Modern conservatives generally suffer from a persecution complex. At every opportunity, they leap at the chance to rend their garments and violently wail about being victimized by liberals.
The most evident example of this psychosis is the conservative notion of a “liberal news media” engaged in a continuous effort to deliberately ignore any stories that are favorable to conservative values — the deliberate squelching of Republican successes paralleled by an ongoing plot to cover-up Democratic failures. As we’ve discussed many times, however, this is total bullshit. Conservatives control the entire AM radio dial; they control the most popular cable news network; they control a considerable cross-section of newspapers via Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers; they control the corporate parent companies of just about everything and, most importantly, everyone else in the news media insists upon stacking on-air panels with a disproportionate number of conservative analysts while infuriatingly manufacturing false equivalences in the name of “balance.”
Oh but, yeah, the news media is a cabal of effete San Francisco liberal Democratic Party operatives driven by the lockstep endgame of crushing the silent majority under its commie jack-boots.
A similar tall tale is playing out in the IRS scandal.
So where are we with this? We’re fairly certain the scandal is contained within the IRS itself without any real linkage to the White House. We also know via Stephen Colbert that many of these groups are essentially money-laundering fronts. We also know that the IRS commissioner at the time was a Bush appointee. We also know that none of the tea party groups were disbanded or penalized by the IRS. We also know that none of the groups that were scrutinized under the “9/12”, “Tea Party” or “patriots” keywords were denied 501(c)4 status. Not one. Yet several liberal groups were denied.
In spite of the facts as we know them, Republicans everywhere are behaving as if they’re the only political faction to have ever been scrutinized by the government.
The “Obama IRS,” as Eric Cantor called it the other day, is unjustly attacking conservative groups and conservative groups alone. Not true, but cue the garment rending, self-immolation and big sloppy Boehner tears anyway.
They’re telling us this is an atrocity — it’s the criminal, perhaps impeachable exploitation of government power as means of political retribution.
Hmm. I seem to recall a similar activity matching that exact description.
Say, did you know the Republicans plan to vote on two bills this week that include language to eliminate federal funding for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN for short? Well they are. And did you know that ACORN doesn’t exist any more? Well it doesn’t, thanks to… what was it? Oh yeah, the Republican inquisition against ACORN because of a prank video created by a known scam artist who falsified the videos (according to two investigations and the Government Accountability Office) and was successfully sued for his efforts.
That’s not stopping the Republicans who are, indeed, exploiting government power and authority to single out a non-profit organization as a means of exacting political revenge. They’re doing to ACORN exactly what they say the IRS did to tea party groups.
It turns out, the following line is added to every appropriations bill: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries or successors.” Most recently Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) added it to a budget bill back on May 28 and it gets a vote this week. Strangely, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) included a line in a separate bill that mandates the de-funding of ACORN in “any prior appropriations Act.” So the de-funding is not only continuously occurring every year, but in the past as well, just in case they missed any other budget bills.
ACORN, like Planned Parenthood, which has also been singled out by the Republicans for political retribution, is suffering this continued indignity, 1) because it formerly helped minorities who predominantly vote Democratic, and 2) because a scary number of Republicans believe ACORN stole the election for Barack Obama, not only in 2008 but also in 2012 even though it ceased to exist in 2010.
This is another example of Republican conspiracy theories totally superseding the laws of reality, time and space. You can’t de-fund a group that doesn’t exist because you believe that group, which didn’t exist at the time, stole the election for the other team. It’s insane. Worse yet, they’re retroactively de-funding ACORN ostensibly to make sure they eliminate the possibility of time-traveling Evil Obama going back with his cash-for-clunkers DeLorean to re-fund ACORN.
If the IRS scandal, in which none of the targeted groups were penalized, is a scandal-worthy trespass, then so is this. Worse, it’s so brutally obvious what’s going on, both in terms of the political targeting of ACORN as well as the lopsided attention on the IRS story versus the almost universal burying of the ACORN targeting. It’s violently hypocritical of the Republicans to soil their big boy pants about the IRS scrutinizing conservative groups while they themselves are repeatedly scrutinizing liberal groups. But violent hypocrisy has never prevented them from powering through with their non-reality-based goals in the past, especially when it comes to playing the victim — just take a look at anyone on Fox News Channel who praises the network’s ratings domination over the liberal MSNBC in one segment then, in the next segment, bitches about how liberals dominate the news media.