Wednesday, May 15, 2013

And note that some people saw this coming. “We had lots of discussions about fundraising, forming a 501(c)(4) and in the end we decided not to do it specifically because of the threat of an audit.”

David Kirkham emails: “The article says it didn’t hinder us. That isn’t correct. Of course it hindered us–we couldn’t fund raise. We just worked around it the best we could.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jane Woodson writes: “I know you are hearing a lot of this, but the Sturbridge Tea Party also made the conscious decision to not apply for a 501(c)(4) designation out of fear of the IRS. The impact changed our vision of a grand movement to a very small one.”

After IRS, Benghazi, should I trust government?
...The week started out with President Obama disparaging those who worried about tyranny as conspiracy theorists, and telling college students to reject them:

"Still, you'll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can't be trusted."

The rest of the week consisted of scandal after scandal, suggesting that maybe our government is . . . a sham with which Obama, at least, can't be trusted....

...Meanwhile, the administration's already implausible story over the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which caused the death of our ambassador and three other Americans, also unraveled further as whistle-blowers came forward to testify that the White House knew immediately that it was a terrorist attack, and not a spontaneous protest over an obscure YouTube video, as the White House, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, nonetheless continued to claim for days despite knowing otherwise.

On Friday, BBC Editor Mark Mardell noted that although he had previously seen the Benghazi inquiry as a partisan attack, he was now convinced that it was serious and predicted that "heads will roll."

A cynic might conclude that these scandals are of a piece. The IRS harassment, focused at an IRS office in the key swing state of Ohio, crippled Tea Party groups during the 2012 election cycle. The blame-the-video spin, meanwhile, obscured the administration's, and the State Department's, culpability in terms of poor security and inept intelligence, while protecting Obama's triumphalist Osama-bin-Laden-is-dead-and-al-Qaeda-is-on-the-ropes election-season line on the war on terror....