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The Republican Party needs to pour themselves a stiff drink and contemplate how it came to be that Rand Paul, unaccomplished scion of a man the old party hands tried their level best to ignore, became one of the big party names and a leader of whatever-the-hell-passes-for-a-movement-these-days.
Sen. Rand Paul claimed Sunday there was a "written policy" floating around the agency that said IRS officials were "targeting people who were opposed to the president."
"And when that comes forward, we need to know who wrote the policy and who approved the policy," the Republican senator from Kentucky said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Except that he apparently pulled this particular memo from deep inside his own colon, because he doesn't actually know if the "written policy" he's talking about really even exists:
Pressed for more precise details about the memo he was referring to, Paul said he hasn't seen such a policy statement but has heard about it.
"Well, we keep hearing the reports and we have several specifically worded items saying who was being targeted. In fact, one of the bullet points says those who are critical of the president. So I don't know if that comes from a policy, but that's what's being reported in the press and reported orally," he told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley. "I haven't seen a policy statement, but I think we need to see that."
Unless Paul is privy to a Magic Memo that the rest of us haven't seen (and he says he himself hasn't seen, thus complicating things further), he seems to be misrepresenting things at best: What bullet point we do know of was to focus on nonprofit applications critical of the government, not the president—and again, the apparent goal was to filter out primarily political groups in an application process that was supposed to specifically disqualify, by law, political groups. The "scandal" part of the "scandal" would be that certain groups were targeted by name, e.g. "Tea Party", which would focus on one certain narrow part of the political spectrum. That apparently political groups were targeted for extra scrutiny when seeking nonprofit status, however, is exactly what was supposed to happen—or what was supposed to happen if we still had any pretense that our election law wasn't caught somewhere between ineptitude and outright crookedness.
Part of the problem Republicans have in their efforts to tar the administration with various scandals is that they're such shameless fabricators they can't even hold together their own narratives. By the time they've gone through their various iterations of the old "telephone" game, nobody can quite figure out what they're going on about, much less how much of it is real and how much of it is people like Darrell Issa and Rand Paul and Peggy Noonan just making things up.
Originally posted to Hunter on Mon May 20, 2013 at 03:25 PM PDT.