For the benefit of anyone who has been living under a rock - or too deeply involved in an audit to pay attention to national news - the IRS has flexed its authoritarian muscle in an effort to stifle political free speech. After all, what is a government bureaucracy without a flare of despotism? The IRS has recognized, and apologized for a series of incidents where conservative groups were singled out for extra scrutiny. Of course, I was unaware that apologies were acceptable currency in resolving tax related impropriety.
But, just as details are emerging regarding who knew what, and when they knew it, we are slowly hearing about the impropriety of political discrimination. According to one of Illinois’ few Republicans, Representative Aaron Schock (yes, Illinois has a hand full of Republicans), a pro life group was asked by the IRS about the content of their prayers.
Imagine that. A government tax collection agency asking a bunch of citizens about their conversations with God. I guess we can chalk this up to the IRS’s complete disregard for Constitutional limitations. Does it strike anyone else as mildly anti-American to question religious (or political) beliefs in a review for tax-exempt status?
As we learn more about the IRS scandal, it becomes more and more clear that there is a larger problem at play. While the IRS’s unusual interest in private conversations between non-profit coalitions and God is troubling, it is merely a symptom of something larger. It might be that David Axelrod was right when he insinuated Obama could not be held accountable for any of the hat-trick scandals that are circulating through DC.
Sure, the Department of Justice seized the phone records of AP reporters and launched a criminal investigation against a FOX news reporter in a fashion that would make Richard Nixon blush. Sure the UN ambassador was sent out on a number of political talk shows to repeat what we now know to be a blatant lie about the death of a US ambassador in Benghazi. And, sure. . . The IRS intentionally used their very un-American style of intimidation, thuggery, and authoritarianism to scrutinize political non-profits that are unfriendly to Obama. But that doesn’t mean he should be held accountable, does it?
(An important interview) Saving the Net from the surveillance state (And Crony Media): Glenn Greenwald speaks up (Q&A) | Nick Sorrentino