It’s not Commissioner Koskinen who lost the emails, he’s just on the wrong side of a bad policy that doesn’t require the IRS to be as records-conscious as the citizens it polices. But in the traditional IRS power relationship, it’s usually the subjects of its audits who feel the unfocused and overly harsh attention of a system that assumes they are guilty.
One of the big complaints I hear from voters, particularly conservative voters, is that the government exempts itself from the burdens it puts on everyday people. So members of Congress are treated differently under the Affordable Care Act than regular citizens, President Obama can decide which laws he wants to follow and which ones he doesn’t, and the IRS doesn’t have to be as circumspect as the rest of us. Sometimes there are good explanations, like the congressional “exemption” from the ACA, but since the IRS is stingy with its benefit-of-the-doubt powers, it has a high bar with the public.
Democrats mocked the elaborate displays of outrage at the hearing—always a safe thing to do—but you don’t have to share Ryan’s view that the IRS is engaged in a cover-up of a scheme to target conservatives to recognize a more universal element to Ryan’s anger.