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July 31 2014

The Lerner Emails: Speaking of Hatin'

Charlotte Hays

As you likely know already, some of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s emails have come to light. If these found emails are any indication of what’s in the “lost” emails, I can see why Ms. Lerner was tempted to “lose” as many of her emails as possible.

The Lerner emails, included in a criminal referral letter from Rep. Dave Camp (also here) of Ms. Lerner to the Justice Department, are doozies. Our former employee, Ms. Lerner, didn’t much like those of us who are conservative in our politics. And--by golly--she didn’t mince words. Camp wrote in the referral letter:

A newly discovered email exchange from Ms. Lerner’s official IRS email account, dated November 9, 2012, directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as “---holes.”   Lerner further illustrates her disgust with conservatives, even suggesting they will ruin the country.  In her email, Lerner states: “So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists. (sic) It's our own crazies that will take us down.”  This email shows that Ms. Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives.  

Fox has an article with snippets from the Lerner emails:

In the email exchange, Lerner appears to be chatting with another unidentified individual about a vacation in Great Britain. She describes how she overheard “some ladies” talking about how America is “going down the tubes.”

The person she tells this to responds that “you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.”

Lerner responds: “Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many ---holes.”

Ms. Lerner is also  something of a snob, though not a very literate one. For example, she mentions an “Edwardian English village” with big houses  “which have been ruined by letting the hoi paloi live there!”

Lo, hon, it’s hoi polloi (Greek for “these many”), and strictly speaking you don’t need a “the” as hoi is the article. But ill-informed snoots have been a staple of comedy since literature began. And you have to love that "letting" hoi polloi live there. Does Ms. Lerner not recognize that people are (still) free to buy houses and live in them?

Lerner has every right to her comical opinions, but she doesn’t have a right to inject those opinions into IRS policy. It is also disheartening that her opinions are based on ignorance. Maybe she should actually listen to some talk radio?  

I have a liberal friend who talks constantly about how Rush Limbaugh “spews hate.” She has never listened to Limbaugh. Like my friend, Ms. Lerner appears that she may be one of those low information voters whose ignorance made them particularly susceptible to President Obama’s class warfare rhetoric.

The emails aren’t necessary to build the case that the IRS targeted conservative groups--and, indeed, I don't think they make the case. (Paul Mirengoff points out on Power Line that the numerical discrepancy between how liberal and conservative applications were treated tells that story.) But I think they will have an effect on public opinion.

Although the emails are not evidence of any criminal wrongdoing, I suspect they might turn out to be important--if (big if) the emails make it into the mainstream media.

Richard’s Nixon’s cursing on the Watergate tapes had a profound effect on the public’s view of Nixon. It’s not illegal to curse in the Oval Office (though Nixon did other things there that were illegal), but the tapes showed an ugly side of President Nixon. Likewise, these emails provide a devastating look at the real Lois Lerner. Never mind that a lot of our employees in the bureaucracy think just as she does—it’s ugly and the public knows that.

The possible public revulsion will not, however, likely be enough to persuade the Eric Holder Justice Department to take action regarding Ms. Lerner.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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