Via RCP, most Democratic hacks in seeking to limit Obama’s culpability for IRS-gate go no further than noting that Doug Shulman, the commissioner during the malfeasance, was a Bush appointee. (And a donor to the DNC, although you never hear that mentioned.) Pelosi checks that box here but goes a step further. Because the federal government is so vast — which is just how Nancy Pelosi wants it — and because the IRS is so “independent” an agency, the head of the executive branch evidently is no more accountable for its wrongdoing than a congressman in whose district the blameworthy IRS office lies. That’s an … interesting twist on “the buck stops here” for many reasons, not least of which because Boehner’s congressional district lies outside Cincinnati. Obvious question: If the IRS is independent, why did Obama make a big show of announcing Steve Miller’s resignation at that press conference last week? Why did IRS lawyers notify Obama’s Treasury Department that conservatives had been targeted? Why did White House staffers consult with the IRS over the past month on how Lois Lerner should reveal the scandal? Why, to borrow an oft-repeated Twitter joke, does it often seem like Obama’s allies think the only federal employees who answer to him are SEAL Team 6?
Make a mental note of what you’re about to see, as the precedent of “congressman X has as much responsibility for executive wrongdoing in his district as the president” could be a helpful precedent for the next Republican administration. Oh, and she also thinks Lois Lerner should have answered Issa’s questions, which I believe makes that particular verdict unanimous.