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Sweet Irony: Obama admin obsession with Tea Party comes back to bite it

Sweet Irony: Obama admin obsession with Tea Party comes back to bite it

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better:  A rebel group of engaged activists, derided and harassed by authorities, becomes the obsession of a powerful political machine, leading to the demise of … the machine.

Now, because today’s Internal Revenue Service scandal involves rebellious conservatives pitted against a progressive government, this true story is not likely to hit the big screen.  However, given the fact that misuse of the IRS  was one of the charges that brought about the end of the unpopular Nixon administration, the irony of potentially having something similar happen to the press’ favorite president is sweet, indeed!

Frankly, I am a little stunned as to why this story is getting such attention now, as it has been known that the IRS was targeting conservative citizen groups for quite some time.  In fact, over a year ago, Professor Jacobson linked to this piece I did: And So it Begins: IRS Targets Tea Party Groups for “Special Attention”!

Our own group, the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition (SCTRC), had real challenges filing for tax-exempt status. SCTRC President Dawn President had this to say about the recent media scrutiny, “No one gave seemed to care when SCTRC was refused 501c4 status long before this issue became news. We actually saw the writing on the wall then, back in 2009. I am very proud of us, and all the other Tea Party groups out there, who persevered in the face of this very daunting challenge.”

And daunting it has been. As a citizen activist, once of my favorite organizations to recommend is True the Vote, a non-partisan organization whose sole purpose is to train poll workers to maintain voter integrity. Seems harmless, no?

However, during the group’s quest to seek tax exempt status, founder Catherine Engelbrecht had her family business targeted for special attention:

Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family’s firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership–which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”

Finally, those who think the IRS is the scariest agency to unleash on citizens have never dealt with the Environmental Protection Agency. And because the corruption and cronyism extends from the head downward, it seems likely Team Obama would be OK with the fact that the EPA has also been hindering conservative citizen groups  (hat-tip, Tammy Bruce).

Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Conservative Enterprise Institute.

2013 may go down as the year of the Whistle-blowers: Fast and Furious. Benghazi.  And, now, Tea Party activists who have been warning Americans the loudest and longest about this administration’s abuses.


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As someone once said, “Punish your enemies!”

    Valerie in reply to wcvarones. | May 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    US citizens are not the enemies of the US government. They are its owners.

      Sanddog in reply to Valerie. | May 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Go ahead and tell those clowns in DC they work for you… We have an US vs THEM society. Those who are in government and those who pay for it.

      Not A Member of Any Organized Political in reply to Valerie. | May 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Time the “U.S. citizen/owners let the lawsuits fly against the personal estates of these Chicago mobsters.

legalizehazing | May 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I just wonder What Is It Going To TAKE?
The corruption is truly incredible. Yet I get the feeling we are no where near impeachment. My “Liberal” associates are totally ignorant of all these scandals.

At what point will Congress admit the administration hasn’t been forthcoming and demand full participation and disclosure or impeachment?

2nd Ammendment Mother | May 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

One of the things I’ve not yet seen mentioned is the tremendous costs in legal/accounting/time to those being targeted by the IRS, not to mention the emotional stress.

Wow…. as I typed that VanderSloot just told Cavuto that the audits cost him $80,000….. how many people can afford to face the IRS?

I think the focus on the IRS scandal is because of Gosnell. The media needs to show that they do show the conservative side, that they have been playing up this story. It’s just good the conservatives have a real story right now.

    stevewhitemd in reply to AMWJ. | May 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Champ would be happy to feed Gosnell to the wolves, one toe at a time, to get the IRS and Benghazi stories off the front page.

    Champ and the White House aren’t pushing the IRS story because they’re desperate to get Gosnell out of the news. The MSM, given the choice, would make the same choice — they’d report Gosnell as a “one-off” and bury the IRS story if only they could.

    But it’s hard to bury a story when Massachusetts Democrats are calling the behavior outrageous.

Henry Hawkins | May 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm

So, with the AP phone records grab, Obama has turned the media against him (however briefly), with the IRS scandal, Obama has reenergized the Tea Party just in time for the 2014 midterms, and with the Benghazi mess he’s managed to set the WH, State Dept, and CIA against one another in a CYA circus, he’s achieved effective lame-duck status two years earlier than any other two term president, and both his domestic and foreign plans are a smoking ruin.

Good work, Sparky. SMART POWER.

The best part? We’ve still seen only the tip of the iceberg – more will come out, bet on it, and at least one more new scandal will be another major one.

Obama can rape a 4-year old in front of the White House at high noon on any given day, and he won’t be impeached.

He’s impeachment-proof.

2nd Ammendment Mother | May 14, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Not that the lesson will last, but the AP may have just discovered that a government willing to take 2nd Amendment guarantees away from one group is equally willing to take away their 1st Amendment guarantees…… I doubt it will last long, but it’s nice while it lasts!

stevewhitemd | May 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

There is another lesson here —

— what the government gives the government can use to clobber you.

501(c)4 status sounded great, and Citizens United made clear that we could all organize to engage in political educational activity.

So just apply for 501(c)4 status, get a bunch of tax-free donations and get to work, right? Even if you’re a small county level Tea Party that’s what the smart folks were telling us to do.

Except 501(c)4 status isn’t a constitutional right, it’s a provision in the federal tax code, administered by IRS bureaucrats. And we all know what bureaucrats can do. Ask any tax lawyer

The bureaucrats went and did it. They were told to do it but they wanted to do it anyway because most of them (as government employees) are decidedly more liberal than your average Tea Party member. So they hamstringed all the Tea Party applications and did so without fear of being caught. They had protection (so they thought).

In the meantime lots of smaller Tea Party groups looked at the daunting paperwork, the expense, the trouble, and said, “heck with it”, and either stayed home or worked at a lower, slower level in the election.

Bingo. Just what Champ wanted. It worked. Or as Mel Brooks once said, “It’s good to be King!”

So what’s the real lesson here? It’s not the one that has been pushed so far, about controlling the IRS, or ousting Champ, or punishing the Democrats at the polls in 2014 the way Pubs were punished in 1974. All that needs to be done, of course, but that’s not the lesson.

The lesson here is one that the Tea Party should have remembered from the very beginning —

— don’t trust the government in the first place. And don’t ask government for anything when doing so can open up a big bag of hurt.

That’s the mistake here. Perhaps Karl Rove and Crossroads America can throw money at a problem to solve it but you and I can’t. If we’re going to have a county-level, village-level, small level group that works to hold government accountable, we can expect that the government will hamper us. They just did, and it worked.

So don’t ask government for permission, or for favors, or for tax exemptions.

Just get out there and organize. Just do it. If donors won’t donate because they’re not getting a tax break, fine — work out a way to get things done without that money. Don’t put your local Tea Party organization in the position of needing someone else’s favor in order to do the job.

That’s the real lesson.

“Not that the lesson will last, but the AP may have just discovered that a government willing to take 2nd Amendment guarantees away from one group is equally willing to take away their 1st Amendment guarantees…”

Also their third thru 10th Amendment guarantees.

Not A Member of Any Organized Political | May 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm


The Question that Launched the IRS Scandal:


By Kevin Williamson
May 14, 2013 3:00 PM

“It struck me as odd that IRS official Lori Lerner would suddenly offer a mea culpa ex nihilo — on the sensitive subject of the agency’s targeting of political enemies — off the cuff while she was speaking at a tax conference organized by the American Bar Association.

When she was asked about that during a telephone call on Friday, she said only that she was asked a question and answered it.

But there is a bit more to it than that.

The question at the ABA conference came from Washington-based tax lawyer Celia Roady, a lobbyist … named to the influential Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities in 2010 by Douglas Shulman, at that time commissioner of the IRS. Lerner is the director for tax-exempt organizations at the IRS.

Roady was serving on the Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities while tea-party groups and other conservative organizations were being targeted by the IRS.

Not exactly a question out of the blue — Capitol Hill sources described the question as “planted” and say the IRS has informally admitted as much…..”

National Review Online

radiofreeca | May 14, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Obama did something I never thought possible: he’s made Carter look courageous in foreign affairs, and Nixon look honest in domestic politics.

Between those two things and the Nobel Peace Prize, I think he’s got a hat trick!

Good article. It proves that the wheels of justice sometimes turn slowly, but they do eventually turn and there are results. Keep pushing fellow patriots!! The walls of tyranny will come tumbling down.

Leslie opined: “Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better: A rebel group of engaged activists, derided and harassed by authorities, becomes the obsession of a powerful political machine, leading to the demise of … the machine.”

Leslie, I’ll betcha that some minds in Howwiewood are already conceiving such a movie. Anything for a buck and it doesn’t matter if you have to eat your own to achieve it…

Alex Bensky | May 15, 2013 at 12:09 am

And don’t forget the approach to Jewish organizations. The head of Z Street states that one of the questions her group was asked was its attitude towards the administrations policies.

If this were Bush every media outlet in the country would be screaming for resignation or impeachment; every one, without exception. “If this were Bush…” Oh, jeepers, I’m so tired of writing that.