Here’s a very revealing item for those interested in understanding the progressive worldview: the Internal Revenue Service has been accused, in addition to its many malfeasances already revealed, of asking people what they pray about. When queried about this in testimony before a congressional committee today, acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller could not bring himself to condemn such an outrageous intrusion into innocent people’s innermost thoughts:

“It pains me to say I can’t speak to that one either. But that’s an —” Miller said.

“You don’t know whether or not that would be an appropriate question to ask an applicant?” Schock interrupted Miller.

“Speaking outside of this case, which I don’t know anything about, it would surprise me that that question was asked,” Miller said.

Note that Miller cannot bring himself simply to say that such a thing would be wrong. Perhaps it did not occur to him. Or if it did, he considered it too dangerous a thing to say. This is the Alice in Wonderland world in which we find ourselves when under rule by socialist-progressive statists.

This incident was just another in a series of appalling revelations of the Obama administration’s IRS targeting harassment against groups and individuals believed to be unfriendly toward the president’s political programs. Like the Benghazi cover-up and the illegal prying into business and personal communications of people employed by the Associated Press (done, according to reports, because the White House was incensed by the timing of an AP story), this record of government intimidation is simply corrupt Chicago politics on a national scale.

The essence of Chicago machine politics is simple: give plenty of taxpayer-extracted gifts to your friends (Wall Street, Hollywood, medical providers, Silicon Valley, auto unions, wind and solar power developers, teachers unions, etc., etc., etc., in the current president’s case) and punish your enemies ruthlessly, with your enemies defined as anyone who stands in the way of your agenda, in any way, regardless of any other considerations such as their innocence of actual wrongdoing.

Thus the IRS’s Chicago-style outrages: “Nice little nonprofit organization you got there, buddy. It would be a shame if . . . something happened to it” . . .

That is statism in a nutshell.