Orphans of the law

In response to Not a Smidgen of Corruption in IRS Wrongdoing:

Well, I suppose if you accept Hillary Clinton’s definition of multi-million-dollar income as virtual poverty, then maybe $50k worth of wrongdoing isn’t quite a full “smidgen.”  It’s more like a quarter-smidgen at best.

It’s not “wrong-doing,” it’s a crime.  That is the proper term for violating the law.  The laws protecting the National Organization for Marriage’s confidential data are no different that the laws protecting your car from a thief with a slim-jim.  The people at the IRS who gave that information to gay-marriage activists are criminals.

Confessing institutional guilt and forking over fifty grand of taxpayer money should not be the end of it.  That’s a hilariously small price to pay for the political gains realized from the crime.  There are gay-marriage supporters who would have happily written a personal check to buy NOM’s data from the IRS, and called it a bargain.  That’s like fining the guy who stole your car ten bucks.

Likewise with the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal, which to date has been absolutely cost-free, aside from the minor inconvenience of a few officials showing up in Congress to flip the bird at investigators.  Lois Lerner got a paid vacation, followed by early retirement with benefits.  That’s the deal of the century, in return for the services she provided to the Obama 2012 campaign.

But of course, as you noted, the idea of hyper-politicized Attorney General Eric Holder mobilizing his hyper-politicized Justice Department to investigate political operatives of his own Party is ludicrous; it’s like expecting a banana republic to investigate itself and send members of the strongman’s family to jail.  

This is also part of a troubling pattern in which politically-disfavored groups are simply denied the protection of the law, because the State has little interest in enforcing the law to benefit its adversaries.  There’s quite a bit of that going around these days.  Even if the State doesn’t actively seek to destroy you, on behalf of its own interests or those of well-connected supporters, it’s liable to give you the same kiss-off Batman gave Ra’s Al-Ghul in Batman Begins: “I won’t kill you, but I don’t have to save you, either.”

I was thinking of writing a big alternate-universe news article if I can find the time, chronicling how the IRS scandal would play out in a universe where a Republican Administration weaponized Internal Revenue against left-wing groups.  Here’s a preview: imagine what this story would be like, if IRS personnel leaked confidential data from a left-wing environmentalist group to an organization of “global warming deniers.”  Anybody think $50,000 of money seized from other people and paid to the aggrieved environmentalists would put the matter to bed?  Does anyone seriously believe that story would end without prosecutions?  Does anyone believe it would take years for those prosecutions to begin?

Oppose the Party of the State, and you become an orphan of the State, with all sorts of legal protections quietly vanishing around you.