Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) nailed it. And the truth obviously hurt because he forced Rep. Paul Ryan to deviate from his prepared accusations, er, statement about the IRS "tempest in a tea party":
The mistake here was that the staff organizing the organizations used the names of the organizations rather than the work they do and asked improper questions to figure that out.It’s clearly wrong. It was inept, stupid, and a whole lot of other things.Let’s not forget, this happened under an IRS commissioner appointed by George Bush and was investigated by a Republican inspector general.I haven’t heard a single word here about what questions you think we ought to be able to ask you about your tax-exempt request. Anything else, like the circus that’s happening in the Oversight Committee or here, is simply political theater.
EXACTLY! Why isn't anybody else in Congress thinking about how to prevent such mistakes in the future, by coming up with clear and rational guidelines for the IRS to follow when evaluating whether an applicant for tax-exempt status really is a non-political "social welfare organization?"
I'll tell you why not. Because Republicans want a big scandal. (Good luck.) And because they want to intimidate IRS staff so thoroughly that they'll completely stop checking conservative political groups altogether, no matter how obviously they are engaging in politics.
As I've said before, this whole 501(c)(4) "social welfare" designation is total bullshit and only political hacks pretend it's real. The GOP is positively giddy about acting all upset at the IRS, like a bunch of teenage boys booing the "bad guys" at a pro wrestling match when they know the whole thing's fake.
By Noah Rothman
June 4, 2013 | Mediaite