It is quite disheartening to watch this IRS scandal unfold. We see the defense by the government taking shape. Depending on where you sit in the executive branch effects the given excuse. Let’s start at the at the lowest level and work our way up. The NYTimes wrote a good article basically laying out the ineptitude defense. Let us assume that this defense holds true and it was just some bumbling employees in Cincinnati that somehow don’t realize that targeting groups based on their ideology is wrong. (Of course it could go up to the top, but we don’t know yet.)
At a minimum we have to hire better people. If these units are staffed by incompetents then they need to be dismissed. Also, it is obvious that there is no managerial control. A group can target an ideology for years, through an election, and nobody puts a halt to it.
Furthermore, if this defense works then we have a larger problem. We have a giant unaccountable bureaucracy. We see that the bureaucracy can violate your rights. They can target you based on ideology. When this happens the Presidents claims that he is not responsible because the IRS is independent. I understand the independence was created due to political interference, but it also rids the executive of accountability for its own agencies.
We have three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. Apparently our government has created a fourth branch: bureaucracy. It is not accountable to anyone. The President has the temerity to defend his white house by stating that he had no idea until the newspapers reported the story. Our Constitution set up not just a system of government but a system of accountability. It was open and honest so the people could make informed decisions on whom they wanted to elect. These giant bureaucracies, the IRS is just one of them, threaten our freedoms.
Also, as a side note, everybody says the President is angry and looking to make sure this does not happen again. How can he say that when he could not stop the first one? Remember, he was allegedly a bystander by law.