VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Lies Subvert Democracy. “Truth is the lifeblood of democracy. Without honesty, the foundations of consensual government crumble. If the Internal Revenue Service acts unlawfully, our system of citizens’ computing their own taxes implodes. Yet Lois Lerner, one of the IRS’s top officials, would not answer simple questions about her agency’s conduct during congressional testimony, instead pleading the Fifth Amendment. Any taxpayer who tried that with an IRS auditor would end up fined, if not in jail. Almost everything that IRS officials have reported about the agency’s unlawful targeting of conservative groups has proven false. IRS malfeasance was not limited only to the Cincinnati office, as alleged, but followed directives sent from higher-ups in Washington. Lois Lerner confessed to the scandal only through a rigged public query by a planted questioner, designed to preempt an upcoming critical inspector general’s report. There is legitimate dispute over both the number and the purpose of former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman’s visits to the White House and nearby executive office buildings, but he did his credibility no good by snidely remarking to Congress that at least one of those visits was to take his kids to the White House Easter Egg Roll.”
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