First- let me point out something I have not seen mentioned in ANY of the coverage of this issue. Namely, that the FEC (Federal Elections Commission), which *should* be the group looking into whether non-profits registered as “social welfare” are using that registration illegally to hide donors while illegally engaging predominantly in political work- is for all intents and purposes non-existent. Because the conservatives have blocked Obama from making any appointments to fill the vacancies.
Now- when I first heard this story break- my first thought was “live by the sword- die by the sword”. Because overwhelmingly- these self-same conservatives are the same ones who for decades have at best turned a blind eye, and at worst been responsible themselves- for just this, and far worse, government harrasment. These are the people who insist muslims should be racially profiled (and the only ones searched at airports). Who believe it is fine and dandy to stop hispanics and ask them for their papers. Who despite their blather about gun rights are fine with “thugs” and “gangsters” types being stop and searched for weapons. Who infilitraded and harrassed the envronmental movement- even labeling some comitted to non-violent action as domestic terrorists. Who have long supported anyone “different” (ie: blacks, hispanics, hippies, ravers, goths, gays, etc being stopped and searched for drugs. Who were quiet as the Bush administration harrassed, arrested, and even added to the no-fly list anti-war protesters and peace activists.
And of course this morning Salon is running an excellent article pointing out that: “…the groups were not targeted in a political vendetta — but rather were executing a makeshift enforcement test (an ugly one, mind you) for IRS employees tasked with separating political groups not allowed to claim tax-exempt status, from bona fide social welfare organizations.“
And then going on to the very real political harassment by the IRS under Bush of groups ranging from liberal antii-war churches, to the NAACP, to Greenpeace.
And yet they are outraged that someone may think they are breaking laws that they rail against?
Umm…sorry if I don’t cry for you. I spent well over a decade of my life going through this harassment. And far worse. And it was these type of people who supported and perpetrated it.
So- I don’t support what apparently a few local offices of the IRS did. And I hope they get crucified. But I am not going to fell sorry for you. And I’m not going to listen to your whining. Because you really don’t give a damn about the issues at hand- you a give a damn because it was you that was the brunt of it. And sadly, I don’t believe for a second this will change your willingness- indeed your desire, to do this to others when you have the power.