Monday, May 20, 2013

Political Targeting, Unconscionable Delays, Harassing Questions

Have you heard about the scandal in Washington? Turns out that people are being targeted for their political beliefs. People in positions of authority are abusing their power. For no good reason (other than political animus) the powerful are imposing unconscionable delays on simple requests. Applicants are being forced to answer an absurd number of questions by out-of-control, power-drunk people in government.

But I'm not talking about the IRS. I'm talking about Republican Senators.

Recently, the Senate finally confirmed the nominee to head the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

It took them 510 days to do it.

President Obama has nominated Gina McCarthy to head the EPA. According to a New York Times report, Republican Senators have submitted 1,100 questions for her to answer. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew received 395 questions from Republicans (compared to 49 questions from Democrats to George W. Bush's Treasury nominee).

The committee considering Ms. McCarthy's nomination has been unable to vote on it because no Republican member of the committee will show up for a meeting, denying it a quorum.

The IRS officials who used search terms to identify conservative organizations for extra scrutiny were obviously wrong to do so. But it is more than a little ironic to hear Republicans loudly denounce as a scandalous abuse of power harassment tactics that they regularly use to deny the president his nominees.

This is not "advise and consent" by any reasonable definition of that phrase. It is pure obstructionism.

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