Quotes of the day

posted at 8:31 pm on May 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

So many people are sad about America and cynical about its government. They don’t expect anything good to happen. They think certain poisons have entered the system and nothing can be done about it. Leviathan will not be cut back or tamed, Leviathan will go on abusing the citizen. People are all too willing to believe the Internal Revenue Service is hopelessly political in its judgments and actions. They are not shocked. They don’t think anything can be done, that the system cannot be corrected. They just grip the arms of the seat and wait for the weather to get worse.

But cynicism aids and abets deterioration. You’ve got to stay shocked. It’s disrespectful not to

We are at a point now where you can make a list of things that, all combined and allowed to continue, can kill America. This is one of them. Widespread belief that the revenue-collecting arm of the US government is hopelessly corrupt is one of them.

There is such a thing as national morale. Ours could use a boost. People have grown cynical. They expect nothing good to happen. They expect it all to be swept under the rug. They expect no one to pay a price. It is a matter of profound public need that the U.S. government show and prove that it is capable of correcting itself, that Leviathan can stop itself.

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Lincoln wrote that nearly any man can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man, give him power.

I think Mr. Obama has failed that test of power. From the cover-up in Benghazi to letting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) target the Tea Party to First and Fourth Amendment violations in obtaining records from the press, Mr. Obama has shown disregard for the Bill of Rights and his responsibilities as commander in chief…

It’s as though we no longer have a Bill of Rights that guarantees American citizens the right to due process and a jury trial — and it took me 13 hours of standing and speaking to get the White House to finally, and begrudgingly, say we did. My filibuster was about drone use, but more importantly, it was about never giving government the benefit of the doubt. We cannot afford it, and the government never deserves it, as this administration continues to remind us in so many surprising and disturbing ways.

With great power comes great responsibility. The greater Mr. Obama’s power, the less responsible he becomes.

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No one can deny that Barack Obama is a highly skilled politician, at least by the measure of election outcomes. His record is undefeated, save for an ill-advised 2000 primary challenge to an entrenched incumbent congressman. His 2008 presidential victory, after a fraction of a term in the U.S. Senate, was especially dazzling. It disproved those who said that Hillary Clinton was invincible, that a left-wing Democrat couldn’t win, and that America wasn’t ready for a black president.

No one can deny that Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire were highly skilled athletes. But their accomplishments are forever tainted by their use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. The use of the Internal Revenue Service’s coercive power to suppress dissent against Obama is the political equivalent of steroids. The history books should record Obama’s re-election with an asterisk to indicate that it was achieved with the help of illicit means…

In his testimony to the Senate Watergate Committee–whose hearings opened 40 years ago today–John Dean famously called that scandal “a cancer on the presidency.” If Obama, his campaign or his White House aides are directly implicated in the IRS’s abuses, this will be another cancer on the presidency, remediable by resignation or impeachment.

But if the IRS acted without direction from above–if it “went rogue” against the Constitution and in support of the party in power–then we are dealing with a cancer on the federal government. That, it seems to us, is a far direr diagnosis, one whose treatment is likely to be radical and risky.

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To a large extent the multiple crises engulfing the Obama administration are economic and informational — it’s a rebellion against the cost of lying. The sheer mendacity of key institutions has jacked up the risk premium on everything, and people instinctively know this…

The president has made it hard to do business — even for the Left. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in the administration’s decision to spy on the Associated Press. That essentially cheapened the meaning of “political friend.” For if the administration could do that to its water-carriers, then what was the point of being his friend? Liberals, like anyone else, feel the pain of being stabbed in the back. It has the same effect as Obama’s assurance to allies than Iran will never get the bomb. Right, sure. Of course.

The emotional impact of Benghazi was probably this: if he could do this to Stevens and to SEALs, then he could do it to anybody.

A lying president debases his own words and undermines his own ability to hold a coalition together. Nobody completely trusts reassurances from a double-crosser. Only a fool would accept a kiss from Judas. The day comes when not even the liberals can fail to notice.

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A civil “civil service” requires small government. Once government is ensnared in every aspect of life a bureaucracy grows increasingly capricious. The U.S. tax code ought to be an abomination to any free society, but the American people have become reconciled to it because of a complex web of so-called exemptions that massively empower the vast shadow state of the permanent bureaucracy. Under a simple tax system, your income is a legitimate tax issue. Under the IRS, everything is a legitimate tax issue: The books you read, the friends you recommend them to. There are no correct answers, only approved answers. Drew Ryun applied for permanent non-profit status for a group called “Media Trackers” in July 2011. Fifteen months later, he’d heard nothing. So he applied again under the eco-friendly name of “Greenhouse Solutions,” and was approved in three weeks.

The president and the IRS commissioner are unable to name any individual who took the decision to target only conservative groups. It just kinda sorta happened, and, once it had, it growed like Topsy. But the lady who headed that office, Sarah Hall Ingram, is now in charge of the IRS office for Obamacare. Many countries around the world have introduced government health systems since 1945, but, as I wrote here last year, “only in America does ‘health’ ‘care’ ‘reform’ begin with the hiring of 16,500 new IRS agents tasked with determining whether your insurance policy merits a fine.” So now not only are your books and Facebook posts legitimate tax issues but so is your hernia, and your prostate, and your erectile dysfunction. Next time round, the IRS will be able to leak your incontinence pads to George Soros.

Big Government is erecting a panopticon state — one that sees everything, and regulates everything. It’s great “customer service,” except that you can never get out of the store.

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Via Newsbusters.

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Krauthammer argued the IRS one is the easiest for the public to digest since it’s an agency that can do quite a bit of harm to people. And while there is no evidence yet that Obama was involved, Krauthammer predicted if it is discovered that the White House had any connection to it, it would become a “fatal problem” for the White house.

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