This morning, the New York Times reported that at least some of those Tea Party groups the IRS targeted were anything but pure. It noted, “But a close examination of these groups and others reveals an array of election activities that tax experts and former IRS officials said would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review.” For the umpteenth time: the more we know the less there is to the IRS scandal. (The same goes for Benghazi. Of course, it is the opposite for AP associated scandals, but no one cares about that!)
What were these groups doing that might cause the IRS to target them? Just the usual stuff that you would expect Republican groups to do. Also for the umpteenth time: the Tea Party is just the base of the Republican Party. Here are three examples from the Times:
- CVFC’s “biggest expenditure that year was several thousand dollars in radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress.”
- The Wetumpka Tea Party trained people for GOTV efforts for the (as they put it) “defeat of President Barack Obama.”
- The Ohio Liberty Coalition “sent out e-mails to members about Mitt Romney campaign events and organized members to distribute Mr. Romney’s presidential campaign literature.”
Again, I don’t see any problem with this stuff as long as it is understood as common partisan Republican campaign activity. The real problem with all of this is that the Tea Party groups really do think that they are something other than Republicans. Half the Republicans in the House of Representatives self-identify as “Tea Party” and yet the Tea Party thinks it is something removed from the Republican Party. It’s ridiculous.
But most of the coverage of the IRS scandal on the left is all about how this has nothing to do with Obama. I agree: this scandal has nothing to do with the president. Or at least it has nothing more to do with him than it had to do with former IRS head Steven T. Miller. Miller was fired from his post, even though he was not in charge when any of this took place. On the left, the reaction has been a great big yawn. The attitude seems to be, “Well, somebody needed to be fired!” If that’s the case—if accountability doesn’t matter—then why don’t we impeach Obama? I know that he had nothing to do with it, but somebody needed to be fired!
So start with an extremely minor scandal regarding IRS agents being politically incorrect in rightly targeting the tidal wave of 501(c)(4) applications from conservative groups. Add to that a right wing that is hysterical about even a hint of scandal. Finally, add a dash of the spineless left wing that cares more about protecting President Obama than any of the millions of other innocent Americans. And what do you have? The fall of a once great nation.
And the la-hand of the Freeeeee!
And the hoooome, of thhhhhe, braaaave!