Sen. Marco Rubio sent out a letter this Monday, calling for the IRS commissioner to resign in the wake of the latest dust up over the agency's admission that there were some conservative groups targeted by the branch in Cincinnati. The problem with his request -- the IRS commissioner when these scandals occurred was a Bush appointee who no longer heads the department:
Commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, who was appointed by President Bush in 2008 and held by President Obama, left the agency in Nov. 9, 2012. Any pre-election misconduct would have had to occur on his watch. The current acting commissioner is Steven T. Miller -- a permanent replacement has not been nominated.
When TPM originally posted their report on this, they had not heard back from Rubio's office. As they noted in their update, here's their response:
In response to TPM's query, Rubio's spokesman Alex Conant noted that Miller was deputy commissioner when the targeting took place. He did not suggest the IRS acted inappropriately under Miller's watch as acting commissioner.
"He was Deputy IRS Commissioner when all this occurred," Conant said in an email.
So after someone pointed out to them that it was a Bushie that was in charge when these supposed abuses took place, now he wants the acting-director fired, even though the practice was not continued under their watch. Chris Jansing couldn't be bothered to point that out in the clip above, where she basically just read Rubio's letter with no context.
Some saner coverage of the topic aired a little later on the network, with both Joy Reid and Katrina vanden Heuvel doing a fine job of trying to put this story into its proper perspective and with Reid making sure the audience knew just who Rubio was initially calling to have fired -- someone who no longer works for the agency. Vanden Heuvel made some very good points about the fact that all of these groups ought to be getting a lot more scrutiny after the flood of them that came in after the Citizens United ruling.
In the meantime, all this is going to be is an excuse for more Obama derangement syndrome out of Republicans -- which is in full force already -- and more partisan witch hunts in the form of more hearings from Darrell Issa.
Video and Rubio's letter below the fold.