I know when I mention “Obama” and “Legitimacy” in the same sentence it immediately raised ideas in many people’s minds related to “birth certificate” and “citizenship.” But I’m not going there in this post. Rather, I want to point out how directly and even truthfully, to an extent, Obama responded to questions about IRS allegations. According to HuffPo,
“In a press conference on Monday, Obama called the reports ‘outrageous’ and intolerable, while saying he would reserve harsher judgment for when a fuller report on the IRS’s actions is formally released. ‘This is pretty straightforward,’ said Obama. ‘If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they are applying the laws in a non-partisan way. You should feel that way regardless of party.’”
He also added, “But I have got no patience with it, I will not tolerate it, and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.”
I don’t trust everything Obama claims. I think the full truth is the last thing he wants revealed to the public. Nevertheless, most of his reaction sounds genuine to me.
Obama understands the essential importance of legitimacy. And his statement could easily be changed slightly to show what is at stake. Try this:
“This is pretty straightforward. If, in fact, the Government engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting specific groups, then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable, because the Government as an independent ruler for the public good requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they are applying the laws in a non-partisan way. You should feel that way regardless of party.”
Exactly right. But is our government demonstrating that “absolute integrity” so that people have a basis for “confidence that they are applying the laws in a non-partisan way”?
Is it even trying to do so?
Obviously not. Banks get bailed out at public expense. Companies get bailed out (like General Motors) for the sake of unions at public expense. Guns get shipped out to narco-cartels under government arrangement. Unneeded solar cell technology gets government investment at public expense and the company goes bankrupt—but it just so happens that the people benefitting from the public money are also people who get money to Obama.
The primary purpose of the government is more government. And the primary purpose of most people in government is to make their personal fortunes and enjoy exercising power. Despite the blindness caused by ideology and propaganda, people eventually see what is going on. The fact that Obama has come out so strongly against the (completely typical) abuse of the IRS gives me hope that he realizes how bad the situation is. He doesn’t want people to recognize how arbitrary and partisan the government is.
He knows the government has to stay legitimate in the eyes of the people.