This Is What Passes For A Scandal?



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.

Or what about this one:

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.


Filed under FBI, Media, taxes, Tea Party

10 responses to “This Is What Passes For A Scandal?

  1. Joe

    A friend of Mom posted this on FB this morning:

    There were 298, 501c4 applications pulled for further scrutiny by the IRS. Of those, 96 were conservative groups. That means the majority (202) were not conservative groups. Since 501c4 groups are supposed to be issue based, all have a stance on some issue or another. But electoral work cannot be their primary activity (they can participate in electoral activity, but that can’t be all they do). That being said, if one looks at most Tea Party websites, they say that is their focus. Follow up questions, then seem reasonable to me.

    • So around one-third were conservative groups. Two-thirds were not.

      Republican math. They always think one-third is the majority.

      • deep

        So it all goes back to what the director of that division said. There was nothing technically wrong, but since there was a larger number of tea party groups that year they *should have known* that any action might have seemed political and handled the situation more carefully.

      • “This is a republic, not a democracy.”

  2. democommie

    “The IG found there was “little or no basis” for the terror investigations, and that they were “unreasonable and inconsistent with (the) FBI (‘s publically stated) policy. It is totes consistent with their actual policy.”

    There, ftfy.

    Also, too, Senaturd McStain ( Pissed off asshole-AZ) was on yesterday saying that he WILL get to the bottom of the “Benghazi Coverup”. Fucking toad.

  3. Isn’t whining de rigeur for the tea party? Seriously, it seems redundant to say “Tea Party whining” since that pretty much covers most of their behaviour.

  4. The IRS was doing its job. they put a red flag on so many Tea Party applications for tax exemptions….. they are supposed to be for social welfare, and thus, legally exempted, but IRS personnel knew they weren’t….. My God, the Republicans are really evil. If these tea Party organizations get a free pass, we taxpayers inadvertently get to subsidize these groups…. groups whose funds are completely anonymous.

  5. democommie

    My local morning radio show had this in their “big stories” category this AM.

    As I expected they would do, they concentrated on the IRS being anti-conservative.

    • According to my Twitter machine, the NAACP was also targeted at some point, but I haven’t followed up to see if that’s recent or historic.

      Whatever. Media can’t be bothered to look into lies that brought the world to war and we’ve all forgotten about how the Bush Administration politicized the DoJ but BENGHAZI ZOMG and OH THE POOR TEA PARTY. Pfft. I’ve stopped watching the news at this point.

  6. Mary Wilson

    EVERY ONE of these so-called ‘scandals’ is just a huge cover-up of the total hatred of our President. They are doing NOTHING for our country, and they want to force President Obama to “fail”. McConnell has no REAL opponent, so he will be re-elected to continue this moral outrage, trying to smear and insult and lie about President Obama. The GOP is encouraging their right wing shills on FOX to defame and insult the President’s family, his beautiful, caring wife and daughters. I distinctly remember true stories of the ‘Bush daughters drunk at clubs and parties, secret photos taken’ and then the reporters fired over trying to show the truth.
    And the billionaires, the sicko perps like the Kochs will keep on wasting billions, hiding money in ‘offshore accounts’ that the IRS cannot touch. That is the hippo-cracy of this bunch of evil fools.