There was a commissioner, Douglas Shulman, who was appointed by the Bush/Cheney administration five years ago, and who was in charge when the agency began treating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status unfairly. It’s unlikely that a Republican deliberately targeted groups on the right for extra scrutiny.
But more to the point, Rubio’s demand is problematic given the fact that Shulman has already resigned, leaving the IRS last November. It’s tough for a guy to fall on his sword after he’s already packed up his stuff and gone home.
So the guy in charge of the IRS when conservative groups say they were unfairly targeted was a Bush appointee, and he’s been gone for six months.
I’d say the Teanuts have been played.
Help me out here, people. Other than massive butthurt and shrill whining, skills which the Tea Party employ with surgical precision, I don’t get what this supposed “scandal” involving the IRS is all about.
Tea Party groups were applying for 501(c)4 status. Political groups can’t be 501(c)4s. They can’t be involved directly in politics, raise money for candidates, launch primary challenges, run for office, etc. But groups calling themselves “Tea Party” and “Patriots” had been in the news for months doing exactly that! So why is it a big deal that the IRS was looking into the activities of groups calling themselves “Tea Party” before granting them non-profit status?
What am I missing here?
Also, many on the left have mentioned the numerous ways the Bush Administration did the same and even worse, without so much as a tear from conservatives or a front page headline from the mainstream media. Remember All Saints Church in Pasadena, California? Following a 2004 anti-war sermon which went viral, the IRS investigated the church for two years and threatened its non-profit status. At the same time, conservative “Patriot pastors” telling their congregations how to vote were ignored.
Remember when the FBI infiltrated anti-war groups as they planned protests ahead of the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis? Probably not — there’s little mention of this in the corporate media.
The FBI improperly targeted Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and two antiwar groups in domestic terrorism investigations between 2001 and 2006, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice said in a report released today.
The IG found there was “little or no basis” for the terror investigations, and that they were “unreasonable and inconsistent with FBI policy.”
At least two of the investigations resulted in innocent people being placed on the domestic terror watch list for years, and one resulted in FBI Director Robert Mueller providing Congress with “inaccurate and misleading information,” according to the report.
Remember the Pentagon’s TALON data base, which targeted anti-war Quakers and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell protestors? Doubtful: most people have probably never heard of it. Outside the lefty press, it got little attention on cable and network news.
Remember back in 2003 when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation took down names of anti-war protestors at an MTSU peace rally? More recently, remember when the FBI targeted Occupy Wall Street?
Imagine the Tea Party hysterics if the FBI put their leaders on the terror watch list. But you don’t see Morning Joe booking the head of PETA to discuss the ways they were targeted; today he did book Newt Gingrich. And the Wall Street Journal is calling this “Nixonian.” Seriously? So you had to wait a little longer for your tax exempt status to clear on account of your politicking. Cry me a damn river, you big babies. Call me when your name is placed on a secret domestic terror watch list.
This is one giant nothingburger, another chance for the Tea Party to whine and call for the fainting couches about how unfair everyone always is to them. Seriously? The media is playing along with this? After ignoring the far worse ways liberal groups have been targeted by different government agencies — including the IRS?
Just further proof that the media is not liberal and its infatuation with all things Tea Party has continued.
You know what I think? I think the news media are desperate for a political scandal. We had so many of them during the Bush years, and then there was Clinton’s blow job and Gennifer Flowers and TravelGate and all the other Clinton-era scandals, phony and otherwise. Obama is just too boring.