For regular viewers of TV talking heads, Eleanor Clift is no stranger. She’s been making the rounds for years, currently working for Newsweek / Daily Beast, and is a regular feature on The McLaughlin Group. It was on the latter program where today’s feature video unfolded, with the venerable Ms. Clift once again tangling with Rich Lowry.
In this episode, the subject of the IRS investigation is once again on the table, and Clift has the clarity to cut to the heart of the matter. Her argument boils down what surely seems like a clear cut case of, “move along. Nothing to see here.” Because even if what everyone is saying happened actually did happen, then it was just some low level rogue tax drones. And it’s not like anybody broke any laws, right? So what’s the big deal? (H/T to RealClearPolitics)
ELEANOR CLIFT: Let the facts go where they may. It does look like you had some mid-level bureaucrats who did this and their names are going to come out. They are protected by the Civil Service. You only have two political appointees in the IRS, there’s really nobody to fire. There’s really no evidence that this is necessarily illegal. This is inappropriate —
RICH LOWRY: They hid it from Congress.
CLIFT: Excuse me.
LOWRY: They hid it from Congress. They would not answer it. They were asked about it and they wouldn’t say, they wouldn’t reveal it.
CLIFT: I don’t know if hiding something from Congress is illegal either.
LOWRY: It may not be illegal, it is wrong.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: How about making false statements to Congress? How about conspiracy? Depriving Americans of their civil liberties, namely the Tea Party? How about the Hatch Act forbidding civil servants from engaging in political activity for starters?
CLIFT: Not when you start out with an Inspector General’s report saying there is no evidence of political bias, an Inspector General who was appointed by President Bush. You know, you really have to stretch to find a political trail —
MCLAUGHLIN: To find a crime!
CLIFT: — to find a crime and to find a crime that leads to the Oval Office, which is what Republicans are trying desperately to do.
I’ll leave this one to you guys. But Clift may be on to something here. Dan Pfeiffer was out on the Sunday shows this morning saying “the law doesn’t matter” when it comes to some of these scandals, so she might be ahead of the game. Of course, Dan walked that one back on Twitter pretty quickly.
Before folks quoting me out of context get too far ahead of themselves, of course the law matters, IRS conduct is wrong even if legal
Sooooo… okay then! I guess that clears it all up.