Looks as though Joe Klein is back on the Narrative Plantation. After blistering the Obama Administration over revelations that the IRS was targeting conservative groups, today Klein took his marching orders from Ezra Klein and publicly walked it all way back.
Saturday, at his Time perch, Joe Klein took the IRS and Obama to the woodshed. Klein was not only incredulous that Lois Lerner, a senior IRS official, would claim that the targeting of conservative groups wasn’t motivated by politics, he placed Obama’s name in a hat with Richard Nixon:
Yet again, we have an example of Democrats simply not managing the government properly and with discipline. This is just poisonous at a time of skepticism about the efficacy of government. And the President should know this: the absence of scandal is not the presence of competence. His unwillingness to concentrate — and I mean concentrate obsessively — on making sure that government is managed efficiently will be part of his legacy.
Previous Presidents, including great ones like Roosevelt, have used the IRS against their enemies. But I don’t think Obama ever wanted to be on the same page as Richard Nixon. In this specific case, he now is.
By Monday afternoon, though, Klein seem to have figured out that his wild proclamations that Obama should be held responsible for what happens in his government put him on the outs with his left-wing media counterparts, who spent the weekend crafting a Narrative that compartmentalizes the scandal within the IRS:
I may have swung a bit too hard, putting Barack Obama’s Administration in the same league as Franklin Roosevelt’s and Richard Nixon’s when it comes to the Internal Revenue Service. The situation remains a major embarrassment, though.
The most important difference is that the Roosevelt and Nixon IRS depredations came from the White House. This mess seems to have percolated from the middle-the IRS’s Cincinnati office (a major facility, by the way)-up to the upper-middle. It was an overreaction, to be sure-but, as Ezra Klein explains, it was a response to a very real problem[.]
So now Joe Klein is back in the club — back on the Narrative Plantation as a member of Ezra Klein’s JournOlist in good standing.
Now that everyone is in line and knows their place, the media can proceed to circle the wagons.
This compartmentalization of the IRS scandal is also why the media and Democrats are jumping all over it. They know it likely won’t touch the White House and it also helps to knock Benghazi, a scandal that lies at the feet of Obama and Hillary, off the front page.
Monday morning, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was already concern-trolling the GOP with his declaration that in the upcoming 2014 midterm elections, the IRS scandal will serve the Republican party better than Benghazi.
What Todd really means is that if the GOP focuses on the IRS instead of Libya, it is better for Hillary and Obama.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC