Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight

It's good to be right, and we're more than happy today to cram our right-ness down the throats of those who told us the IRS "scandal" just couldn't possibly be incompetence, as we noted it to be early Tuesday morning. While we can't take full credit for the idea that the IRS kerfuffle was just incompetence and not malice, as of publication time today, it appears that our analysis of that non-scandal was fairly spot on.

Of course, no matter what the obvious facts and official investigations find, we can almost guarantee the tea bagger extremists won't accept the results - or the fact that the tea party's own extremism appears to be what made them the target of the IRS in the first place.

CNN's Jake Tapper added further insult to the already wounded pride of the tea partiers on Tuesday afternoon, when he effectively shot down whatever tatters of the Benghazi "scandal" remained, and most of the media moved on.

There are, in fact, real, true, and very serious scandals going on in both the IRS case and the AP case - though both point nowhere near the White House or President Obama, which is making the tea party extremists bitter, to say the least.

In the IRS case, the Inspector General's report came out last night, and it proves the White House did not drive that investigation. The report further stated that the behavior of the IRS staffers responsible for the categorizing of 501c4 applicants was "not politically biased."

The real scandal in the IRS case is that the legal standards for which groups are allowed to file for - and are granted - 501c4 tax exempt status are incredibly vague. The culprits responsible for that failure in judgment shouldn't surprise anyone - the corporate-friendly Roberts Court and the politically constipated Congress. Thanks to their irresponsible actions regarding the Citizens United case, those individuals at the IRS who were stuck with the responsibility for judging whether a 501c4 applicant was involved with politics are people who have little to no political experience - and in fact, are supposed to be apolitical. As the Inspector General's report made clear, the IRS workers who made these decisions had little to no idea their actions were against their own agency's rules.

In the AP case, Attorney General Holder recused himself from the decision to seize the AP's phone records, in order to keep the case as unbiased as possible. Further, as White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed, the President hadn't even been notified of what the Justice Department had been doing on the AP case until the past few days. The White House Council's office was only notified themselves a few weeks ago of what the DOJ has found - and according to Holder, the person leaking information to media organizations is a serious threat. There IS definitely a problem - both with how the DOJ dealt with the AP, and a definite security leak. To the dismay of Republicans, though, the facts prove neither problem originated in the White House.

So now, while the tea party sulks, and Republicans in Congress desperately cling to talking points that have already been debunked, real scandals remain to be dealt with.

For example, the major sexual assault problem in the U.S. military, where the coordinator of the Army's sexual assault prevention office joins his colleague from the Air Force - where both men have been arrested and legally accused of sexually assaulting different women within the last ten days.

Somehow, we doubt you'll hear the Tea Party faithful crying out for immediate justice to be done on that issue.