Listening to the House Ways and Means committee testimonies by Americans regarding their targeting by the IRS, you can see the strategy the Democrats are going to take to tamp down this scandal for Obama.
Democrat Jim McDermott of Washington state really encapsulated the whole thing. He was arrogant, condescending and aggressive towards the speakers. “My Republican colleagues just don’t believe that you should be free from any political targeting, but that you should be free from any scrutiny at all,” he said. “The purpose of a C3 or C4 tax exemption is to enable easier promotion of public good, not political work. It is the responsibility of the IRS to determine which groups are choosing the correct exempt status and which are trying to manipulate the system to avoid taxes and hide political organizations and campaign donors. Without oversight, a status meant for charities becomes a machine for political money laundering.”
In other words, you and your beliefs are the problem and the IRS rightly sought to curtail you. He went on to say “You think that is far fetched, talk to Speaker Gingrich.” McDermott went on to discuss Gingrich being fined $300,000 in the 90s for “funneling” money into a GOP PAC. “That’s what happens when you don’t ask questions,” McDermott pompously said.
McDermott continued. He went on offense and suggested that beliefs such as traditional marriage, pro life and opposition to Obamacare should not get any help in being promoted. “You are asking the American public to pay for this,” he said, “there is a fine line here.” He even suggested that the IRS questions were inept; they should have done more. He ignored the fact that liberal and progressive groups didn’t get any scrutiny at all.
McDermott smugly claimed that during the Bush administration liberal groups were targeted. Such as…? He claimed that House Oversight Committee Chair Darryl Issa was “looking for conspiracies when there aren’t any.” McDermott said the Inspector General was a Republican and others in the IRS were appointed by Republicans. So there!
I loved this touch. It’s a new one. McDermott said mid level employees in the IRS had been overwhelmed by four times as many applications as before and couldn’t handle it all. Nice try, no sale.
He ended by saying no one on the committee or in the audience had said “a single word about what questions we ought to ask your organizations.” McDermott sanctimoniously said we ought to be rewriting the law if it’s wrong, not holding hearings.
A little later Democrat John Lewis of Georgia took his turn on the high horse. He took it right back to the Bush administration, complaining that under GWB the NAACP, an environmental group and a progressive church got scrutiny by the IRS. Lewis spoke with outrage that the IRS has been manned by Republican appointees from Bush and so any problems stem from the GOP. He went also insisted the IRS has many good hardworking employees, and the actions of a few shouldn’t hurt the organization.
Got that? It’s the Republicans’ fault.
In short: Conservative groups are inherently wrong to be political. Republicans did it, too! Blame Bush! The IRS is made up of wonderful, hard working people only trying to do their jobs. Obama and the Democrats are blameless. Move on.