I would like to take this opportunity to personally respond to the moronic statements made by Congressman McDermott at yesterday’s IRS hearing. In his statement he implied that the conservative groups that have been targeted are basically just whining. Even though wrongs were admittedly committed by the IRS he felt that we were basically going into the whole 501C application process with unrealistic expectations in the first place. Instead of understanding our plight, as he stated, we are now creating nothing more than “political theater”.
Let’s start with the first and most obvious issue that Congressman McDermott proved he doesn’t get. Those groups that were up there being represented weren’t looking for any handouts from the government (ala ACORN or Planned Parenthood), or as he put it “letting their voices be heard at taxpayer expense”. Where Mr. McDermott shows his utter ignorance is that he assumes that these groups are asking for as he put it “some sort of taxpayer subsidy”. They aren’t. What politicians like Mr. McDermott like to assume is that the money in question is the government’s money to begin with. It’s not. It belongs to those who have rightfully earned it and now prefer to donate it ALL to the cause of their choice instead of turning over a portion of it to the government. In other words they believe those causes to be more worthy and wise in spending it than a bunch of mindless and corrupt
The second issue Mr. McDermott doesn’t get is that he wasn’t talking to a bunch of children. All those people are smart enough to understand that there should be questions regarding scrutiny of anyone applying for 501C status. However, we also fully understand the difference between what is a valid question, what is an overly intrusive targeting question that is out of the norm, and what is a downright unlawful question. For example, when a person goes to a job interview they expect to be asked questions about their qualifications, but it is also totally illegal to ask specific questions about their religion. That same legal logic holds true for the IRS in posing questions related to 501C status qualifications. The questions asked by the IRS not only went far above the norm, but many of the questions asked were in fact known to be illegal when they were initially asked.
What Mr. McDermott also failed to note was that many of those on the panel that he was addressing weren’t just talking in terms of unlawful questioning by the IRS. Many were also harassed by other agencies as well that should have had nothing to do with the 501C scrutiny process at all. Homeland Security, the FBI, and even the EPA had not only attacked these organizations, but also individuals as well as businesses that those individuals were part of. He also failed to note that part of the complaint wasn’t just the harassment, but also the fact that the IRS was unlawfully disclosing this information to counter groups from the Left, including personal information that had nothing to do with an applying organization, but rather its membership.
The final note that he can’t seem to understand is that none of these groups were seeking special treatment of any sort. They were only seeking their rightful opportunity to afford airing their voice in the same manner as their opposition. If he thinks the law should be changed, great! But that has nothing to do with what yesterday’s hearing was all about. It was about the use of a government agency to abuse political opposition. Intrusiveness is one thing when it’s even handed. Politically targeted intrusiveness is another matter altogether.
It’s bad enough that those sworn to protect us stood idly by as these group’s rights were systematically trampled on over the course of several years. It’s another thing all together to sit in front of a Congressional hearing and attempt to minimize the perceived impact on those that were affected. It’s akin to telling a rape victim to “chill out because after all, it was only sex”. Well, these groups have been politically raped and they have no intentions of “chilling out” no matter how obtuse and ridiculous you, Lois Lerner, Douglas Shulman, or anyone else from this Administration think you can act.