Mining Cole for Answers on IRS

By Tony Perkins

In two weeks, the Senate will be taking a long break — from what, no one really knows. Thanks to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the chamber has been in perpetual siesta, only stirrings from their slumber just long enough to stage a meaningless crusade for “free” birth control, which most women already have.

Unfortunately for the President’s party, the Democrats’ lazy strategy may not have the happy ending they were hoping for. With the clock running out on the summer session, Reid’s chamber will be heading home to voters anxious to know why their leaders didn’t deal with the crises at hand — on the border, in the Middle East, and with the economy.

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), one of the main sponsors behind the push to re-impose the government mandate that trampled the religious beliefs of employers, is already feeling the heat from ignoring America’s real priorities. A Quinnipiac poll sent a warning to every liberal thinking the “war on women” mantra would save them in November. After launching his contraception-abortifacient push, Colorado’s incumbent started dipping in the polls. Asked how they would grade their Senator, voters gave Udall “his lowest net approval ever,” saying 49%-40% that he “does not deserve to be reelected.”

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If this were a congressional-wide dysfunction, Americans might understand. But it’s not. While the Senate crawls along, the House has been hard at work — passing 418 bills to the Senate’s 211. As of today, Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) chamber had signed seven appropriations bills. The Senate? Zero.

And it isn’t as if the House had less to do. The White House’s scandal factory continues to pump out PR fiascos, burying government investigators — and House Committees — in work. One of those Committees, Oversight and Government Reform, called the Justice Department to the carpet for dragging its feet on the IRS probe. Despite having every government resource at its disposal, even the DOJ claims it didn’t know basic details about the conservative targeting scandal. After investigating the IRS for more than a year, Deputy Attorney General James Cole claimed he didn’t know about the office’s disappearing emails until the media reported it. “I think we learned about it after that, from press accounts.”

That stunned Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who was under the impression that the Justice Department was on top of the case it was supposedly handling. “Does it not concern you that your exhaustive investigation didn’t uncover the missing emails?” Congressman Meadows asked. “Should we be concerned that your investigation is not exhaustive?” Obviously, liberals, who argued there was no need for a special prosecutor, were mistaken. Asked how many subpoenas had been issued, Cole told Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), “I don’t know an exact number, but I wouldn’t tell you if I did.”

What a spirit of cooperation! Even Democrats like Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) are troubled by the DOJ’s refusal to cooperate. The full Committee, Cartwright pressed, “wants to know what happened to those missing emails — all of us.” “This is about the violation of your most fundamental right,” fumed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), “your right to speak out in a political fashion against your government, and that was systematically targeted by this administration. And that’s flat-out wrong.” Cole didn’t appreciate the insinuation that his department wasn’t taking the investigation seriously. “The amount of integrity [at the DOJ] is astounding,” Cole insisted. This from an office led by the only sitting Attorney General to be held in contempt of Congress. “I know,” Cole went on, “that they will follow the facts wherever they lead and apply the law to those facts.” Applying the law? That’d be a first.

Meanwhile, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and other liberals insist the GOP is holding these hearings to score political points (which is what they argue whenever Republicans ask for the facts.) “This is the latest example of Republicans desperately searching for a scandal,” Cummings said. Mr. Cummings, under this President, no searching is required!

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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