Last time I discussed the IRS targeting of Tea Party related groups, I wrote, What If There Was No IRS Scandal? I was especially interested in a comment made by Holly Paz that “tea party” was a generic term for obviously partisan political groups who were trying to get non-profit and non-disclosure statuses. The issue matters to me because I hate the recent rise in the injustices done to people in the political world simply because no one can take the time to figure out what is going on before firing people. We saw this with ACORN and Shirley Sherrod and at the beginning of the IRS scandal with Steven T. Miller.
Today, the Associated Press reported a bombshell: Documents Show IRS Also Screened Liberal Groups. There is no scandal here, not even a little internal IRS scandal:
So now what? From my perspective, this is yet another example of our completely dysfunctional political system. We see the same process repeated over and over again. Republicans claim there is some terrible scandal. Democrats freak out, sacrificing their own in the name of limiting the damage. When all the facts come out, there is no scandal. But much damage has been done. The Republicans have flayed the Democrats for months in the media. It doesn’t matter that it all comes to naught; a bad impression is left. What’s more, Democratic allies have been sacrificed, which is not good for morale. Also, it makes related liberal groups far less likely to back Democrats in the future. Can you say Al Gore? And finally, the Republicans pay absolutely no political price for their actions, mostly because the Democrats just drop the issue because they’re so glad it is all over. And the media have nothing to cover other than their own incompetence.
I don’t blame the Republicans. They are doing a great job in getting what they want. I blame the Democrats for doing everything they can to help the Republicans. And I blame the media for treating every Republican scandal like it was something other than yet another power grab. These are our real problems. The Democrats need to grow a soul and the media need to grow a brain. I’m not expecting either.