Just a reminder: the head of the IRS all the way up until six months ago was a Bush appointee.  Why would a Bush appointee condone or keep secret misdeeds that disadvantaged Republicans?

If you don’t have a good answer to that, will you please shut up?  Or else blame George W. Bush for appointing someone to head the IRS who allowed this to happen?

Thanks to Doug Schneller for this piece by Alex Seitz-Wald at Salon:

. . . While few are defending the Internal Revenue Service for targeting some 300 conservative groups, there are two critical pieces of context missing from the conventional wisdom on the “scandal.” First, at least from what we know so far, 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. Employees are given almost zero official guidance on how to do that, so they went after Tea Party groups because those seemed like they might be political. Keep in mind, the commissioner of the IRS at the time was a Bush appointee.The second is that while this is the first time this kind of thing has become a national scandal, it’s not the first time such activity has occurred.

There follows considerable historical background — not to argue that numerous wrongs make a right, which they do not, but to provide context.

No one holds that the IRS acted properly.  But this is not “a White House scandal,” it’s a monumental IRS screw-up on a Bush appointee’s watch, now being fixed.  Can we move on to putting people to work renewing our infrastructure?  Enacting comprehensive immigration reform?  Keeping felons and the mentally unbalanced from buying guns?


Those emails ABC News said it had exclusively “obtained” showing White House meddling in the talking points?  Um, well, it turns out ABC had not actually obtained them.  What it had obtained — apparently from a Republican operative — was a doctored email with invented damning language.  That’s what ABC quoted on air as having come from the White House, quickly picked up by the other networks and talk radio.  And that’s the scandal here — as Rachel Maddow explains (beginning around 3:36).

This is a very big deal.  No?  Take five minutes and watch?


Tomorrow: What The Humane Society Has To Do With all This



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