"The apportionment of taxes...is an act which seems to require the most exact impartiality; yet there is, perhaps, no legislative act in which greater opportunity and temptation are given to a predominant party to trample on the rules of justice."
James Madison, The Federalist No.10, 1787
“The power to tax involves the power to destroy...”
John Marshall, McCulloch vs. Maryland, 1819
Systematic political abuse by the IRS doesn't dominate the headlines any more, having been replaced by gay marriage, "immigration reform," Edward Snowden's depredations and Russia, China and Ecuador (!?!) laughing in our faces over them, the George Zimmerman trial....It seems as though the working memory of the American public can only handle so many crises, scandals and miscarriages of justice at one time. Thank goodness there's no new Kardashian Krisis to suck up bandwidth.
Leaving the hapless Zimmerman aside, there's really only one issue: the monstrous intrusiveness of the Federal Government into the lives of its citizens, a degree of intrusion that would have astonished Orwell and sent the Founding Fathers scrambling for their muskets. Somewhere, George III is laughing.
Despite the obvious metaphor, it's not time for muskets, and with luck may never be. We're not yet dealing with what in 1775 amounted to a foreign power, nor yet a hereditary monarchy. A "...decent respect to the opinions of mankind..." as well as simple morality requires us to act peacefully as long as humanly possible. Otherwise we might as well be the Tsarnaev brothers, or William Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn, that fun couple from the 60's.
Peaceful action, however, doesn't mean waiting on politicians to solve our problems. If history shows us anything, it's that we can depend neither on their courage nor their competence. What, then? Peaceful mass demonstrations are all very well, but won't inspire Obama, Holder, or any of their minions to reform or resign. Big public meetings do give the NSA a chance to use their facial-recognition technology, though, and add a line or two to everyone's file.
What, then? Let's start by remembering that despite all the buck-passing and obfuscation, oppression is carried out by people. Sure, they work for giant bureaucracies, but they're individually responsible for their actions. They can claim to have been "following orders" (or policies, which are just vague orders), but that excuse didn't fly in 1945 and won't now.
Who are these people? At the IRS there's Lois Lerner, who refused to testify before Congress, claiming her 5th Amendment right. There are Daniel Werfel and Douglas Shulman, masters of the Sergeant Schultz defense--- "I see nothing–NOTHING!" Then there are the unnamed IRS agents who actually carried out the harassment. There is no reason why the home addresses, telephone numbers and photographs of these people shouldn't be made public, just as the personal information of concealed-weapons permit holders has been. Google Earth photos of their homes would be nice, too.
I would never suggest that these people be threatened or harmed in any way. SEIU thugs, Muslim terrorists, neo-Nazis and other scum do that. But several people picketing their homes to identify them and their crimes against the Constitution might have a salutary effect.
Letters (remember them?) and emails politely but firmly condemning their actions and expressing disappointment in their characters could also be effective. Remember, no insults, no invective, no vandalism, certainly no interference with their families in any way. We're not Occupiers and should demonstrate what we preach, respect for individual rights.
What's the goal? One, keeping Constitutional issues in the public consciousness. Two, reminding bureaucrats that they can and will be held individually responsible for their actions. Three, motivating others to refuse illegal orders and resist oppressive policies. You never know---it might catch on.
Happy 4th Jack, I am not sure even shaming these folks will accomplish much. The few bureaucrats that I have interacted are so insulated in there little world that shaming them would have little effect. But you are right if enough rumbling can keep this issue live during an election cycle. But for the bureaucrats themselves they are way to comfortable in the invisible mass of the government.ReplyDelete