The IRS scandal has shocked decent Americans, of every political stripe, to their core. Did the President know about this specific wrongdoing? Hopefully, we’ll soon find out. But Kimberly Strassel is right when she says that the IRS officials — now disgraced before their fellow citizens — were actually only following the orders that came, publicly, from the top.

Mr. Obama didn’t need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he’d like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.

Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do.