The populists movements, of all sorts, are generally opponents to the government component. Even if they don’t win elections, they will educate and ultimately they will make an intellectual threat to the status quo. All this, in time, could reap a harvest; a harvest of fundamental restoration of a more diverse Federalism. This is not good news for those who believe in an all-encompassing central government.
The intellectual war is underway. The Tea Party, for one, has rightly recognized that the advocates for this powerful central government come from the corporate world, the academic, as well as the halls of Congress.
The IRS employee attitudes might be more common than many might think or want to admit. The IRS employees, top to bottom, certainly discern a threat ! That does not have to come through a chain of command. That may explain, partly, why the Senator became irate, by the “lying by omission” charge against the former head of the agency.