September 22, 2014

DAVID HARSANYI: Sorry, Politico, but Lois Lerner Is Not A Victim. Nope. She’s a perpetrator.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey Points And Laughs At Politico.

She’s entitled to take the Fifth. And we’re entitled to be suspicious when a high-level bureaucrat caught up in a scandal refuses to be accountable to Congress and then wants our sympathy on the pages of Politico.

The rest of this piece is sheer drivel, and perhaps the most monumental effort ever made in print to deliberately miss the point. Rachel Bade starts off in the lead suggesting that anti-Semitism is what’s driving the criticism of Lerner, goes through a few paragraphs of “some say” framing of Lerner criticisms and defenses, and then goes into a lengthy anecdote about how Lerner rescued pets during Hurricane Katrina. Only after dozens of paragraphs do we get to the section titled “Unanswered Questions,” where Bade finally concedes this point:

As head of the division where it all began, Lerner certainly bears some of the blame for the selective scrutiny of tea party applications, and numerous emails understandably raise eyebrows.

So yes, the claim that Lerner “didn’t do anything wrong” is complete nonsense. Democrats, Bade assures us, are “still furious that Lerner didn’t tell Congress about the situation sooner,” but doesn’t get around to mentioning that Lerner hasn’t told Congress about it at all, let alone sooner. Instead, Bade shortly returns to her real interest, which is framing Lerner as someone of courage who won’t let critics “ruin her life.” Too bad Lerner didn’t have that same ethos about the people whose grassroots groups were targeted by her unit.

A sorry effort, and one that reveals more about Politico and Rachel Bade than it does about Lois Lerner. And it makes me wonder: Was she an anonymous source for Politico in the past, and is this a reward for past service?

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