Similarly, we learn that Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) specifically asked the IRS to investigate conservative groups in 2010, which led to terrible harassment. Yet, the president has not encouraged his Democratic colleagues to better discipline their more visceral political instincts.

Over and over again, the president has demonstrated by word and action an attitude of whatever it takes to move forward his progressive agenda. In the federal agencies and on Capitol Hill, this cultivates impatience and disregard for thoughtful people who have honest disagreements with him and their constitutional rights.

Now his second term agenda is threatened by growing distrust and lack of confidence in the honesty and fundamental integrity of his administration and with more than three years remaining, that is a terribly dangerous brew.

Any good CEO would root out the abuses at the IRS, Justice and elsewhere, put in place reasonable standards of performance and expectations for the use of managerial discretion, and establish mechanisms to both evaluate managers' performance and insulate them from inappropriate outside interference -- for the IRS, the likes of Senator Durbin.

To win back the confidence of all Americans, the president must forthrightly take responsibility for government agency missteps and abuses, and explain what he is doing to fix them -- this is no time to lead from behind.

Instead the president continues to treat the multiplying crises and escalating concerns about his leadership as a political game -- this to the great peril of our liberties, security and ultimately the legitimacy of our Republic.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.

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