Jack Lew on IRS scandal - What political pressure?

Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew was trotted out for the Sunday morning show circuit again this week, this time to remind everybody that the entire IRS mess is nothing to see here, so move along, peasants.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Sunday the Internal Revenue Service exhibited “equal opportunity bad judgment” in the improper targeting of political groups, and there was no evidence of political pressure.

Just days after President Obama accused Washington of focusing attention on “phony scandals,” Lew said on “Fox News Sunday” mistakes were made in the IRS, but there is no evidence the White House or political officials drove the improper targeting.

“There’s no political official who condoned it or authorized it,” he said, adding that the mistakes that were made were “unacceptable” and “unjustifiable.”

Well, I’m glad that’s all cleared up then. But seriously, I have to ask the same question that Rick Moran did… What did you expect him to say?

Some liberal groups got virtually a free pass from the IRS on the decision regarding their tax exempt status. I have yet to hear of any conservative group treated so gently. And why the difference in the questions asked? If this was “equal opportunity bad judgment,” shouldn’t the questions posed by the IRS have been the same?

This dog ain’t hunting, Jack. You’re going to have to come up with better talking points than this if you want to get your boss off the hook.

Now, Jack would have been remiss if he didn’t reiterate the “phony scandal” meme which the White House has been shopping around for weeks now. Fear not! He didn’t get to it on Fox, but he dashed right over to the set of ABC’s studios and reminded everyone that there are a new set of budget negotiations on the horizon, and President Obama isn’t about to let them get hamstrung by any made up nonsense.

“Congress can’t let us default. Congress has to do its work,” Lew said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” adding the president has has been “crystal clear” that raising the country’s debt limit this fall is not an issue of negotiation between Congress and the White House…

“I certainly hope that Congress isn’t looking to create confrontations and false crises because we did see, in 2011, how bad that is for the American economy,” Lew said. “The mere fact of negotiating over the debt limit, after 2011, would introduce this notion that somehow there’s a question about whether or not we’re going to pay our bills, whether or not we’re going to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”

The really sad part here is that absolutely nothing has changed in the White House playbook. And I’m not just talking in the broad strokes here, but rather a case where it looks as if they failed to dispose of the daily talking points sheets from last year. It’s the same phrasing, pitch and tone, right down to the letter. Protect the full faith and credit came from everyone on the 2012 campaign team. The whole portion of we’re going to pay our bills was on the menu for these same shows all through the fall. Has George Stephanopoulos undergone some form of selective memory loss, or are we just phoning it in now? It’s as if the last six months never even happened and the Obama team plans to march straight off the same cliff again without so much as looking at the boot prints leading over the edge.

Washington is great town. Everything old is new again, and these days you don’t even have to wait for it to actually get old.