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View Diary: Here's just one bad piece of possible fall-out from the IRS revelation (290 comments)

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  •  The problem with our government (25+ / 0-)

    And the reason why we need a constantly vigilant electorate, is that once we go down a road, we rarely walk it back.

    When it comes to the power we give government, we have to remember that the once they have that power, they're not going to give it up. More often, they strengthen that power and build it into their SOP.

    And it saddens me beyond belief that in every case of the Obama administration strengthening these powers, there are people here who justify it. As if we'll have no administrations after Obama that may abuse these powers.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:01:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (11+ / 0-)

      Here's how it goes:

      A Republican administration will claim some new or novel power or other. The Democrats will scream bloody murder, maybe fundraise on it, etc. Then when the Dems get into power, somehow the thing that was so unacceptable before is now a Vital Tool...

      Then the Democrats do it, and the Repubs object... and the cycle continues...

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:10:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  just look at the Patriot Act (0+ / 0-)

        All of the provisions in the Patriot Act were originally written by Bill Clinton. They were introduced as parts of his "anti-terrorism" bills in 1995 and 1996. The goppers screamed about "civil rights!!!" the Clintonistas yelled about "national security !!!!"  The provisions were dropped.

        In 2001, the Goppers needed their own "national security !!!" bill in a hurry, so they just reintroduced all of Clinton's old provisions and named them "The Patriot Act".  This time, it was the Dems who screamed "civil rights !!!!!!, and this time, the provisions passed.

        Then Obama is elected---and the Patriot Act is renewed four times, without either party even PRETENDING anymore to be outraged, outraged I say!!!!

        It's all just partisan patter.  (shrug)

    •  Hmmmm good point.. Can someone expound on (8+ / 0-)

      this statement.  When have we EVER walked it back?
      I mean we dig holes deeper..we never try to quit digging once a shovel starts.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:21:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Prohibition. (12+ / 0-)

        We're starting to take a good look at walking back modern prohibition too. Look what's happening with cannabis?

        But that's social policy shit. When it comes to real government power? I can't really think of one instance either certainly not in modern times.

        I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

        by commonmass on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:37:56 PM PDT

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      •  Jefferson pardoned everyone charged under (7+ / 0-)

        The Alien and Sedition Acts, and then refused to renew them.

        That's about the last time we walked it back.

        Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

        by JesseCW on Mon May 13, 2013 at 05:58:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Boston bombers. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Yumn, Larsstephens, wishingwell

        If this had been McCain/Palin or Rmoney/Ryan, that kid would be in GITMO and we'd be bombing Iran over it, claiming the PATRIOT ACT and the BushCheney precedent.
        Obama walked back that (ab)use of power.
        He also relinquished the powers of "enhanced interrogation" and "extraordinary rendition" made "legal" by the Yoo/Ashcroft precedent.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Mon May 13, 2013 at 06:37:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We went back to outsourcing our torture, and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, Victor Ward

          we moved from snatching people and jailing them without trial to blowing up their houses with their kids inside.

          Hard to call that a "walk back" from any place of objectivity.

          Wash. Judge Tells Cops To Return Man’s Marijuana Or Be Found In Contempt

          by JesseCW on Mon May 13, 2013 at 09:03:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah we're still doing it in Mali, Ghana or Yemen. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            orlbucfan

            I can't remember which. Big prison that we have "no involvement" with. Except there is a CIA station that gets "humint" (human intelligence vs. signals intelligence) from the prison. This according to Jeremy Scahill.

            As always, this is one that we know about. Think about all the ones we don't know about, The Salt Mine, Diego Garcia, the brigs of Navy ships -- all state secrets -- who the hell knows anymore?

            Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

            by FrY10cK on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:22:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You cant walk-back a counterfactual. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FrY10cK, orlbucfan, Kickemout, Victor Ward

          However, this President did sign and expand FISA and the Patriot Act.

          His administration burns down whistleblowers.

          He has walked-back his pledge to keep lobbyists out of power.

          ..and so on.

          But, wait, his position on gay marriage evolved.

      •  torture comes to mind (0+ / 0-)

        Kind of a biggie, there. Though the case can certainly be made that Gitmo's continued existence puts an asterisk next to that accomplishment.
        Oh, and there was the STOCK Act. But that one only lasted until congresscritters could come up with a remotely plausible reason to kill it and go back to insider trading...
        I dunno. What's the current status of the congressional Franking privilege?

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Tue May 14, 2013 at 04:58:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the Church Committee tried in 1975 (0+ / 0-)

        It released massive multi-volume reports covering everything from US domestic spying to illegal programs to disrupt political groups to assassinations of foreign leaders we didn't like.

        Outrage was expressed, new laws were passed.

        Within five years it was all forgotten, and we were doing it all over again.

    •  I generally agree with you, but . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, kamarvt, orlbucfan

      I think you're mistaken if you think that standing up to the Obama administration's "abuses" of these powers (if that's what happened) will prevent a future administration, particularly a Republican administration from abusing them.

      This is what I see as the problem here.  As Democrats, we're inclined to take this seriously and to punish any wrongdoing we may find because we don't want agencies like the IRS to be corrupted for political ends.  The Republicans will join the call in this particular case because it suits their current political objectives.  So if wrongdoing did occur, Republicans will scream bloody murder about it, and Democrats will soberly agree that they have a point.

      Of course, when the shoe is on the other foot, the Republicans will deny any wrongdoing whatsoever, obstruct any investigation, and refuse to hold anyone accountable.  (See John Perr's recent FP article on how they handle scandals.)  Unlike the Republicans, Democrats won't press the issue, and Republicans will get away with whatever the hell shenanigans they might have engaged in.

      So for the Republicans, this is a "heads I win, tails you lose" situation.  They'll cry scandal, and Democrats will obediently agree with them.  And for being "better" than the Republicans, we'll be rewarded with endless negative ads and probably a loss of seats in 2014.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Mon May 13, 2013 at 09:53:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's pretty much what happened to the office of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FogCityJohn

        "Special Prosecutor", during the Clinton admin.

        So now the IRS has been debased too (it went after left leaning groups during Bush 43) and is just a tool for political jabs at the other side.

        Great. Proud to be an American.

        You're right. If Obama hands down consequences to IRS personnel it will be "proof" in future elections that the Obama admin was corrupt. That is the level of analysis we can expect from the half of the electorate that believes what they hear on TV or read in the WSJ.

        Reaganomics noun pl: belief that government is bad, that it can increase revenue by decreasing revenue, and unregulated capitalism can provide unlimited goods for unlimited people on a planet with finite resources.

        by FrY10cK on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:33:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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