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The thing to remember about the Tea Party/IRS Fauxtrage is that nobody was persecuted, as all the whiny babies of the reactionary right pretend to believe.  They were perhaps (it’s still early to tell) inconvenienced, or at worst discriminated against – doubtless the first actual discrimination the average Tea Partier has ever experienced.  Discrimination is wrong, and should result in disciplinary action against its perpetrators.  But it seems that no group was denied their tax-exempt status (however appropriate such a denial usually was), though they may have been hassled a little extra in pursuit of it.  

Again, discrimination isn’t right, but on this level it’s hardly persecution, and it may not even be injustice.  Remember, we ask officials to make discriminations all the time; customs officials must play their hunches and look for subtle tipoffs, and nobody lets the smugglers off because the non-sweaty/nervous are not subjected to the same scrutiny.  When you apply to the tax people for a privilege under a branding that rather obviously suggests you intend to game the system in a blatant way, you should expect to receive extra skepticism.  Announcing a  “Taxed Enough Already” affiliation with your claim of social service is rather like coming into the customs gate with a marijuana leaf on your t-shirt.      

I wonder, if these redneck groups go to litigate against the IRS, will they then expose themselves  to scrutiny?  Mightn’t the government lawyers ask the plaintiffs, ‘Just what, besides politicking does your group do, in the way of social interest, that makes your claim of tax-exemption something other than fraudulent?’  I suppose though, that there must be some perversity in American law that will make one’s actual deserving irrelevant to the proper scrutiny of one’s claim.

We shouldn’t buy the idea that in a perfectly fair world right-wing claims would be afforded the same treatment as all others.  Virtually everyone who lines up on the right is actively hostile to scientific and historical truth, and to rational processes for deriving the truth.  They are plainly and proudly truth-averse.  To Republicans truth is not a value it is an ingredient (to be used very sparingly like saffron in bouillabaisse) to their make bullshit easier to swallow. This is abundantly demonstrable in the shifting and self-contradictory discourse of virtually every figure on the right.  Right wingers, in a non PC world, are rightly subjected to more skepticism.  A rational person is daft to take any of them at their word (though our President, much to his shame, apparently does) so why should any bureaucrat?  But question the non-partisanship of announced partisans?  To those on the right that’s jackbooted thuggery. They want affirmative action for liars.

Finally, lest anybody on our side get too incensed at the evil gnomes of the IRS, let’s focus on what real persecution looks like.  It looks like active investigation, prosecution and imprisonment of your political opponents, and under George Bush the “Justice” Department was very nearly reduced to a dirty tricks agency for doing just that.  It looks like a sitting Alabama Governor run out of office and into prison by Karl Rove, a corrupt judge, corrupt cops, prosecutors, witnesses, and jurors.  Now that’s persecution.  Maybe if Holder and Obama had taken an interest in these matters, instead of just looking forward and not back, the American people would today have a better notion of what real corruption is.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, thestructureguy

      This is a little embarrassing.

    •  Victims? (0+ / 0-)

      While I will readily concede that the people at the IRS who apparently did all this have royally, counterproductively fucked up, and (when measured against ideal practices) it seems they have perpetrated an injustice, which, should their example be generalized would undoubtedly lead to atrocity and disaster, I'm afraid I have a really hard time seeing "victims" per se here. Nobody had their appliaction denied, regardless of its legitimacy, so on a 1 to 10 scale of victimhood (10 being the worst) the Tea Partiers are about an .00001. When somebody can point me to even one of these groups that actually has its tax exemption legitimately I might be tempted to remove a zero from this estimate.

      Think of the millions of victims of the Bush presidency, and what their victimhood consisted of before you waste any concern whatsoever on the fans of that presidency.

      Sometimes I wonder about the Left.  We argue the infield fly rule while they rob the box office.


      •  Alrighty then, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward, VClib

        henceforth all Muslim applicants must divulge the contents of their prayers, in detail, as some conservative groups were instructed to do by the IRS, and all progressive applicants must sign pledges to not picket or protest, as other conservative groups were told.  That's totally fair, right?  These details make no difference as long as your group's application is ultimately approved, correct?  

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:43:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh my! (0+ / 0-)

          That sounds dire.  Also dubious.  But even if true, I doubt that anybody participating in these frauds was much discomfitted by the issuing of more lies.  

          And, agreed, all things being equal, the scrutniny should be equal -- but if you don't want the government meddling in your business, don't ask to do it on the people's dime.

          If it were up to me the government wouldn't ask anybody about prayers, because it wouldn't issue tax exemptions on the basis of preferred superstition.  

  •  Pretty good rationalization. All most makes you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, VClib

    think they deserved being selected for treatment based on their politics.  I've got no problem with a high level of scrutiny for these particular type of organizations as long as all of them get the same level.

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:55:57 AM PDT

  •  bottom line it is the function of the IRS to grant (0+ / 0-)

    501C status to various organizations and these organizations have to jump through certain hoops in order to retain the advantage of being a nonprofit.  Are the hoops too onerous?  Then go as a for profit.

    TP types got hit by the IRS due to the sudden proliferation of 501C4s following United Citizen among these RW groups and some of these groups were admittedly formed to launder money to RW causes while others were naked attempts to scam the masses.

    Now if the IRS were to overlook these new 501Cs and not weed out the obvious bad actors, then we would hear the GOP screaming about the IRS not doing its job

  •  Kalkaino - your diary is an embarassment (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, Victor Ward, Neuroptimalian

    Right wing groups must be treated like any other 501 c applicant. Reading Adam's FP post on this would be informative for you.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:41:35 AM PDT

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