Catherine Engelbrecht used “weaponizing of government” to describe what she perceives as a federal campaign against her. Is it the latest blast of fevered rhetoric, or does she have a case?
Catherine and her husband Bryan were largely apolitical people who ran a small manufacturing business in Rosenberg, Texas. Over two decades the couple incurred nothing more than routine contact with government. Then in 2008 Catherine volunteered at the polls and saw cases of fraud and abuse she thought should have been exposed but weren’t. That prompted her to become more involved in the political process.
Catherine founded the King Street Patriots, a community group hosting discussions on personal and economic freedoms. She also founded True the Vote, which aimed to prevent voter fraud. Suddenly the federal government became more interested in Catherine Engelbrecht. As she recently testified, federal agencies such as the IRS, FBI, ATF and OSHA subjected her business, nonprofit organizations and family to more than 15 cases of audits and inquiries. OSHA imposed heavy fines. Even the Texas branch of the EPA paid a visit. A ballpark figure for the chances of all this being coincidental is zero.
Federal agencies are supposed to serve the taxpayers. Engelbrecht’s ordeal is evidence that federal agencies have indeed been weaponized and targeted against critics of the current administration, advocates of limited government, and even those dedicated to the integrity of the political process. And the President of the United States finds “not a smidgeon” of corruption in any of it, despite several ongoing investigations, one of them headed by an IRS trial lawyer who is a donor to the president. So that inquiry will doubtless find no corruption, even though other IRS bosses have already pleaded the Fifth Amendment.
Catherine Engelbrecht makes a strong case that government has indeed been weaponized but that doesn’t quite capture the whole reality. As this column confirms, the federal government has also institutionalized waste, fraud and abuse, to the point that reform is practically impossible. Victims in particular and taxpayers in general may be forgiven for seeing it all as part of an ongoing American Counterrevolution.