Lois Lerner: she-wolf
Lois Lerner, former head of the Exempt Organizations Division of the IRS, is every taxpayer’s nightmare of a tax agent. Like Zacchaeus, at least before Jesus passed through Jericho, she made herself one of the most despised women in America. She stands accused, in fact, of “showing the fig” (Greek sycophanteo I defraud by accusing falsely) as they used to call it in Zacchaeus’ day. In this case, Lois Lerner trumped-up evidence of wrongdoing or fatally irregular activity, in this case to deny tax-exempt status, or delay a finding until it no longer mattered.
But Lois Lerner is more than that. For weeks her lawyers, and her former bosses at the IRS, have said they can’t find certain e-mail correspondence with her name on it. But now those e-mails are coming forward. Their contents make this much abundantly clear: Lois Lerner was not merely a venal tax agent. She did not, like Zacchaeus, extort money from people for private gain. She acted from an ideological impulse, obsession and compulsion. In fact the Obama administration likely chose her as the perfect attack she-wolf to go after Barack Obama’s political enemies. Zacchaeus made people despise him. Lois Lerner should make people fear her. And not only her but the kind of (de facto) President who would hire her, or induce others to hire anyone like her.
The Lois Lerner e-mails
Today Rep. David Camp (R-Mich.), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, released disturbing text from the latest Lois Lerner e-mails he received. (See also these reports from AP and CNSNews.) The Blaze embedded the e-mails, which Mr. Camp seems to have published to Scribd. The e-mails look as though someone scanned them and used an optical character recognition program. The results are not pretty. In fact the PDF file is a mess, and has at least two layers, each holding letters (in pica typeface) with different shades of gray. In quoting the messages, CNAV has edited them to make them easier to read and understand.
Warning. Lois Lerner and those she corresponds with often use gutter language in these messages. Parental judgment and discretion are advised.
All these e-mails belong to one thread. The subject: “Suspension of Retention.” The main theme: Lois Lerner had advice that she could not take any more “retention pay” in 2012 “because I made too much.” The IRS promised her the balance “next year in a lump sum.”
But as usually happens with e-mail, the conversation went beyond retention pay. It went to her attitude toward political conservatives. But it also showed her up as an elitist snob, and a hypocrite.
The thread took place on November 9, 2012. All her messages came to her while she was vacationing in the United Kingdom. Specifically she was in the south of England, near Hempstead, Windsor, Stonehenge, and either Oxford or Cambridge (even she couldn’t tell which). (She did mention something about “work” and “talk[ing] to their internal ‘spooks,’ whoever they were.) This part speaks volumes:
[I] went to Hempstead, an Edwardian English village, full of beautiful, huge houses – all of which have been ruined by letting the hoi polloi live there! These people have ruined everything with their equality push!
Excuse me?!? Does not her boss talk about “income inequality” as a thing to fight? How dare she patronize Her Majesty’s meanest subjects like that? That tells you all you need to know about Lois Lerner and what she thinks of you.
In the next e-mail she says she’s “ready” to come back. She then said he overheard some British women talking about Americans:
According to them we’ve bankrupted ourselves and are through. We’ll never be able to pay off the debt and are going down the tubes. They don’t seem to see that they can’t keep up their welfare state, either. Strange.
What’s strange is that Lois Lerner doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to understand how dire the American debt is. And that Lois Lerner should look down her nose at the loyal subjects of a constitutional monarchy for having a welfare state.
In reply, another IRS officer, whose name Mr. Camp will not show, writes:
Well, you should hear the wacko wing of the GOP. The U.S. is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.
And Lois Lerner answers:
Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many a**holes.
There you have it. One can’t make this stuff up, even for a Hollywood movie.
But Lois Lerner’s unnamed correspondent tees off again:
And I’m talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid.
If he’s serious about that, why didn’t he call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Never mind. Lois Lerner closes the thread with this priceless gem:
So we don’t have to worry about alien teRrorists. It’s our own crazies who will take us down.
Did Lois Lerner really type the word terrorists and capitalize the first letter R? Did she type that deliberately, to suggest all Republicans are terrorists? Or did Mr. Camp’s staff’s software mis-scan the word, or misinterpret the image of the word? We do not have available the text the investigators at the IRS printed off whatever old electronic media they found. The scan of that last letter is even harder to read than the messages before it. (Why they couldn’t go to Research in Motion, builders of the Blackberry and its operating system and applications, no one has answered or even asked.)
By alien Lois Lerner almost surely means “not an American citizen or other American national.” But as she uses the word, alien still means human.
What this says of Lois Lerner
Mr. Camp sent a letter, dated today, to Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice. He renewed his earlier accusation against Lois Lerner for targeting conservative groups and denying them due process and equal protection of law. He said the e-mails showed her “deep animus” and “personal hostility toward conservatives” drove her to act as she did.
Mr. Camp spoke truly. Lois Lerner does hate conservatives. But more than that, she hates people. “Hoi polloi,” indeed. That phrase means “the many” in Greek.
And she’s not the only one. Remember: this e-mail thread was dialogue, not monologue.
Lois Lerner had a reputation. She came to the IRS from the Illinois office of the Federal Elections Commission. While there, according to The Daily Caller, she had a run-in with Al Salvi, the opponent of Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) And she told him never to run for office again. At issue: Salvi lent his campaign $1.1 million to tide it over. The FEC sued over that loan. They lost in District Court, but appealed to the Seventh Circuit. This is the closest thing to “showing the fig,” in the ancient sense, that Lois Lerner ever did. By the time Al Salvi finished fighting the case, he racked up $100,000 in legal fees. Maybe that was how she got the job at the IRS.
But more than that: the Lois Lerner e-mails show a culture of corruption at the IRS. Again, this is not about venal personal gain. Even in Al Salvi’s case, she did not demand he pay her off to drop the case. This is about telling people to get out of politics and stay out, if they will not run on a properly Progressive party line or platform. And at the IRS she had plenty of good company.
At the same time these e-mails prove Lois Lerner and her colleagues are some of the worst hypocrites who ever served in government. Attitudes like these would have made Zacchaeus blush.