Conservative groups are preparing to use the deepening public distrust of the Internal Revenue Service to discredit the Affordable Care Act, and the Democrats who support it, in the 2014 election cycle.
Now that the IRS has admitted to unfairly targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, Republicans plan to make the agency, which is responsible for carrying out much of President Obama’s health care law, the poster child for dysfunctional government, and a giant liability for Democrats.
…and that’s that this problem has been made particularly difficult for the Obama administration because of a ruling that they ironically crowed about; i.e., that the US Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate in Obamacare is constitutional because it’s a tax. This, of course, was the subject of much consternation and rhetoric and goings-on at the time; but I can’t help but note that the Obama administration is more or less stuck now with having the IRS all-in on Obamacare’s implementation. This would be the IRS that has been already engaged in a multi-office* none-dare-call-it-conspiracy to target conservative groups. The IRS whose officials are currently lawyering up and taking the Fifth. The IRS who has assigned Sarah Hall Ingram (the commissioner who oversaw the aforementioned targeting) to oversee Obamacare’s implementation. The IRS, not at all coincidentally, whose reputation has taken an absolute nose dive since Obama took office. And the IRS which will be slapped with multiple injunctions the second it tries to actually get a dime of Obamacare tax out of a conservative group or institution.
You may or may not decide that all of this means that maybe, just maybe, Chief Supreme Court Justice John Roberts actually crafted a rather elegant trap for a President who probably professionally – or professorially – offends Roberts (after all, the Chief Justice actually is a Constitutional scholar) by giving Obama and Congressional Democrats what they wanted, nice and hard. Hindsight is, after all, 20/20: it happens all the time that people look at events after the fact and find patterns there. It still does need to be pointed out that life isn’t quite as much kittens and sunshine for Barack Obama as it appeared to be, the morning when the US Supreme Court threw down its four-dimensional split decision on Obamacare. Particularly since said decision simultaneously removed any hope of using the Commerce Clause to justify getting the IRS out of the Obamacare enforcement business.
Karma. It’s what’s for dinner.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*Quick note to Ezra Klein: sometimes when you pull over the black guy for DWB, he turns out to have done something wrong. Does that mean that Driving While Black is thus a legitimate law enforcement strategy?