I've just finished reading (ok, by "reading" I mean listening on Audible.com while my fat ass drags itself back and forth to my office on my heLAcious SoCal morning and evening commutes) Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein's "It's Even Worse Than It Looks," which came out last year and is a moderate, well-articulated, evenly advocated confirmation by two guys from the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution (not exactly, you know, Occupy Wall Street or the Daily Pravda) of the one fundamental fact everyone who has paid just a nickel's worth of attention to the vaguest of political dialogues knows to be true -- that the Republican Party has taken the bullet train to Crazytown, like, yesterday.  What I found really interesting was one of the suggestions which Mann and Ornstein raise in their book (published last year -- again -- last year) as a way of perhaps de-railing the Batshit Express -- especially in the wake of Citizens United and the influx of massive quantities of cash into the electoral system -- that is, for the IRS to aggressively go after the entities (mostly conservative, according to the conservative Mann and Ornstein) which are abusing the 501(c)(4) rules by creating political entities which don't have to disclose their donors.  Reason being, said Mann and Ornstein last year, conservative organizations were completely abusing the 501(c)(4) non-disclosure rules and engaging in political activities with absolute impunity and in clear violation of the law.

Let me say that again -- and be slow because I barely can contain myself as I think of this -- these guys were suggesting in 2012 that the IRS AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE THE MOSTLY CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS HIDING BEHIND 501(c)(4) DESIGNATIONS.

As Maggie tells Danny Noonan in "Caddyshack," -- Tanks for nutting, Noonan! Or...oops.

Funny thing, turns out the IRS appears to have taken these very well-respected, moderate, political scientists' suggestion and -- HOLY CRAP IT'S A CONSPIRACY.  Specificall, as Mitch McConnell says recently, it part of a "culture of intimidation" by the thuggish (insert Chicago-style phrase here) Obama Administration to silence its poor, victimized conservative political opponents.  

Uh huh.  Let's put aside that McConnell is pulling the Obama Administration's purported role in the IRS' examination of these organizations out of the part of his body which should be encased in tidy-whities.  There's an even more important aspect to McConnell's lame ass comments which everyone seems to be overlooking.  If, in fact, the organizations which the IRS was targeting and examining were primarily engaged in political speech then THEY WERE BREAKING THE LAW, then hell's yeah, they should be targeted.  501(c)(4) organizations are designed to promote the "general welfare" NOT engage in political speech of any sort -- conservative, liberal or today's Republican (ie, loony tunes).  In exchange for promoting the "general welfare," 501(c)(4) organizations get two cool benefits -- one, they don't have to pay taxes, and two, they don't have to disclose where their money is coming from.  That's REALLY nice if you are, say, a giant oligarchy hell bent on bending the political system to your will with tens of millions of dollars worth of swiftboating lies and you don't want folks to know that your last name starts with K and ends with an OCH.  BUT you're not entitled to those sweet benefits if the primary purpose of your organization is to engage in political speech -- you can still spend up the ying yang, you just can't hide behind the 501(c)(4) shell.  You gots to come out and wave at all the pretty people.  Helllooooo.....

So, count me as one of the people who thinks two things.  First, the media is totally missing the point of the IRS focus on 501(c)(4)'s.  The IRS was doing exactly what it should have been doing -- making sure that these organizations were not primarily engaged in political speech but were rather doing what they were supposed to do under the law -- promote the general welfare.  And two, thanks Mitch, for making the point that the IRS was doing exactly what it was supposed to do.  If they really were targeting conservative political speech, then gives those dancing fools another fully paid convention trip to Cleveland, or wherever.  Cause they're just doing their jobs right!

Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 10:55 AM PT: Just cause a couple people asked, and no, I'm not related to these guys or work for their publisher, but here's a link to Amazon to the book I referred to above.  It really is a good read: http://www.amazon.com/...

Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM PT: For anyone else interested, I didn't know this, but my boy Norm Ornstein published an article in The Atlantic last month explicitly addressing this very point:  http://www.theatlantic.com/....  

Originally posted to djayritt on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 05:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by My Old Kentucky Kos and Community Spotlight.

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