This afternoon, Keith Ellison and I got into a little dispute on Twitter:
REP. ELLISON: targeting is wrong. Obama said so; replaced people. IRS apologized. Political orgs posing as social welfare orgs is wrong too.
REPLY: He’s right. It’s wrong. Why did his 2008 campaign start that tactic? Check out what Bob Bauer & Tom Matzzie did.
REP. ELLISON: do you want to fix the blame or fix the problem? Obama’s fixing the problem.
REPLY: Obama’s campaign tactics contributed to the problem. Obama’s governance looked the other way when the problem erupted. I want both. PS-Obama administration targeted reporters, conservatives.
Rep. Ellison’s question of whether I wanted to affix blame or fix the problem was his attempt to distract from the question at hand. It’s important to affix blame because that’s the only way forward.
The bigger point, though, is that President Obama’s administration specialized in these tactics, starting in 2008. They made a point of using the IRS to intimidate their political opponents. Conservatives shouldn’t ignore these facts. Rather, they should highlight the fact that the Obama administration is the source of these tactics.
When we criticize the Obama administration, we should expect the Democrats to criticize us for politicizing these scandals. We should expect the Obama administration to retaliate. Our response should be swift and hardhitting. Our reply should be that we’re appalled by Holder’s DOJ attempting to intimidate reporters from doing their jobs. We’re appalled that the IRS targeted TEA Party activists, Christians and other conservatives just like the Obama 2008 campaign did under Bob Bauer’s leadership.
It isn’t enough for President Obama to pledge to change how his administration and his campaigns have operated. Frankly, at this point, informed people who are willing to see the truth as the truth know President Obama’s machine have specialized in the things he’s now promising to fix.
Rep. Ellison is a willing flack for President Obama. If only he was willing to criticize President Obama for his administration’s willingness to act without integrity. That would be news indeed.