Voices rise from under the Cincinnati bus
One of the dumbest moves made by Lois Lerner (and those above her who presumably approved her strategy to deflect blame) was blaming her subordinates in Cincinnati as "rogue agents" who launched the anti-tea party jihad the IRS has been carrying on ever since the 2010 midterm elections threatened the Obama agenda.
She may have expected they would remain quiet and accept their role as scapegoats. Perhaps that is how she has operated before in the vast federal bureaucracy, using the threat of poor performance evaluations and truncated career advancement to intimidate subordinates into remaining quiet and covering her rear end. But that approach cannot work when the stakes are high and public scrutiny intense. If you dump on the people below you, there is every reason to expect they will fight back. That backlash appears to have begun.
Eliana Johnson writes in National Review Online:
A Cincinnati-based Internal Revenue Service employee is pushing back against claims by Lois Lerner and other top IRS officials that the agency's Cincinnati office was responsible for the the targeting of tea-party groups and the botched processing of their applications for tax exemption.
Elizabeth Hofacre, who coordinated "emerging issues" cases for the IRS and handled all tea-party applications between April and August 2010, called Lerner's May 10 disclosure of the scandal at a tax-law conference "a nuclear strike" on Cincinnati employees. Hofacre told House Oversight Committee investigators in an interview, the transcript of which has been reviewed by National Review Online, that her boss immediately called her to apologize on Lerner's behalf, presumably because "she was flabbergasted that Lois had made such a statement" and "appalled that Lois Lerner said that."
Now that Congress is involved and wields subpoena power, it will be difficult for Lerner and those whom she serves to tough out the controversy and deny, deflect, and distract - the normal tactics of the Obama Gang. Perhaps their inner conviction that they serve the interests of the little guy through their leftist ideology has blinded them to the reality that those little guys have a strong personal sense of where their own interests lie. They are not willing to become eggs that have to be broken open to make the leftist omelet.
Stay tuned to the Cincinnati office of the IRS. The underside of the bus is not somewhere the little guys want to remain. As scapegoats, they have nothing to lose in speaking up.
Hat tip: Lucianne.com