The hallmark of the Obama administration is the willingness to harness the coercive power of the regulatory state to the political desires of the administration. If you cheer for them, you are rewarded. If you remain silent you may be allowed to remain unmolested for the time being. If you oppose them in any way you are liable to feel the full force of their boot on your neck.
The IRS has been turned into the enforcement arm of the Democrat party. It has harassed conservative organizations, conservatives and conservative organizations have found their confidential information suddenly in the hands of their enemies, routine actions, like granting tax exempt status, have dragged on for years.
In 2011, the Gibson Guitar Corporation was raided by federal agents on totally specious charges:
On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. One of the top makers of acoustic and electric guitars, including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952, Gibson was accused of using wood illegally obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws.
In one raid, the feds hauled away ebony fingerboards, alleging they violated Madagascar law. Gibson responded by obtaining the sworn word of the African island’s government that no law had been broken.
In another raid, the feds found materials imported from India, claiming they too moved across the globe in violation of Indian law. Gibson’s response was that the feds had simply misinterpreted Indian law.
Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood,” which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?
Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. Recent donations have included $2,000 to [mc_name name=’Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B001243′ ], R-Tenn., and $1,500 to [mc_name name=’Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’A000360′ ], R-Tenn.
By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles.
You cheer them and you are rewarded. You oppose them and you are punished.
Now the feds are after the founders of Hobby Lobby, the Green family, over the importation of “cultural heritage” from Iraq.
In 2011, a shipment of somewhere between 200 to 300 small clay tablets on their way to Oklahoma City from Israel was seized by U.S. Customs agents in Memphis. The tablets were inscribed in cuneiform—the script of ancient Assyria and Babylonia, present-day Iraq—and were thousands of years old. Their destination was the compound of the Hobby Lobby corporation, which became famous last year for winning a landmark Supreme Court case on religious freedom and government mandates. A senior law enforcement source with extensive knowledge of antiquities smuggling confirmed that these ancient artifacts had been purchased and were being imported by the deeply-religious owners of the crafting giant, the Green family of Oklahoma City. For the last four years, law enforcement sources tell The Daily Beast, the Greens have been under federal investigation for the illicit importation of cultural heritage from Iraq.
These tablets, like the other 40,000 or so ancient artifacts owned by the Green family, were destined for the Museum of the Bible, the giant new museum funded by the Greens, slated to open in Washington, D.C., in 2017. Both the seizure of the cuneiform tablets and the subsequent federal investigation were confirmed to us by Cary Summers, the president of the Museum of the Bible.
This is the kind of thing, like with Gibson Guitars, could have been handled by any number of means short of an literal federal investigation. But, because of the profile of the Green family and their political and religious beliefs, they will be investigated and, undoubtedly, prosecuted. Where Lois Lerner, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder, and any number of other prominent felons continue to prosper.