David Harsanyi

If, as some argue, a few pencil pushers have the capability to obstruct the right of thousands of Americans to assemble (without being noticed for a year), then the IRS is too vast. If, as others argue, higher-ups surely gave the orders to shut down conservative groups, that tells us the IRS is too easily corruptible -- and too powerful.

It is also impossible to compartmentalize government from politics. Democrats have treated limited-government types not as political opponents or mere ideological adversaries but with a deep moral contempt typically reserved for violent enemies of the state. Those who were targeted were -- as left-wing politicians and pundits have tagged them -- radicals, extremists, nihilists, racists and so on, people who congregate in groups funded by dirty money provided by puppet masters. Why wouldn't the IRS want to investigate these people?

Now, I'm under no misconceptions that America is about to go libertarian. But heightened skepticism toward power is good news. So for those who believe in limited government, this might be the time not only to attack Obama but to argue that abuse of power is the perpetual condition of an activist Washington, not a quirk of the times.

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.