Although all the facts have yet to come to light, the recent scandal in Washington related to the wrongful targeting of conservative groups by Internal Revenue Service officials appears to be just that: a scandal. Every American should be outraged anytime the people in power abuse the system to target any group or individual because of their beliefs. It is an offensive assault on core constitutional rights anytime such an event occurs. President Obama needs to get to the bottom of this ASAP and punish all who are responsible.
Unfortunately, such occurrences are not new in the United States. They occurred when the George W. Bush administration wrongfully targeted liberal groups (click here and here to read about some examples) AND they occur every time politicians in power draw absurdly gerrymandered political maps to punish their opponents and deny voters the opportunity to participate in real elections. This latter phenomenon, of course, is something that Democrats engaged in for decades in North Carolina and that Republicans have taken to new and unprecedented extremes in recent years.
Now, is the time for all such abuses of power to stop. That’s why all parties need to get on board in Washington for immediate and genuine reforms to prevent future IRS abuses and it is also why all parties in North Carolina need to get on board in support of legislation that would establish a nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw the maps for all congressional and state legislative districts.
One simply can’t criticize the wrongful and discriminatory acts of the IRS and then turn around, as some conservatives have done recently, and defend the preservation of gerrymandered and discriminatory electoral maps.
Let’s hope the recent events serve to spur a new birth of reforms (and a reduction in political hypocrisy) at both the state and national level.