The Sunday talk shows are again going on about the IRS tax-exempt question. Neither the Democrats nor Republicans are arguing against the accusation of bias. However, neither makes a clear claim of violation of a specific law. Both sides say it's unacceptable - whether or not it is actually illegal. That is a significant distinction I will get to in a moment.
Let us review. It was the IRS's duty to distinguish between organization which qualified for tax-exempt status and those which did not. The question is whether when the IRS did this it was done in a politically selective way rather than equally for all. Tax-exempt status can be beneficial for non-profit groups that meet the criteria. Humanitarians would prefer that real charities and similar groups not be taxable. Still, it's not a basic democratic right.
What is a basic democratic right? Voting is about as basic as you can get. How much good would it do to be able to say whatever you wanted, but have no say in the government? In 2012, Florida selectively purged its voter rolls - in a manner which was biased against groups which are more likely to vote Democratic. Florida claimed to have reason to think the people were ineligible to vote, but did not present evidence - then many of those people proved Florida wrong by showing they were eligible.
Also in 2012, various Republican states used various attempts to make being able to vote more difficult, to discourage minorities, to discourage certain communities with hours-long waiting lines at some voting sites. In the 2012 election, if you add up all the votes for every Congressional district you'd find Democrats got 51% of the votes for House seats. Yet, Republicans took a majority of the seats because of gerrymandering.
What is more important - the lessening of our democracy and the misrepresentation of our voters' will - or selective verification of some groups' tax-exempt status?
OK. Gerrymandering may not be illegal. Selectively purging voter rolls may not be illegal. Selectively discouraging voters may not be illegal. The various ways to weaken democracy may not be illegal. But illegal may not be the issue with the IRS either. Which is more important? The Democrats and media are essentially silent on these questions. Why aren't we hearing about this also?