The news in the past few days has confirmed our worst fears... for those of use who remember a state government "fusion" center memo targeting pro-lifers and other conservatives, it could not be worse: the IRS is targeting conservatives who oppose the administration in power.
Recall that the Tea Party was born out of frustration as we watched Big Government spend trillions of dollars to bail out private entities and citizens. As the movement has grown, the Tea Party message generally focused on fiscal issues. However, the Tea Party as a movement has deep concerns about the shocking growth in the power of government and the potential for abuse. Tea Party patriots, from grandparents to college kids - are all worried about the power of the state and want a return to Constitutionally limited government.
While our motives have been slandered, misconstrued and intentionally twisted in the media, one need only look at the actions of the Internal Revenue Service since at least 2011 to see the prescience of the concerns of the Tea Party.
Grassroots organizations on both the left and the right need money to pursue their goals. The non-partisan activities can be paid for with tax-exempt resources. Groups from MoveOn.org to the NRA are able to collect tax-exempt contributions to further their organization and information efforts. In the run-up to the 2012 election, the IRS chose to give special scrutiny to conservative groups, delaying or denying their tax exempt status. The delays and denials of legitimate public interest organizations had a crippling effect giving opponents a government-enforced advantage in the public debate.
Officials at the higher ranks of the IRS blame local bureaucrats and a failed attempt to streamline a process, but this looks like a lie on its very face - why only focus on groups with the word “patriot” or “tea party” to pool into one group. Further, congressional leaders believe that a report is forthcoming that demonstrates that IRS officials in Washington knew of the improper scrutiny.
It is categorically wrong and profoundly un-American to use the power of the Federal government to tilt the playing field in one direction or the other - especially when you are talking about grassroots organizations vying to participate in the great debates over how we are to govern ourselves. The IRS has shattered the faith Americans have in their impartiality, making the jokes about their power to crush political opponents a sudden, chilling reality.
The corruption of the rule of law this president and his team has brought to our Federal government is difficult to overstate. Citizens all over Missouri should demand that our elected representatives find out who knew this was going on, who failed to act, and fire or prosecute all who were involved.
I also think congress should zero out any budget the IRS might have for retreats and conferences.
Too often, when a bureaucrat breaks faith with the American spirit of equality before the law, they do not pay a price. Whether releasing documents (an illegal act that lead to Obama’s career in the senate) to illegally handing personal data of gun owners to the Feds as Jay Nixon's Department of Revenue has, these lawless, faceless functionaries are rarely fired or prosecuted. Now we see that Obama's Chicago-style of politics has infested the Internal Revenue Service.
The general problem is that government is too big, but the specific problem is that lawlessness among the minions of Big Government is not punished. That has to change.
Though our fears are confirmed, our resolve is not diminished: we will work for our Constitution and government limited by it. So help us God.
Copyright ©2013 Edward Robert Martin Jr.