The Conversation

Did the IRS finally fire somebody? Maybe!

It has been a source of continuing amazement to me that absolutely no heads have rolled in the IRS scandal.  The media loves to talk about four or five people "losing their jobs," but in truth they were all either temporary officials reaching the scheduled end of their positions, or graceful retirements.  Then you've got the sinister Lois Lerner enjoying a paid vacation ("administrative leave") at taxpayer expense... and she's still logging into IRS computer systems.

A few days ago, there was finally news that a Washington figure in the scandal, Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz, was leaving that position.  Eliana Johnson at National Review followed up and found an IRS source who claimed Paz has indeed been fired, which would make her the very first scandal-related termination:

The source says Paz was fired last Friday, and a second IRS source tells National Review Online that Paz “dropped off the edge of the world” that day, and that her agency-issued computer, phone, and Blackberry show no activity since then. The IRS would not confirm or deny reports of Paz’s firing, citing her right to privacy as protected by federal law. 

As of Thursday, the voice mail on Paz’s work phone remains active and callers are asked to leave a message for Paz, though nobody answered repeated calls placed to that number. Calls to the mobile phone number listed under Paz’s name in the IRS’s internal directory are sent straight to voice mail, and indicate her mailbox has not yet been set up. 

Read that boldfaced line again slowly.  Get angry.  Read it again.  Get angrier.

Johnson reviews the brief against Paz, including the amazing discovery that she was actually hovering menacingly in the background while her subordinates were asked if anyone gave them orders to carry out the Tea Party persecution.  She was in the room during "virtually every one of the interrogations or interviews with her own subordinates," according to House Oversight chair Darrell Issa (R-CA).

This whole scandal has a bizarre through-the-looking-glass quality.  We're still supposed to pretend a lengthy investigation to discern even the broadest outlines of wrongdoing is necessary, even though the corruption of these Agency crooks is comically obvious.  We're supposed to entertain the theory that it was all the spontaneous work of office grunts, even though virtually the entire IRS hierarchy was either involved, or strove mightily to avoid noticing the activity.  We're supposed to think the investigation was a bust because it didn't turn up a smoking gun that implicates Barack Obama personally, even though it's only been in progress for a couple of weeks, and the entire Democrat Party still behaves as if it's scared to death that such a link will be uncovered.  

And we're supposed to think the whole thing is a minor personnel issue the Administration is working hard to correct, even though we still don't have the name of a single one of those "rogue low-level employees," and the only official who might have been fired over the affair was released so quietly that we're only hearing about it from anonymous sources inside the IRS.  Why aren't Holly Paz and the rest of these managers, plus the low-level rogues, given loud public reprimands and fired with great fanfare, both as a warning to other would-be miscreants in the Administration, and reassurance to the public that abuse of authority will not be tolerated?


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