The Internal Revenue Service is feeling the sort of heat that targeted taxpayers feel from the tax agency. It’s the sense that a powerful someone is breathing down your neck.
Republicans in Congress are livid with the IRS over its systematic scrutiny of conservative groups during the 2010 and 2012 elections. Democrats agree that something must be done. Likewise, President Barack Obama isn’t at all happy with the tax collectors.
"It’s all complex, squishy and in some ways subjective, so it might not come as a shock that the IRS would look for shortcuts such as political buzzwords and slogans when deciding what a group is really up to. But the record as yet known does not show that the scrutiny cut both ways."
This is the part that I think is the biggest red herring. I don’t claim to be an expert, but this concept of a need for equivalent scrutiny strikes me as ridiculous. There was no tidal wave of liberal organizations flooding the IRS under the pretense of "social welfare" but with a mission to defeat their political enemies. It does, however, seem to me that there was, and still is, such a movement coming from the right and their surrogate astroturf tea party groups. They deserve extra scrutiny, and using keywords and phrases and lengthy investigations seems to me to be the IRS simply doing their job.
I wonder, but not all that much, about what the right would be saying if it had been discovered that the IRS was giving extra scrutiny to groups with the words "green" or "clean energy" or "human rights" or "single payer healthcare" in their names.
See on www.washingtonpost.com