The Favorite Toy

While most conservatives are happy as clams about the emergence of the IRS “scandal” and its convergence with a Benghazi! “scandal” that had been huffing and puffing along for nearly eight months, there is a minority view worth noting for its paranoid nature: the Obama administration deliberately leaked information on IRS scrutiny of tax-exempt organizations in order to distract attention from Benghazi! This POV, unsurprisingly, was articulated by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has mainly been in the news lately in connection with an ethics investigation of her failed 2012 presidential campaign. Here she is in a World News Daily piece by Bob Unruh:

Why would an administration ever confess to such a flagrant misuse of politics and power?

Bachmann, who chairs the House Tea Party caucus, said it’s the Benghazi scandal.

“There’s no doubt this was not a coincidence that they dumped this story today, a Friday dump day,” Bachmann told WND. “This is when they put their negative stories out.”

But she said the looming storm cloud called Benghazi is the “soft underbelly” of the Obama administration and likely will keep Hillary Clinton from fulfilling her dream of occupying the Oval Office.

That would make it logical to release an IRS story that, while embarrassing, also could be cubbyholed as another “conservative” dispute with the White House….

Bachmann said the IRS announcement of misbehavior was intended to provoke conservatives and draw their anger and attention.

“I was in that Benghazi hearing,” she told WND. “I think the Obama administration is desperate to spin Benghazi, and they can’t. I think they saved this story up for a day like today so that conservatives would focus on this admission.”

Bachmann goes on to triumphantly announce that the plot won’t work because conservatives are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. But underneath the bluster is a child whose favorite toy isn’t the pride of the sandbox any more.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.