— Slate (@Slate) November 30, 2014
— Pundit Planet (@PunditFaP) October 23, 2013
Jorge Bonilla, the Florida Republican challenging Democratic representative Alan Grayson in next year’s election, has called on the Democratic House leadership to condemn Grayson’s use of a burning cross in a fundraising e-mail. Bonilla accused his opponent of using the image “to troll for donations.”
In his fundraising e-mail, Grayson used the image of a burning cross to serve as the “T” in “tea party,” likening the group to the Klu Klux Klan. Bonilla accused Grayson of looking to divide Americans rather than unite them, and called the depiction “despicable and needlessly hurtful to the many millions of families that still deal with the wounds of racial prejudice.”
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) October 4, 2013
The GOP and the Tea Party have been called anarchists, arsonists and hostage takers so much this week we’d almost stopped noticing. The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman managed to make a few ears perk up on NPR today, though, when he compared the GOP to terrorist group Hezbollah.
Donlyn Turnbull writes: Immediately after Texas Senator Ted Cruz finished his 21-hour mother of all speeches, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid killed the euphoria by responding with some blunt words for the freshman Senator as well as the Tea Party. “I do believe that what we have here with the so-called Tea Party is a new effort to strike government however they can, to hurt government,” Reid said. “Any day that government is hurt is a good day for them. It’s, as I said before, the new anarchy.”
After I dug my nails out of my desk, I thought at length about what Sen. Reid said and his words “the new anarchy” in particular. Firstly, the Greek word anarchy translated literally means “no ruler”. And typically when I think of anarchists I think of Occupy Wall Street or anyone at Starbucks at 8 in the morning. Both crowds can be equally unruly.
For several years now the Tea Party has been ridiculously compared to Occupy Wall Street and of course the differences are legion. But the one thing those labeled as anarchists generally want is to be in control of their lives, in varying degrees. Read the rest of this entry »
That’s not the headline you will see, of course.
Instead, Gallup headlines its story about its most recent polling to emphasize the negative about Tea Party support, Tea Party Support Dwindles to Near-Record Low.
Critics of the White House’s underhanded ‘War on Dissent’ have the impulse to say “I told you so”, because, well, we told you so. We’ve been saying this since the IRS investigation first began. There is no secret “direct order” from the White House. There didn’t need to be. Instead, it’s been fed into the media stream right over the airwaves, from the bully pulpit; the podiums, press conferences, news shows, radio broadcasts, podcasts, repeated by talking heads, White House surrogates, and from blunt, suggestive language by the president himself. And the signals are received, by sympathetic actors inside the gears of government (I.R.S.) and inside organs of media (Washington Post) and acted on. That’s how it’s done.
Patrick Howley writes: The Washington Post’s anti-tea party coverage inspired IRS officials to improperly target conservative groups, according to a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memo.
“The IRS first identified and elevated the Tea Party applications due to media attention surrounding the Tea Party…Media attention caused the IRS to treat conservative-oriented tax-exempt applications differently,” according to a September 17 House Oversight memo entitled “Interim update on the Committee’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s inappropriate treatment of tax-exempt applications.” Read the rest of this entry »
So the IRS has admitted to sitting on applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party groups for political reasons.
According to the government’s own investigation, applications containing terms such as Tea Party and Patriot were singled out for delays and holds even as groups with liberal-sounding names like “Bus for Progress” and “Progress Florida” sailed through the process.
President Obama said “the report’s findings are intolerable and inexcusable” and even fired the acting head of the Internal Revenue Service.
Regardless of how this particular scandal shakes out, there’s still going to be at least three good reasons to be scared as hell of the IRS.
1. It’s always been a political weapon.
John F Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon all sicced the IRS on enemies and dissenters. And they were just following in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt, whose son said his father was “the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.”
2. Its rulings are super-complicated and capricious.
The federal tax code is longer than Atlas Shrugged, Ulysses, and the Old Testament put together. It’s so complicated that even former IRS commissioners need help preparing their returns.
3. It’s Obamacare’s enforcement mechanism.
Starting next year, the IRS will be the cop patrolling the Affordable Care Act’s mandates, with the agency overseeing some 47 tax provisions related to Obamacare. You won’t just be reporting income anymore. You’ll be explaining when, where, and how you bought health care as well.