Stonewall Koskinen

The “reformer” has bristled at every question. He’s indignant that investigators might question how the Lerner emails were lost; indignant that they’d ask why her BlackBerry BB.T -2.64% was wiped after their investigation began; indignant that they’d wonder why he didn’t tell them about the lost email. We’re still waiting for him to show any indignation at the IRS employees who abused the law, and hid the fact.

The charitable explanation is that Mr. Koskinen has gone native. He’s shown signs from the start, when he put his focus not on reform but on getting his agency more money and improving “employee morale.” Mr. Koskinen is currently making the congressional rounds with a plea for the authority to offer higher pay—in excess of statutory caps—to certain IRS employees, including members of the IT department that can’t keep track of emails.

The more cynical explanation is that the president chose Mr. Koskinen as someone who could be trusted to stonewall congressional questions. That’s a fair conclusion given his lack of cooperation and the increasingly partisan language the IRS commissioner is hurling at Republicans. “There are some people who don’t want a straight story,” said Mr. Koskinen in July. “I’m not sure if people really want a special prosecutor,” he stated, because then “you wouldn’t be holding all these fun hearings every week or two.”