Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tea Party Jihad

(Click on image to enlarge and then trot on back.)

David Horsey has taken another look on the seemingly unending "scandal investigations" by the GOP and has come up with a very interesting word to describe the activity which has essentially brought Congress to a standstill.

Now that more extensive, dispassionate reporting has been done about the "scandal” at the IRS, it is abundantly obvious that what is being called “targeting” of tea party organizations and other conservative groups was the result of bureaucratic confusion, not political conspiracy.

The facts, of course, will not get in the way of this latest Republican jihad against the Obama administration. Republicans will continue to pump up the illusion of scandal for weeks to come and, just as some folks on the right remain convinced that Barack Obama was born in Kenya, those same people will take to their graves the conviction that he and his minions at the IRS plotted to impede the liberties of tea party activists. ...

The shortcut they used in trying to identify groups whose political activities might bar them from getting a tax break was to employ keywords like “tea party” and “patriot” in data searches. As a result, numerous conservative groups got snared for extra scrutiny. But they were not alone. More than 400 organizations of various types got special attention, including two dozen or more liberal groups.

That is not so much a case of targeting as it is an example of casting a wide net to scoop up a variety of politically oriented associations. And it definitely falls far short of a serious scandal. Watergate, this is not. Nor does it have any of the prurient appeal of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. In the end, no one is going to care that a few tax bureaucrats buried by an avalanche of paperwork found a clumsy way to try to dig themselves out.   [Emphasis added]

The reference to "this latest Republican jihad" is almost perfect.  It's only flaw is that it's not really fair to the Islamic sense of jihad, which is a righteous battle.  Still, the Tea Party wing of the GOP probably does see this as a holy war and the rest of the party is only too happy to go along with the wackaloons if it means gains in 2014 and victory in 2016.

The important fact, however, is that while the IRS used shortcuts, not just conservative groups got snagged.  Liberal groups also got audited or at least checked out.  Unfortunately our fearless leader threw a couple of IRS officials under the bus before getting all the facts himself.

Also unfortunate is what all this mucking around in faux scandals is costing the country: money and time that could be better spent on solving real problems.

But, hey!  That would involve buckling down and doing some work that would actually benefit the nation.  We can't be having that, can we?

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