Of Pride and Petulance

Of Pride and Petulance

This past week on Capitol Hill, IRS big shots Lois Lerner and Douglas Shulman testified in front of the House Oversight Committee. 

Can you imagine the enormity of that? Being called in front of the most powerful legislative body in the world? Think of the history that institution embodies. The blood that has been spilled to protect it, and protect us as a country, a people, and the values we espouse. It is our house. 

The 535 Senators and Representatives who reside there represent the 315 million citizens (and 11 million illegal citizens) of this great country. So, it seems a bit of humility would be in order, especially if the reason for the testimony involves a threat to the very foundation of that building; a trampling of the Constitution of the United States that these Congressman have been charged with to uphold. 

“Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids…”

Excuse me? You must watch the video of this folks. Please. The abject horror on the face of the women sitting directly behind the witness, screen right, says it all. As well it should. It appears she mouthed the words “Oh. My. God.” 

At that point, the closest Congressman should have reached across the table and smacked the you-know-what out of Mr. Shulman. Then the Capitol Police should have grabbed him by his starched collar and led him over to the corner for Time Out. “Mr. Shulman, when you decide to take this seriously, and can give a comprehensive answer regarding the other 117 visits to the White House, this important hearing will continue…” 

Boom. That’s how it should have gone.

Ms. Lerner too had some issues. I’m not talking about her brilliant “I think I’ll pick and choose when the 5th Amendment applies” moment. I’m talking about something else: attitude, contriteness, respect. 

When the ostensibly apolitical government office YOU are in charge of has asked the most invasive, irrelevant, biased, and offensive questions of organizations that have a distinctly different world view than yours, and you get caught, and then conspire to sort of tell the world through some Larry, Moe, and Curly scheme, you sit your butt down at the table and mind your manners. The Cinderella’s stepmother look, the defiant, disdainful, disrespectful, put-out demeanor is not what Congress, nor the American people, deserve to see or hear. 

Ben Stein put it well the other night. He and O’reilly were making large references to Watergate when discussing this unbelievable situation. “This is THIS thing happening all over again, only with no shame.” You are right, Mr. Stein, and it is troubling.


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