Oh, wait, Darrell’s busy flogging the Benghazi dead horse, an enterprise that’s getting more hilarious as it goes along. Chris Mathews is having a field day hauling up Republicans and asking them, point blank, “What evidence do you have that the President was involved in “editing” those emails?”
No reply, just a cascade of talking points designed to cover over the fact that the answer is, “None.” So we have Issa and his cohorts gargling on about the “I” word and when cornered to offer any real evidence, they come up sputtering. They’re holding an investigation to find out if there’s anything that needs investigating that hasn’t already been investigated.
But, evidence is the last thing Issa’s interested in. He’s after face time with the TV camera. So he must be grinding his teeth over this. I mean, here he is, stuck with this rotting equine that’s getting nowhere, except with Faux News Fans, when, ka-blooey, out of the blue, here comes the Perfect Storm of a Scandal! A Right Wing Republican’s Wet Dream!
Yes, it’s the IRS “targeting” Conservatives! It’s the perfect fake talking point that combines several conservative bet noirs – The Evil Government, in the form of the agency that collects those Evil TAXES, and the conservatives’ most cherished, dark belief that the Evil Government IS coming for them in the black helicopters. A perfect conflation of their most cherished beliefs come true.
It will offer delicious opportunities to crank up the base, get lots of face time on TV decrying the organization that everyone loves to hate – the tax collector – and, most important, permanently deflect and cover up in a cascade of outrage, the REAL danger here.
It isn’t the IRS. The folks who screwed the pooch on this one will be booted out the door. What will be buried in the ballyhoo is the genuine threat to our democracy. It isn’t the IRS, it’s the Supreme Court ruling declaring money as speech as well as Citizens United.
Most of the public didn’t understand what that money-speech ruling meant. Karl Rove wasn’t one of those people. He knew and acted quickly to set up 501c4s, those fake non-profit PACs that declare themselves to be a “social welfare organization,” while, in reality, they’re a political action committee in disguise engaging in political activity under the thinnest veil of laughable deniability.
Steven Colbert also caught on really quick and formed his own PAC in order to satirize and illustrate just how corrupting this whole thing had become. In short, any crackpot political organization could now pretend to be a non-profit “social welfare organization,” apply to the IRS for a non-profit status and the IRS was charged with trying to follow a deliberately vague law defining “social welfare.”
I mean, can you imagine the rolled eyes in the Cleveland IRS offices when agents had to equate Meals on Wheels with Karl Rove’s clearly, blatantly political operation disguising itself as a “social welfare organization?” Like Karl was doing social welfare by handing out baloney sandwiches to the poor? But, God Bless them, the IRS closed their eyes to the obvious and did just that and Rove’s group is now on a non-profit par with Meals on Wheels. So are all kinds of “tea party” groups mushroomed prior to the election, all of which that galloped in right behind Karl. (And, need I add, fake left-wing groups as well, all equally phony?)
Laughable? Yes. And the laughability became so obvious, even to a corrupted Congress, that they felt they had to at least make this rot look good so they charged the IRS to closer scrutinize groups that simply didn’t pass the smell test, though the bar was already laughably low. And it has been reported (at this point) that almost all the fake 501s that were scrutinized were issued their non-profit status. That’s the kind of wink-nudge stuff a wholly owned Congress comes up with when money is speech and money talks.
While the result in this case will turn out to be a foot in mouth operation, its ultimate value to Corporate America is this: The perfect opportunity for Corporate America and their handmaidens to permanently shut down any and all inquiries into exactly how the IRS determines eligibility of these 401s, and exactly how the law is written to determine that status, and whether the definition of “social welfare” needs to be better clarified.
And it will stop any attempt by Congress to change the laws, to tighten up the rules, to force the fox to nail up the holes in the chicken coup. It will also shut down any attempt by Congress to take a closer look at how money-is-speech is playing out in the real world of politics, how corrupting these fake PACs are (on both sides of the political fence) on the body politic.
To Corporate America, this IRS bungle is a gift from heaven. And is bound to get great TV face time to whoever gets to chair the investigation committee.
Which is why poor old Darrel must really be miffed. He took the starring role in a Grade B movie and lost out on the chance to star in a blockbuster. Rats!