A quick hit on the latest scandals

black and whiteRobert Reich, who’s actually a pretty smart guy, correctly pointed out something about the current scandal at the IRS, which was posted to a blog I frequent: “Keep your eye on the big scandal. Although the IRS was wrong to target conservative groups for review based on their names, the bigger wrong was its failure to investigate the major groups — such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and Priorities USA — that falsely claimed to be ‘social welfare organizations’ under 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code in order to hide the names of their donors…”

Again, mostly correct, but incomplete.  The problem is that partisans – especially those who have reasons to misdirect from scandals – tend to leave out systemic issues that won’t be corrected by their remedies.  And the issue is one of the two-party system.  I was asked by a friend to post my reply as he thought it apt:

Nobody’s gonna investigate the major [organizations] because a) they were seriously lawyered up, b) they were swimming in money, so this scandal would have gotten out immediately, right before the election, and – the big kicker – c) the Democrats want the ability to do that, too. You blow the whistle on the big guys, they will go after the union groups and such when they get in office.

Keep in mind that a very large number of the so-called “excessive partisanship” issues that plague the two-party system have come when the “gentlemen’s agreement” to overlook each other’s corruption breaks down. This is why when corruption does get reported, the immediate response is, “Well, you guys did this!” That’s what we’re seeing out of the Democrats right now, and of course, both sides are right – they are both unethical and corrupt. The difference is they both kept quiet about it before, so they could keep doing it.

It’s also why they are both free to land on the full democracy parties, like the Greens, Constitutionists, and Libertarians, with both feet when they attempt to enter the political arena. If a Republican candidate was arrested for trying to attend a debate…if a Democrat was forced off the ballot by Republican state employees working on paid time to disallow signatures…it would be front-page above-the-fold. When it happens to anyone else, it’s the price of challenging the duopoly without the get-out-of-jail-free card they grant each other.

The takeaway: The Democrats are spending a great deal of time on the spin of this, trying to implicate the Republicans in similar or worse wrongdoing in order to distract from the very real and inexcusable issues at the IRS.  But playing “you’re another” games isn’t going to change anything, and they know it.  True change in this kind of corrupt politics will have to come from voters who disregard the lies from either side, electing officials who do not buy – or get sold – into it.

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