So it turns out that, swamped by applications and looking for short-cuts to spot the most likely politically over-active applicants, the IRS denied tax exempt status for . . . drum-roll, please . . . three left-leaning groups — and none on the right.
Not to say there wasn’t mismanagement (under the the Bush-appointed managers); not to say there weren’t outrageous bungles and errors in judgment.
But quite a denouement to what my pal Peggy Noonan saw as Obama’s Watergate, just so deeply troubling . . .
. . . as she is now so deeply troubled over Obamacare, the top line of which is simply that tens of millions will have better or more secure health care coverage, partly at the expense of those of us at the top.
(We still won’t be taxed as heavily as we were in the Forties and Fifties and Sixties and Seventies and much of the Eighties but, yes, those of us fortunate enough to have income above $250,000 will be paying more.)
And there are no death panels, and climate change is real, and Al Gore never said he invented the Internet, although he championed its funding at a time when it was mind-numbing to try to understand, not the indispensable magic it is today.
I digress, but (a) you don’t pay me enough to exact self-discipline; (b) it’s truly all related.
It turns out — and this one is not of recent partisan origin, if it ever was at all — the real scandal is that the IRS has allowed any political activity at non-profits. The 1959 statute establishing c4 status said the activity of such groups must be “exclusively” for the social welfare, which someone at the IRS at some point changed to “primarily.”
There’s an effort now under way to change it back.
All explained here, by Lawrence O’Donnell, on “The Last Word.”