Since the election of President Obama, the American Taliban has been OCD [Obsessive-compulsive disorder] with scandals and conspiracies. The list of darts to throw at the President on any given day is a plethora if you are a GOPer.
If you spend every hour of your working life inventing new ways to attack Barack Obama or the government [or both], this is a very good week for you — or at least it should be. After wallowing through the deserts of Benghazi and Fast and Furious for four years, trying to extract any tiny drop of scandal from stone, now suddenly comes gold from the heavens, courtesy of the IRS and its misguided attempt to prevent political groups from taking advantage of the non-profit tax code. Then, even before your salad is done, the Department of Justice snoops on reporters. Hallelujah to the Republican God Ronald Reagan! The Promised Land of Impeachment can’t be far off.
Three scandals in a period of seven days, the mother load has cometh for the American Taliban.
Unfortunately, as with most of these stories, same ole shit just a different political party. Before we start urinating our pants and dancing in the streets with "we got him this time", let's autopsy what we know.
THE COLBERT REPORT
As we have written over the past few weeks, Benghazi is the story that never was. Yes 4 Americans died, and that is a tragedy, but making up shit so that you have something against the President doesn't work, because as always, facts out trump bullshit any day of the week. 74% of the American Taliban think that Benghazi is worse than Watergate and Iran - Contra. The kicker to this stat is - that 39% of the 74% cannot tell you where Benghazi is. Really? If your going to call bullshit, shouldn't you at least know where bullshit is?
In breaking news: the Benghazi "Scandal" - Jack Tapper of CNN exposed ABC - as an email found by Tapper shows that ABC edited their content to make the President look bad. Here is the Tapper release as it was sent out last night.
This latest bit of information shows just how low the American Taliban will go to discredit the President, and this disgusting signal, is as disturbing as the party itself. Of late, the American Taliban's motto is, if we can't hit the goal, move the goal post so that we can hit the target. A disgusting pattern of shoot first and ask queries later.
Epic Failure by the American Taliban!
Let's be clear readers, jeopardizing National Security is a dangerous game to play, [First amendment to the constitution or not]. On MSNBC last night Rachael Maddow explains the complexities of "freedom of the press"
Pay attention to the Maddow clip below:
Taken from a mentor of mine, Jared Bernstein
Nope, I'm not going to defend the IRS, which appears to have acted in ways wholly inconsistent with their mandate for unbiased investigations into, in this case, whether certain political groups should receive tax-exempt status. It is unclear how high up the chain of command these untoward actions went, but this morning's news suggests it wasn't just a few rogue auditors in Cincinnati.
The problem wasn't that the agency scrutinized these so-called "social welfare" organizations -- as I'll emphasize in a moment, tax law in this area is an accident going out to happen. It's that they violated neutrality, investigating conservative groups by searching on "tea party" and "patriot."
Republicans will of course try to pin this on the president, despite the fact that since Nixon used the IRS to target his enemies, the president's been barred from even discussing this kind of thing with the agency.
No, the problem here isn't the president. It's the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision and subsequent tax law written by Congress that gives these groups tax exempt status (under rule 501(c)(4)) as long as most of their activities are primarily on educating the public about policy issues, not direct campaigning.
Of course, the ambiguities therein are insurmountable. Many of these groups, especially the big ones, spend millions on campaign ads mildly disguised as "issue ads," and under current law they can do so limitlessly and with impunity.
According to today's NYT:
The tax code states that 501(c)(4)'s must operate "exclusively" to promote social welfare, a category that excludes political spending. Some court decisions have interpreted that language to mean that a minimal amount of political spending would be permissible. But the I.R.S. has for years maintained that groups meet that rule as long as they are not "primarily engaged" in election work, a substantially different threshold.
Nowhere do the rules specify what "primarily engaged" means...
Again, I see no way that a government agency could fairly interpret and enforce these instructions. What is "primarily engaged"-at which point does an issue ad cross the threshold into campaign ad -- what kind of "education" is GPS Crossroads providing and how is it promoting "social welfare?"
Weirdly, the IRS hasn't seemed particularly interested in going after the big fish here, like Rove's Crossroads GPS on the right or Priorities USA on the left. Instead, they appear to have systematically targeted small fry on the far right. If so, not only is that clearly biased and unacceptable -- it's also ridiculous given the magnitude of the violations of tax exempt status by these small groups relative to the big ones.
At the end of the day, we should really ask ourselves what societal purpose is being served here by carving out special tax status for any of these groups. If anyone can show me any evidence that the revenue forgone is well spent, that these groups are making our political system and our country better off, please do so. If not, then no one's saying shut them down -- they've got a right to speak their minds. But not tax free.
Fact: Mitch McConnell used to be suspicious of the same 501(c)(4) groups that the IRS targeted.
Dear Tea Baggers, It sucks when you're unfairly treated because of prejudices about your name and appearance - see how things tend to come full circle?
All three of the scenarios above also happened on G.W. Bush's watch. The problem with the comparisons are, that under Bush, not a republican raised an eyebrow to complain, to impeach, nor did they attempt to drag any senior government official through the mud.
Benghahzi, Bush had thirteen type Benghazi's under his watch.
Bush wires taps country.
IRS attacks NAACP under George Bush.
When the IRS targeted Liberals.
If I had advice to give to the tea baggers, I would say - number one rule in maintaining your narrative in a political stance, Stop accepting new information when the tide of facts turns contrary to your agenda.
At the very least the American Taliban suffers from Bushnesia, at its worst, they are the diabolical party that we see on Cable news on a nightly bases, lying, deceiving, hypocrisy of the highest order. The key to all these "scandals and conspiracies" is to dissect facts from bullshit, let the whole story play itself out before jumping the C&S freight train!
The IRS has always been a deviant entity, whether under Democratic rule or the American Taliban - freedom of press, its been a source of problematic issues since our countries inception, hence why the founders addressed it in the first amendment.
At the end of the day the American Taliban has what they want, "lame street medias" attention, Obama is engaged and taking action. The time for the narrative of "media bias" is no more, at least for the IRS and AP stories.
A saying here at the NFTOS horseshoe is "what these scandals need are a good conspiracy theory".