After basically ignoring complaints about the IRS' illegal harassment tactics on behalf of a White House too cowardly to deal fairly with the Tea Party, the administration now wants to lay the groundwork for more of the same, only with new rules to make the shifty tactics legal.
The Obama administration is attempting to create a new rule that would legalize the abuses of power that it committed during the IRS scandal, when Tea Party and conservative non-profit groups were targeted. The Treasury has proposed a new rule for 501(c)4 groups that would, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal notes, “isolate and shut down the same tea party groups victimized in the first targeting round.”
President Barack Obama, having pretended to have been outraged by the IRS abuse when the scandal broke, is now endorsing it. The rules would not apply to unions (organized under Section 501(c)5 of the federal tax code) or to pure non-profits (organized under 501(c)3). Rather, they would target 501(c)4 “social welfare” groups, which the Democrats fear because they have been effective vehicles for conservative advocacy.
Meanwhile, there has been precious little accountability for the IRS scandal, which the mainstream media has all but forgotten. It is still unclear whether the White House was involved, but the frequent visits of senior IRS officials to the White House have yet to be explained, and the old excuse–planning for Obamacare–no longer holds water, given new revelations about how rarely the President met with senior officials responsible for it.
Photo: Adam Fagen on Flickr