Skip to main content

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) (R), speaks with Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) at Capitol Hill in Washington June 20, 2012. The House Oversight and Government Operations Committee is conside
Politico's latest piece of IQ-sapping analysis and reporting begins like this:
It was supposed to be an easy win: The most loathed federal agency engaged in what amounted to discrimination against tea party-backed nonprofits.

But 10 months out from the first IRS scandal headline, some Republicans are unhappy with their party’s investigation — and they point a finger at the man who helped sustain the national uproar: Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)

First things first: The notion that the IRS exclusively targeted tea party groups has been debunked time and again. Far from a political witch hunt, the IRS was merely doing what Congress requires it do: Review applications from political groups seeking taxpayer subsidies in the form of non-profit status. The fact that there were a lot of tea party groups seeking such status in 2010 does not a scandal make.

Second, while it's true that the IRS is one of the least popular government agencies, it's not necessarily the most unpopular. According to Pew, that honor goes to the Department of Education. Plus, as Pew notes, the IRS is still vastly more popular than Congress. And I'll add one more note: The IRS is also far more popular than the Republican Party—or the tea party.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

But as lame as the article's opening is, its intellectual punch doesn't really hit bottom until Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz offers up the following quote:

“There is a perception that if your case is rock-solid, it doesn’t need months to sort it out,” said Chaffetz, who like several others, said the recent dust-up between Issa and top panel Democrat Elijah Cummings was unfortunate.
Out of context, that might actually seem like a good point to make, given that the number one reason the IRS "scandal" has failed to make a dent is that the case itself is not rock-solid. But that's not the point Chaffetz was making. He was trying to assert—without evidence—that the case was in fact rock solid, but that Issa's handling of it made it seem like it wasn't rock solid.

In other words, instead of blaming the fizzle of the "scandal" on the fact that there actually isn't an underlying scandal, Chaffetz is blaming Issa for dragging his feet in exposing the true scandal. Of course, Issa is hardly alone in failing to expose this true scandal. Chaffetz has failed as well, along with every other Republican who has tried.

In a non-hermetically-sealed environment, they might reach the conclusion that the fact they haven't uncovered a scandal means there isn't one, but for these guys, the investigation begins with the assumption that the scandal must exist. It doesn't take much logic to realize what this means: For as long as Republicans run the Oversight Committee and Barack Obama is president, the investigation will continue, because it cannot end until it uncovers that which does not exist.

The one thing that I think everybody can agree on, however, is that it's all Darrell Issa's fault. At least mostly.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site