GFY "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.Wait a minute...I just had a flashback...
An official with the Internal Revenue Service admitted that legal opponents of former President Bill Clinton were singled out for tax audits according to court documents made public this week.
"What do you expect when you sue the president?" senior IRS official Paul Breslan told Judicial Watch, the Washington-based legal watchdog group that had filed 50-plus legal actions against the Clinton administration and subsequently found itself in the IRSs cross hairs
"There were literally six witnesses in the room when Breslan told us we should have expected an audit," Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman revealed. "Four of them were lawyers."
The second is that while this is the first time this kind of thing has become a national scandal, its not the first time such activity has occurred.
I wish there was more GOP interest when I raised the same issue during the Bush administration, where they audited a progressive church in my district in what look liked a very selective way, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on MSNBC Monday.I found only one Republican,[North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones], that would join me in calling for an investigation during the Bush administration. Im glad now that the GOP has found interest in this issue and it ought to be a bipartisan concern.