Here's a classic from the Obama playbook: Whenever you're in trouble, find a way to blame George W. Bush for it.
That concept was in play on Thursday afternoon's edition of MSNBC's Martin Bashir program, when the liberal host and contributor Joy Reid were able to convince their guest, GOP strategist Ron Christie, to admit that Steven Miller, the former acting director of the Internal Revenue Service, was appointed by “the previous administration,” a phrase used to describe Bush.
Following the quick firing of Miller on Wednesday and President Obama's promise to hold everyone involved accountable, Bashir asked Christie if the action by the Democratic occupant of the White House was sufficient.
“No, it's not,” the Republican stated before calling the IRS scandal “one of the most chilling cases involved with the coercive powers of government.”
Christie then said:
This scandal isn’t about President Obama, this is about a culture within the Internal Revenue Service that seemed to think it was okay, that singling out people due to their partisan affiliation would be somehow fine.
While Bashir asserted that the outrage at the political targeting by the IRS is warranted, he noted that the IRS wasn’t wrong for targeting political organizations, they were wrong for not targeting more political organizations.
Reid agreed that it's bad “if the IRS can chill speech by auditing someone, or the threat of an audit,” but she noted that “what we’re talking about here are groups going to the federal government and asking for a special dispensation from the tax code.”
“Whether it’s on the right or left, we’re not talking about the audit, or power to tax, as an issue,” Reid added. “Should anyone who comes to the IRS get that special dispensation? No. Should they investigate? Yes. The way they did it was a bureaucratic ineptitude.”
“Joy, this is not about bureaucratic ineptitude,” Christie disagreed, “this is about a culture within the Obama administration…”
“Wait a minute,” Reid said as she interrupted the guest. "The IRS is not the Obama administration!"
Christie replied: “That is a flat-out lie! The IRS commissioner is a political appointee by the president.”
After the Republican repeated that sentence several times, Reid went for the jugular when she asked who had appointed the IRS commissioner who oversaw the “culture” that Christie decried.
At that point, Bashir jumped into the argument. “Ron, I accept your assertion. Joy is asking you very politely to answer that question. 'Who appointed the head of the IRS?'”
Christie asnwered that it was Doug Shulman, who was appointed by Presdient Bush to serve as commissioner of internal revenue from March 24, 2008, until his term expired on Nov. 9, 2012.
At that time, President Obama chose Steven Miller to serve in that capacity until the end of his term, which was slated to conclude in June.
“Who appointed Mr. Shulman?” Bashir asked yet again.
“Mr. Shulman was appointed in the previous administration,” Christie said before continuing that the IRS is not independent since the president was able to fire Miller -- or demand his resignation -- at any time.
Of course, this isn't the first time a Democrat laid the blame for a current problem at the feet of a president who has not been in the Oval Office for five years.
When Arianna Huffington was a guest on ABC This Week in June of 2010, she claimed that any problems Obama was having while dealing with the gulf oil leak was caused by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Right now, we have precisely the regulatory system that the Bush-Cheney administration wanted. Full of loopholes, full of cronies and lobbyists filling the very agencies they're supposed to be overseeing the industry.
At that point, conservative columnist and regular panelist on the Sunday morning program George Will asked: “So, it's Bush's fault? Just clear this up.”
“It is absolutely a thousand percent Bush-Cheney's fault,” Huffington replied.
And in March of 2011, a study showed that the mainstream media linked Bush to “skyrocketing” gas prices 15 more times than when the same thing happened when Obama was in the White House.
Sadly, the liberal news networks can't have it both ways. If George W. Bush is to blame for appointing an inadequate person to lead the IRS nearly a decade ago, then Bush should also receive the praise for the tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden since the Republican president laid the groundwork which Mr. Obama inherited and kept largely intact.