Monday, 30 June 2014

To see American democracy at work (over the IRS scandal), visit Erik Bartlam’s “Low Cotton” blog

Harold Watson "Trey" Gowdy III
If you pop over to Low Cotton (here) you’ll find a truly splendid YouTube video of Repubican Congressman Trey Gowdy (fabulous name) recently eviscerating IRS Commissioner John Koskinen over the US government’s scandalous attempts to cover up the truth behind the IRS’s deliberate misuse of the tax system to hound conservative and right-wing groups. It’s an exhilarating example of a representative of the people actually doing the job he was elected to do – i.e. to hold the government and its agents accountable to the American people for their actions.

It’s a complex story, and I don't pretened to understand all of it, but three points are immediately graspable. (1) Between 2010 and 2012, the IRS did indeed target organisations with included “Tea Party”  “patriots” or “9/12” in their titles by placing a hold on their application for tax-exempt status, while approving tax-exempt status for organisations with the words “progress”, “equality” or “liberal” in their titles. (2) The White House tried to cover it up by blaming the whole mess on rogue agents, or by claiming that the IRS activities were not really politically biased – claims which have been exposed as false by internal IRS emails released last month. (3) Potential evidence, in the form of emails on the hard drive of a key IRS official who pleaded the Fifth before “retiring”, have (it is claimed) been lost due to that hard drive being destroyed in 2011, reminding many of the 18-minute gap in Nixon's infamous Watergate tape.

If this sort of grotesque misuse of power followed by such a gormless, cack-handed cover-up had happened under a Republican administration, we’d never have heard the end of it, here or in the States. A search of the BBC website reveals that - despite any number of damanging developments - the IRS scandal hasn’t been mentioned by the corporation’s intrepid reporters (Obama toadies, one and all) since May of last year – and the liberal American mainstream media seem to have been just as eager to bury the story.

Since Obama came to power, the White House has found itself enmired in a huge number of scandals - no less than two dozen were listed in this article last August, and they just keep on coming. Several of these were smelly and shocking enough to have sunk a Republican president on their own – from lying about Benghazi and monitoring reporters’ emails to the funding of failed green industry poster-boy Solyndra and the chronic failures of the US department of veterinary affairs, particularly regarding health care. But the use of the IRS to go after Obama’s political opponents strikes me as the most outrageous of the lot, and the one which – had the American media been doing its job – should have seen Barack Obama impeached for misconduct in office. But, you know, he’s black and left-wing and kinda cool, so why make waves?

I'll leave you with a video of the admirable Mr. Gowdy tearing into America's spinelessly sycophantic liberal media for its bizarre unwillingness to hold the US government to account  over the Benghazi scandal:


5 comments:

  1. It must be pointed out that Gowdy (indeed a great Cracker name) is a rep from South Carolina...he is a Southerner. Demonstrating once again that we are superior to everyone else and a litter of kittens. :)

    Gowdy's a wonderful exception....the Republican party has completely lost it's marbles (see election of Thad Cochran...were one suicide into the aftermath of that one). Which is fine...I've never been comfortable voting Republican and haven't done so in years.

    Thanks for the link sir.

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    1. The Thad Cochran story did my head in. He seems to be a little... confused? And he got the nomination over a more right-wing Republican candidate because 40,000 Democrats voted for him? And he's a Republican? There's a lot about American politics I don't even begin to understand, but I do sort of get a sense that the GOP is doing its very best to get Hillary Clinton elected President by being totally inept. Again. Or have I got that wrong?

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  2. I have a good chum from St Louis called Jim Chastain who looks and talks like Trey Gowdy. He is very tall and never stops talking. Your excellent post reminds me of the fact that I very much like Americans [especially HBO!] and dislike Europeans south of Schleswig - Holstein [excluding French TV production companies Canal + and Deux who make "Spiral" and "Braquo"]. Just wanted to get that off my chest.

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    1. Apologise to the Italians and the Portuguese at once, sir! Even though they bring the words "piss up"and "brewery" to mind, I've always found them both immensely likable - the Italians (in the North - I don't really know the South) are really very amiable, and I've always found the Portuguese strangely British in their behaviour - restrained and modest (the footballer Ronaldo is an exception, of course).

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  3. I agree Mr.Bartlam,America could do with more brave men-many more brave men-like Trey Gowdy.

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