Thanks a Bunch, IRS. Now We Gotta Respect the Tea Party -- a Little Bit.

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Wow. I take it all back, Tea Party. You cool. In fact, I'm jealous. Targeted by the IRS. There was a time when that would have been my dream come true.

I remember back in the day when my hippie friends started getting their FBI files under the Freedom of Information Act. I was always afraid to ask for mine, because I knew there wouldn't be one. How would I have faced my friends? Better not to know.

Yeah, well I have spent a certain amount of time here, I admit, denigrating and dismissing the Tea Party as a bunch of white geezers in costumes pissed off because Obama is black. I think I may even have used the phrase "tea party type" to convey a person who would rather not see the country survive if it means people of color get to survive, too.

But this week's revelations that the IRS targeted Tea Party groups for special investigation amounting to harassment have forced me to reconsider. If you can get the IRS to take you seriously as a political threat, you're serious.

tea_party_fire_media.jpg
Patrick Michels
On the other hand, maybe the IRS had its reasons.
This is grudging respect I pay. I do grudge. I still laugh at your costumes, but, man, I try not to even look at pictures of my own ilk and our costumes back in those times. Costumes may not stand the test of time, but government harassment does.

See also:
The IRS Targeted at Least Two Local Tea Party Groups by Sending Them a Really Long Questionnaire

Look back. Whenever we fold back the pages of history to see what the feds were really doing and lying about, we find a wonderfully accurate negative image of what was important at the time. FBI agents sneaking around planting bugs on Martin Luther King Jr. so they could listen in on his sexual relations: What more emblematic evidence could there be of King's significance, of the threat he posed to an evil status quo or of the psychological mess that was the white mind of the time? It was all right there in the pattern of official oppression.

And, please, let's do look at the pattern. The trick, in fact, is in not getting hoodooed by the government's technical excuses. A certain drumbeat is already building to the effect that, well, you know, the Tea Party groups may have been trying to win a special status they didn't quite deserve and so the IRS was justified under the law ... blah, blah, blah. Yeah, bullshit. Look at the pattern.

In spite of numerous attempts to get them to do so, the IRS has not launched a similar campaign of investigation or challenge against huge money-machine political organizations like Crossroads GPS founded by Karl Rove or Priorities USA ("If Romney wins, we lose") with close ties to President Obama. I'm still waiting to see the list of small grassroots liberal clubs and organizations that were told to cough up their donor lists the way the Tea Party groups were.

Yes, the IRS will be able to cover its loins in some kind of legalistic fashion, but the truth is in the pattern. Why didn't the same logic work to propel them into battle against the huge politically wired moneybags groups or against small liberal organizations?

One story I read offered the excuse that the Tea Party groups were low hanging fruit. The IRS didn't want to go up against the Karl Rove/Obama-sized entities because those groups would be lawyered up and hard to fight. Bullshit again. Are you telling me the only low-hanging fruit in this country is consistently conservative?

Here's what really worries me when I look back at the history of these things. Back when presidents were still dumb enough to create audiotapes of Oval Office conversations, it always turned out when those tapes finally went public that it was just as the little people had suspected: The bugging and burglarizing of politically vulnerable groups was initiated at the very top.

Think about it. You're career IRS. You have a steady climb ahead up the GS ranks and a solid retirement to look forward to, as long as you don't screw up. Absent some kind of signal from above, how much incentive do you really have to launch a risky rogue adventure into politics? It tends to come from above.

So, like I say, Teapers, you are cooler than I thought. Respect. Truly. You must have been doing something good. I mean bad. I wanted to be bad back in the day. I got all excited once when I found out the Ann Arbor police department was looking for me, but it turned out to be about parking tickets. Hey, it was a LOT of parking tickets. But ... sigh ... obviously it was nothing even close to IRS harassment. Wow.


My Voice Nation Help
149 comments
CitizenKane
CitizenKane

Blaming Citizen United is a liberal canard; the problem is the US TAX CODE;  we need to replace it with the Fair Tax !

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

Government financing would be just as corrupt and favor the incumbents unless everyone, House, Senate, Presidency, were limited to one six year term.

LunchroomLady
LunchroomLady

No, no, no, no, no.  Missing the point entirely.  This is direct result of Citizens United, not one of the hundreds of fraud, clarifications, correspondence issues, process changes, bulletins, citations, and memos the IRS sends to an army of temp and seasonal workers during tax season. Political organizations can spend a fortune on political ads but not reveal the sources of the money, even if it's non-US based, like Suadi or UAE petrodollars.  If apologies are in order, perhaps the Supreme Court should be doing the apologizing.

mcdallas
mcdallas

Can't we just all get along?

PerryMoore
PerryMoore

Leviathan exposes his massive ass once again. Mr. Schutze, you did fairly well at eating crow on this one. I'm curious, however. When you compare this debacle to FBI wiretaps of Mr. King, which you say were the result of "the threat he posed to an evil status quo," are you implying that this scandal is indicative of a pervasive, similar mindset within our current government? If so, within what cohort would you expect to find this mindset? Just trying to connect some more dots, here.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Mr. Schutze' act of contrition notwithstanding, this abuse has been ongoing since we started using the IRS to collect taxes.  IRS Political Targeting: A Brief History - James Bovard, Wall Street Journal.

At the next White House Masquerade Ball - everyone shows up in Nixon masks. A Neil Young remix "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming" looping in the background.  

This agency.  This Frankenstein, is not going to be fixed.  To restore confidence in paying taxes, to restore confidence in government itself . . . we need to go to a simplified flat, sales or fair tax that does not allow for deductions and exemptions, or any potential for the doling out of favors, or persecution based upon race, creed or association.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Democrat/Republican  -  Bidneess as usual   

Isn't the larger issue here why any of these groups are 504(c)4 tax-exempt organizations?  Didn't Colbert and Ham Rove already demonstrate what a farce this whole arrangement is?

And by the way - Eric Holder. the worst AG ever 

JohnWileyPrice
JohnWileyPrice

As long as Sandra Fluke gets her free birth control pills what difference does it make?

Nandoboom
Nandoboom

We will always find people refusing to be civilize. I hope Obama fix this problem quickly. There are so many good things to live for. http://t.co/XCiKDZ8tJQ

BarackObama
BarackObama

Yo ah'll be long gone 'bfoe some smart broddar ever figures out what happened inside dis here Oval Office.

ruddski
ruddski

I'm not racist, so abuse of power doesn't really bother me.

Americano
Americano

Totalitarianism has to start somewhere.  One day liberals, they will come for you too.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

Sorry Jim, can't give those folks the respect you want to throw their way simply because the federales went after them.

That sort of respect is earned when someone takes a principled stand on an issue and suffers the consequences. The tea party'ers only principle is they feel their tax dollars are too high, want the taxes to stop, but want all the government benefits to keep on a'coming.

That's not a principled stand, that's just illogical knee jerking.

Btw, having the IRS going after targets is a long standing tradition in America. Just about every pres since FDR (Eisenhower being the only one who seems to be not guilty) has played this card. It's easy to escape tho, if you haven't cheated on your taxes they really have no teeth.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

Amazing.  Over 90% of African-American voters in 2008 and 2012 voted for Obama.  But that isn’t racism – even though it is painfully clear that Obama’s policies are killing the employment rate for these African-Americans.

But in Jim’s mind, when white voters vote against Obama because 1) jobs are shrinking; 2) he takes over 16% of the economy (and screws it up); 3) taxes increase; 4) the economy tanks; 5) unpopular liberal agendas are implemented; and 6) his administration is scandal plagued… well that is just because these racist whites can’t stand a black man in the White House.

Threeboys
Threeboys

I DO believe I am Taxed Enough Already.

I am white.

I didn't know that automatically made me mad that The President is black.

By the way.  If his mother is white, doesn't that make him half black?  It's not like there is some very distant relative that's white.  It was his mother.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@holmantx As someone who has worked in the wold of non-profit management, my perspective of keeping America unique, is the incentive of some of these "deductions and exemptions" to provide for certain sectors that otherwise wouldn't be funded. I say "otherwise" because the alternative is that the Government takes care of the myriad services that We the People benefit in having. If you take every non-profit in the country and have the Government run them all, then what do we have?

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

@Nandoboom What does Obama have to do with civilization ? Take yo' hinepos to South Dallas and bend over for an ass whipping.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@BarackObama 

Always great to hear from the the national executive director of the Tea Party. Thanks for weighing in.

casiepierce
casiepierce

@mavdog And if you didn't do anything wrong then why would you be against illegal wiretaps and searches of your property?

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

@mavdog Oh, so you know all Tea Partyers want government benefits ? Your last sentence is the height or depth of naivete. Tell your keepers to keep you on a short leash.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@PrestonHoller 

Anyone who doesn't give positive marks and accolades to the Obama Administration's handling/decisions in regard to the US economy is either uninformed, blind or....

which are you?

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@PrestonHoller 

Well, there's racism, and then there's racism.

This is clearly the second, italicized kind of racism.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@Threeboys Whooo-e,Threeboys. You gave the whole game away with that last paragraph.

Daniel
Daniel

@Threeboys I have no reason not to assume good faith on your part, Threeboys, but I've seen far too many of you taxed-enough-already types plausibly deny your racism, only to later use racially charged language (Obama is the "thug-in-chief," especially unsavory people in the news who happen to be black are "Obama voters," etc.) or even compare Michelle Obama to a gorilla. 

And by the way, if you demand to know "what's racist about that," you lose. But I don't take you for a racist, so I'm sure you won't.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Threeboys 

Noooooo, I think that makes him half-white. Depends on the neighborhood, I suppose.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@casiepierce @holmantx Paying a tax is, at its core, a voluntary act.  If we do not move quickly to cure the unfairness exhibited by our tax collector public servants, confidence in the system will erode.  Those who seek exemptions will be engaging in a pointless exercise.

Similar to paying your mortgage.  If over half the neighborhood is in default, only a chump would continue to pay.

observist
observist topcommenter

@red.marcy.rand @Nandoboom  I've never seen this screen name here before, yet you're marked as a top commenter.  Either you're a regular who's changed his/her name to make quasi-anonymous stupid racist comments, or you're some refugee from DC9.  What gives?

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

@JimSX @BarackObama Always great to hear from The Big O Affirmative Action BSer hisself, so thanks for checking in.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@red.marcy.rand

uh, "all"?

clearly you live in a world of absolutes. very odd. must be really lonely in there by yourself.

As for the statement, those protesters arent being seen burning their SS checks, or refusing the services they get fromt the state, so yeah, they want the benefits.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@mavdog @PrestonHoller I'm informed, fairly well-sighted, fair minded and keep an eye, an ear, and my fingers on the information pulse as much as I can, but I can't quite bring myself to hand President Obama an 'A', not even for effort.  Perhaps it's because I disagree with his direction, perhaps it's because I cannot stomach his visibly apparent disdain for the thoughts and opinions of the People.  Either way, the reasons are the same reasons I wasn't a big cheerleader for President Bush, Clinton, Bush(the former), Reagan or Carter.  You see, in my version of "us" vs. "them", the 'us' is the US citizenry (free people) and the 'them' is the political, media and academic class that would have us be Subjects rather than Citizens.  Republican/Democrat, liberal/conservative, tea party/occupy are all just labels the elites use to turn the citizens against each other, instead of binding them together.

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

@mavdog @PrestonHoller STUPID, read The Great Deformation by David Stockman, Obama greatly exacerbated the Keynesian mess he inherited from W.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Daniel @Threeboys I don't know where we got the idea that he was thug.  I mean, thugs do things like send the IRS to audit their enemies and run guns to Mexican cartels, right?

Oh.

Threeboys
Threeboys

@Daniel @Threeboys 

Daniel,  loved your response.  Is this where I am supposed to write in "I have black friends"?

While not a TEA party member, I do bristle at increasing my taxes, especially as there are so many cases of waste in the government & its social services.  That has nothing to do with race.

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

@mavdog @red.marcy.rand Every thing is an absolute, whether you live or die, get money or don't, etc. We all only live inside our individual self so I'm not unique in that respect. People have become dependent on government and that's the problem.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

speaking of the uninformed and blind, a phelps post....

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

@mavdog Jim, you need to read The Great Deformation:The Corruption Of Capitalism In America by David Stockman, where the villains range from FDR's failed New Deal to LBJ to Nixon to Reagan to both Bushes to Obama. 

It's 715 pages of text and I don't want to soundbite it.

Why would you think I would think 'gay' marriage is good ? Probably the state should not be in marriage at all but I have no use for same sex and am tired of hearing about it.

I'm a cat person. 


mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@russell.allison1

you need to reread my comment, it spoke only about the US economy. The recovery from the 2007 collapse. the return to positive growth. the recovery in the housing market. the growth (yes, growth) in employment. if you've got a 501k it looks a lot better today than in '07-08.

as for the other items, yeah, there's a basis for criticism. Don't forget there are positives, especially on gay marriage.

Pyr's are a gorgeous breed, wonderful pups. If you have a chance to get one do it, you won't be disappointed. except for the constant shedding. oh, and the relentless barking.

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

@mavdog @red.marcy.rand @PrestonHollerMavdog-I do hope you're being sarcastic here.  Only a blind person can be ignorant this administrations continued attack on our civil rights (indefinite detention of Americans, Guatanamo Bay), his failure to provide a more transparent government, and his complete failure to affect improvement of the jobs situation, especially among minorities are the easy targets, but there are others.  His complete failure to move along the cause of gay marriage...you need only read unbiased material and you find example after example of his administration's failures.  The latest scandals bespeak an implosion in the making. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@red.marcy.rand @mavdog @PrestonHoller 

stockman makes some good points in his book about corporatism and the manner in which public policy is tilted to benefit the monied elite. of course, stockman does this after he personnally profited immensely from being one of those monied elite.

as for the assertions on the "Keynesian mess", the recovery and 15 straight quarters of GPD growth completely destroy that argument.

observist
observist topcommenter

@Daniel @everlastingphelps I don't think "thug" has been race-neutral for the last 10 years.  It used to imply large, not smart, and criminally inclined.  Now it just seems to be used interchangeably with "ghetto", "urban" or"Obama voter"

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@Daniel Who said 'no' tea partiers?  There are nuts in every group.  Frankly, I know far, FAR more racist democrats than tea partiers.  (Especially since I personally know zero racist tea partiers. I know LOTS of racist white Democrats.)

Daniel
Daniel

@everlastingphelps @Daniel 

I think I've been pretty fair about not accusing my fellow commenters of racism, Phelps.  In this thread and always. But if you think there are no self-identified tea-party types who are unambiguously racist, you've got your head up your ass. Does that mean most of them are? No. 

As to your proposition, you'll have to buy me dinner first. What kind of a girl do you think I am?

Daniel
Daniel

@everlastingphelps  Okay, "thug" is arguably race-neutral. How about using the word "ghetto" in conjunction with our POTUS? That kind of stuff. I'm just being anecdotal, but don't pretend you don't know what I mean.

Daniel
Daniel

@Threeboys @Daniel  

Ha. I was raised in the 70s and early 80s by a bourgeois liberal mom -- an essentially conventional soul who immediately locked her car door if a black man was in sight (even hearing a black man on the radio might subconsciously prompt her to lock her door), but exulted in the enriching opportunity to Invite A Negro To Dinner.

Alas, such types are nearly extinct now. (Populations have been observed in Vermont and parts of the Pacific Northwest.) On the off-chance that you miss them, read just about any John Updike novel.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...