So, we are to believe that it is just a coincidence that tea party groups oppose the Obama administration and for 27 months, beginning in March 2010, the Internal Revenue Service didn’t approve even one tea party application for tax-exempt status?
Is it also a coincidence that during the same time period, dozens of liberal organizations involved in political advocacy practically saw their applications fast-tracked?
Do you now want to pause and consider whether I’m exaggerating? Feel free, but be advised that USA Today, no conservative rag, reported that “as applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months.”
But the IRS official responsible for granting the exemption status told reporters on a conference call that ideology was not involved. She said “progressive groups” were also selected for greater scrutiny based on their names.
But when asked to identify those groups, she demurred. “I don’t have them off the top of my head,” she said. Well, why not? Surely, she would have anticipated that such a question would be asked on the call.
IRS officials have attributed the agency’s extra scrutiny on conservative groups to a spike in their applications over the past few years, but a just-released inspector general’s report obliterates that excuse by revealing an even bigger spike in applications for tax-exempt status from labor organizations, which received no such scrutiny.
Now, with the Benghazi and Associated Press scandals raging, both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have denounced the IRS’ actions as “outrageous” and promised to hold those responsible to account. Acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller has already been cashiered.
But President Obama looked more “flat-affect” than outraged and seemed to be far more distracted than engaged, let alone angry, during his news conference denouncing the agency’s actions.
The administration wants us to believe that the two IRS employees in Cincinnati responsible for this wanton political discrimination were just “rogue” agents who became “overly aggressive.”
Well, let me ask you: Do you think President Obama would consider such agents “rogue” — as opposed to, say, “exemplary” — had this scandal not been exposed?
Also, I seriously doubt that this was either isolated or accidental. I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Cleta Mitchell, a Washington election attorney, told Newsmax that she has proof that high-ranking IRS officials in Washington were completely aware of the IRS’ effort to target conservatives in this process. She said an IRS agent in Cincinnati told her that the applications for two of her conservative clients were being processed by officials in Washington, who would also decide whether to approve or disapprove.
In expressing her incredulity that the White House was out of the loop in this matter, Mitchell said: “We know the White House used the Department of Health and Human Services to try to silence critics about Obamacare. So if we know they used HHS, why wouldn’t they also use the IRS or other federal agencies to try to silence political critics?”
The administration knows that this kind of intimidation and obstruction works. Reports have already been coming in that some tea party groups, which would have spent their money and efforts toward defeating Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, folded up their tents rather than endure the protracted harassment of the agency.
Despite the likely insincerity of Obama’s “outrage,”, his public assertion that he is may at least serve the purpose of opening the public’s eyes to these abuses and how widespread they are.
We’ve already learned that the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm, is representing two pro-life organizations that allege the IRS refused to grant them tax-exempt status because of their position on abortion.
The Coalition for Life of Iowa claims the IRS pressured it not to protest Obama-friendly Planned Parenthood. The Thomas More Society reports: “In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Also, the IRS allegedly subjected Christian Voices for Life to “repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.”
What other examples of such egregious abuses of power are we going to find as this investigation unfolds?
Please ask yourself: If the IRS were oriented toward harassing pro-left organizations, do you think Democrats and liberals would always be so sympathetic toward the agency? Would Obama have assigned this agency the task of largely overseeing and enforcing Obamacare? In light of these recent disturbing developments, is there any chance he will reconsider his ill-advised decision?
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, The Great Destroyer, reached No. 2 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction.