The IRS story: How the crusade for Barack Obama got fanatically out of hand
The spin has begun on the Internal Revenue Service scandal in which applications from conservative-leaning groups for tax-exempt status seemed to have a tough row to hoe to achieve approval.
Now, it seems, weeks later, an official in the Cincinnati office says he is the one who first flagged a Tea Party application.
Right. That started the whole business.
Now, if you believe that, we have some files for you to look at about wire-tapping and Benghazi.
There are times when you hear news from Washington when you simply have to use common sense.
While it certainly is possible that the first flagged application might have occurred in Cincinnati, the number of complaints received -- and the speed with which President Barack Obama's own tax-exempt organization's application was approved -- suggest that there was more than just a passing interest in these applicants.
Perhaps there was no expressed policy.
Perhaps there was no direct message from anyone in the higher rankings at the White House.
But there did not have to be.
Re-electing Barack Obama was a crusade for many of those who worked for him. Getting opponents out of the way was Job 1 -- even Hillary Clinton.
So there was a mindset of us vs. them -- and it was pervasive.
There were many vile comments and unfair accusations hurled at those organizations and individual leaders who had conservative, Tea Party or Christian after their name.
Those who were part of these movements were classified as "crazies" and anything they said was dismissed.
There was no room for debate, discussion or anything else that resembled an exchange of ideas. Those who did not believe as the president did were the enemy.
But it really was not about policy or principles.
It was politics.
It was an election and the objective was to win. And for that to happen, certain steps had to be taken. It was an unspoken goal to make sure that the Tea Party ideas and supporters did not have the access or the influence to sway voters or to even make them think about another alternative.
And it seems it has worked.
The demonization of anyone who is attached to the principles of the original Tea Party movement has made the term sound radical and unreasonable.
The truth is the Tea Party called on citizens to watch their governments, to hold them accountable and to make sure that they are spending money wisely.
It was not a no government platform. It was a responsible government platform.
This country was founded on the principles of freedom. That means people should be allowed to express their viewpoints and to exchange ideas.
And that is what makes the IRS scandal such a blemish and so important to watch.
Its goal was the exact opposite of the freedoms for which patriots fought and servicemen and women died to protect.
And it is something we should not stand for whether we are conservative, liberal or somewhere in between.
Published in Editorials on June 21, 2013 11:07 AM