“If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first.” –Jewish proverb
A simple act of self-defense, that’s all this IRS reconnaissance effort is. Constitutionalist/tea party groups should have expected it. Did they not think the apparatchiks feeding the furnace of government would scout their activities? Haven’t they declared big government their enemy? Isn’t their object to reclaim the Constitution and eventually dismember the apparatus?
A government that takes upon itself the task of transforming the civil society is not going to defer to the remnants of said civil society. That America needs to be fundamentally transformed flows from the belief that America is fundamentally flawed.
Ergo, this government doesn’t exist to serve the people. It exists to change the people, and to serve itself. It may be limited in what it can do by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but what are those but words on paper? It’s not our written laws, per se, that limit government, but the people’s knowledge of right and wrong, as well their capacity to speak power to truth.
As part of its intelligence-gathering effort, the IRS asked conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status about their political activities.
Some of the letters asked for copies of the groups’ Web pages, blog posts and social media postings — making some tea party members worry they’d be punished for their tweets or Facebook comments by their followers.
Where on Earth would they get that idea?
In 2011, Jerry Buell, a Florida high school teacher, was suspended from the classroom for a “homophobic” rant against same-sex marriage on Facebook. Moses’ conjugal definition of marriage is verboten in the 21st century.
This attempt at ideological cleansing was inevitable in lieu of the Obama administration’s vilification of the Koch brothers and the Chamber of Commerce. The government need not explicitly target conservatives for retribution. Self-defense is an instinct, not a conspiracy. All government needs to do is make sure the information finds its way into the hands of its proxies. Threaten someone with excommunication from polite society and see how dedicated he is to his principles.
Reaction from columnist Ross Douthat of the New York Times:
The bureaucrats in question probably thought they were just doing their patriotic duty, and giving dangerous extremists the treatment they deserved.
Where might an enterprising, public-spirited I.R.S. agent get the idea that a Tea Party group deserved more scrutiny from the government than the typical band of activists seeking tax-exempt status? Oh, I don’t know: why, maybe from all the prominent voices who spent the first two years of the Obama era worrying that the Tea Party wasn’t just a typically messy expression of citizen activism, but something much darker — an expression of crypto-fascist, crypto-racist rage, part Timothy McVeigh and part Bull Connor, potentially carrying a wave of terrorist violence in its wings.
Or, as Charles Hurt puts it: “Who cares? They’re conservatives and they deserve it.”