Darrell Issa convened the IRS kangaroo court again Wednesday to pretend he wanted Lois Lerner's testimony and emails. (He doesn't.) But this time Democrats were prepared to educate Darrell on the law pertaining to 501(c)(4) organizations.
Rep. Gerry Connolly was magnificent. Watch the video, starting at about 4 minutes in to see him in action. He made it abundantly clear that he was deeply concerned about the IRS' unilateral decision to undermine the law establishing 501(c)(4) organizations by interpreting the word "exclusively" to mean "primarily," and he used a terrific analogy to make his point.
"Now if I said to my spouse, 'Honey, we have an exclusive relationship' and I mean by that 49 percent, I'd probably have problems in my relationship." Connolly circled in on that, saying "To her, and to me, exclusively means 'just you.' All the time. 100 percent." Then the zinger. "So how in the world did we get to a situation where the IRS, on its own, outside of statutory authority, decided to interpret this as primarily? Because to me, that's part of the problem."
"Exclusively means exclusively and if Congress wants to change that we should change the law, but I don't remember Congress investing IRS with the authority to actually decide to interpret it radically different...This is radically different, and it seems to me therein is the problem."
Then Connolly swoops in for the kill. "Because clearly some of these organizations are not exclusively social welfare agents. Clearly they're designed to be political. Partisanly political."
Oops. That sort of puts everything in the right context, doesn't it?
Issa was subdued after that, but earlier in the hearing he was quite belligerent, hammering new IRS chief John Koskinen with threats of contempt of Congress and more if he didn't produce the Lois Lerner emails he really doesn't want. Koskinen finally said he would produce more documents, but that it will take years to get everything Issa has requested. Which is, of course, the point.
The reason he doesn't want them? They'll wreck his entire manufactured "theory of the case." As long as Lerner refuses to testify, Issa can maintain the appearance that the IRS did something wrong without producing any evidence to that effect. As soon as Lerner testifies or produces those emails, everyone will discover that the targeting was political but not ideological and that the IRS was doing what they were supposed to do.
Convening hearings and spending time ranting is far more helpful for Issa than the truth. Painting the IRS as bogeyman gives cover to this round of election moneybagging and if they successfully buy it, they can do whatever they want to the IRS in the next two years.
That, my friends, is reason #89,573 to vote in November. Yes, I do plan to be an insufferable nag about that in the months to come.