One argument put forth by conservatives–and even some liberals–regarding the IRS scandal was this:
Obama set a tone that encouraged IRS workers to harass conservative and Tea Party groups. He didn’t have to give a direct order. His tone and statements clearly condoned such criminal behavior toward his political enemies.
Kimberly Strassel at WSJ.com:
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.