, “between if something goes wrong and misconduct happens, and then some sort of political scandal that many people in Washington have compared to Watergate and things like that, when there is nothing that suggests any sort of political involvement.”

But Gowdy isn’t buying it. “It is patently absurd that the new standard for propriety is if the president knew about it,” he says. “It’s his administration.”

It’s revealing that although the administration refers to “phony scandals” in the plural, they’ve shut up about Benghazi. As House speaker John Boehner said on August 1, “We need to get to the bottom of what happened that terrible night, why it happened, and how we can prevent similar tragedies in the future. We’re also going to continue to investigate the IRS for its abuse of power. There’s nothing ‘phony’ about these scandals, Mr. President.”

Michael Warren is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard.

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