Of course it’s unacceptable for the IRS to place extra scrutiny on the tax-exempt status of conservative groups like the Tea Party.
We want the IRS to be impartial, and they should never be targeting anyone based on their politics.
But maybe the IRS had good reason to worry about the legitimacy of this new not-really-a-party party called the Tea Party.
Everyone, once in a while, harbors bad thoughts in the corner of their mind that are undoubtedly wrong/absurd/unserious, and would never be brought up in polite conversation. We have our beliefs, but then we have these uncomfortable inklings that keep nagging at us, even though we “know” they must be wrong.
Louis C.K. calls the dichotomy between the two competing thoughts: “Of course, but maybe.”
When I heard that the IRS had been singling out conservative Tea Party groups that had applied for 501 (c)(4) status, placing them under increased scrutiny based on their ideological affiliation, I couldn’t help but think: Of course that’s wrong, but maybe the Tea Party does come off a bit shady.
Maybe these are the same people who think that “it’s really American to avoid taxes”. So it’s understandable why the tax authority might have some concerns, if they took the organizations at their word.
And maybe these are the same groups that use the term “non-partisan” as a facade for advancing Republican candidates under the guise of neutral patriotism. Groups that operated under the unified leadership of Newt Gingrich’s deputy Dick Armey, which would make the Tea Party’s very existence a form of political “subterfuge,” which might understandably make federal regulators at least suspicious.
And thus, maybe groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their name really are more likely to be stretching, or abusing, their 501 (c)(4) status, and since they’re coordinated through a central GOP authority any abuse could potentially be systemic.
And maybe when these groups apply to not only be exempt from paying taxes, but exempt from having to disclose their donors as well, they should be placed under increased scrutiny since the very reason for their existence is to undermine government and the rule of law.
And maybe, when you come to think of it, a lot of these Tea Party types are a few stars short of the original 13, if you know what I mean. Maybe a lot of these guys are racists. And they act in a way, that under a Republican President, might just win you a one-way ticket to Gitmo if your face were brown.
Here’s a bit more from Tea Party supporters, giving us their wisdom about President Obama:
“His aspiration is to socialize the U.S., though he’d probably settle for remaking it in Europe’s image in the short term,” wrote stratman1. “That’s why he doesn’t resonate with many of us.”
“Obama is a Marxist and he wants the US to be a Marxist state just like his real home Kenya is becoming. He is a Manchurian candidate,” scribbled stephenlubinsbcglobalnet. “No-one knows where he was born, who his parents are, or anything else about him. But we do know he is a Marxist who is destroying this coutnry.[sic]”
“NoBama hates this country and everything for which it stands,” noted PhanMan69. “He is ashamed and apologizes for the leadership that the US has provided the world. He does not believe that America is exceptional and is doing his best to grind what’s left into the ground…No President of mine takes the oath of office and then shreds the Constitution that he swore to defend.”
So, I think the Republicans are right.
Of course it was wrong for the IRS to investigate the Tea Party.
But maybe it should have been Homeland Security instead.