At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials singled out for scrutiny not only groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names but also nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.
The documents, obtained by The Washington Post from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that the IRS field office in charge of evaluating applications for tax-exempt status decided to focus on groups making statements that “criticize how the country is being run” and those that were involved in educating Americans “on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.”
The staffers in the Cincinnati field office were making high-level decisions on how to evaluate the groups because a decade ago the IRS assigned all applications to that unit. The IRS also eliminated an automatic after-the-fact review process Washington used to conduct such determinations.
There is no other word for this: it's wrong. It's wrong when it's done against people on the left — or, as here, done against those on the right.
This is a scandel — one that Republicans (if they want) can jump on. But somehow, I don't think they will. Why? Because even the president is outraged by it. There's no political capital to be gained. With the supposed "Benghazi" scandel-which-isn't, Republicans have a clear target — get Hillary.
But they can't turn this IRS scandal into a victory. It is what it is. And that's why it won't be news a week from now.