John Ransom

Over the weekend the New York Times carried a story on the front page about the IRS scandal. The subhead of the story proclaims: “Scrutiny went beyond conservative groups.”

Want proof?

“Overseen by a revolving cast of midlevel managers,” writes the Times, “stalled by miscommunication with I.R.S. lawyers and executives in Washington and confused about the rules they were enforcing, the Cincinnati specialists flagged virtually every application with Tea Party in its name. But their review went beyond conservative groups: more than 400 organizations came under scrutiny, including at least two dozen liberal-leaning ones and some that were seemingly apolitical.”

So 24 groups with liberal sounding names came under scrutiny out of 400?

24 groups out of 400: That adds up to six percent of all the applications cited in the story.

So technically, yes, if indeed, other groups besides conservatives were targeted, they have 24 applications that they can point to for proof.

But I point to it as another type of proof.

Six percent in a sample of 400 is about the margin of error, more or less.  If one was targeting just conservative groups, the margin of error says that you’d accidentally include that many liberal groups just out of random chance.   

So you can believe it was just all a big mix-up, with overworked bureaucrats bravely doing a hard job incompetently… 

Or you can believe that the numbers don’t lie and some else is lying instead. 

But the numbers don’t stop Ezra Klein from pretending like the rest of us are idiots: “There continues to be no evidence that the targeting was directed by agency higher-ups, much less anyone related to the Obama campaign. In fact, there’s still not much evidence that the targeting was politically biased in intent, even as it was clearly politically biased in effect.”

Here’s Klein’s argument boiled down to the bones: We didn’t intend to cheat; we’re just so stupid that it had the same effect as cheating. And make no mistake. Klein walks hand in hand with the president on messaging.

This is the same guy who argues in his sleep that Obamacare will really, really save healthcare, balance the budget deficit, prevent acne and whatever else it needs to do, so that an ungrateful Senate won’t repeal it.

I’m guessing that someone needs to ask Klein if he still hosts a clearinghouse for liberal journalist who need kiss-butt takings points to edit so as to rally around a White House that really is as stupid as they hope the rest of us are.

Oh, remember that? The group of  “Journolists” who coordinated the attack on anyone who might question Obama's judgment by hanging out with Rev. Jeremiah Wright... because, well, they just didn’t think the rest of us were smart enough to make up our own minds?

“Call them racists,” Journolist said. Yep, and that’s what they do on everything now. Whoever opposes them must be racist too.

Klein must be so proud.

One day, history books will carry a footnote[i] about the phrase “Call them racists” with Klein featured prominently.  

But he should watch it, because one day, he’ll end up the racist himself.

Just wait until the administration is looking to blame someone else. And they will, oh, they will, very soon.

“An internal IRS memo dubbed ‘Be on the Look-Out’, or BOLO, listed terms like ‘patriot’ and ‘tea party’ as alerts to IRS agents to perform more scrutiny on these filers or applicants for tax-exempt status” writes Congressman Cynthia Lummis. “Flagged organizations and groups were told to turn over names of their donors, donation amounts and even list their policy positions on political issues important to their organization. This information is not and has never been required by law for tax-exempt filing purposes.”

This memo will come out and someone will walk the plank for it.

This from the Washington Examiner:

“We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis [at the IRS ]as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”

You know like the kind of thing at Journolist: Call them racist, audit them, tie up their businesses.

Groupthink isn’t just stupid, it’s also dangerous for those who engage in it.   

It’s a kind of mindless stupidity that guys like Klein, in conjunction with the WaPo - and the saucer people under the supervision of the reverse vampires- try to substitute for real journalism.     

Because believing that low-level civil servants at the IRS somehow took it upon themselves unasked – and put at risk their guaranteed-for-life salary- to mix up in politics, is about as dumb as believing that Obamacare will solve the budget deficit.

But don’t get me wrong.

I don’t think that Klein’s so dumb to actually believe many of the things that he writes. I don’t actually thinkhe thinks that Obamacare will reduce the deficit or that Obama- or someone who worked directly for the president- didn’t know about Benghazi, the IRS and the DOJ snooping on the Associated Press, Fox News or all the other snooping that we don’t know about yet.  

I think he thinks you’re that dumb. And so does the White House.

And that’s what makes both Ezra Klein, and the White House, idiots.


[i] It might say something like: Klein, Ezra- Died by his own hand in 2014 after being audited by the Obama administration because they didn’t like what he wrote.  


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.