Maybe I am just being too idealistic, but I have a real problem with this Tim Carney theory about why IRS targeted conservative groups:
There's a fairly innocent -- and fairly probable -- explanation for what the IRS did, and it boils down to the natural suspicion people have of those with opposing views.
The public servants figuring out which groups qualified for 501(c)4 "social welfare" non-profit status were mostly Democrats surrounded by mostly Democrats. Democrats received 75 percent of the campaign contributions I could trace to employees of the IRS Cincinnati office over the last three election cycles. In the 2012 election, every donation traceable to this office went to President Obama or liberal Sen. Sherrod Brown.
This is an environment where even those trying to be fair could develop a disproportionate distrust of the Tea Party.
...and my problem is not with Tim Carney. It's with the whining IRS agents who emailed querulous apologies for their fellows' actions.
- Ooh, most government employees only vote Democrat because the Democratic party is big government! Doesn't matter. Don't bring politics into your job.
- Ooh, the IRS union only gives money to Democrats for the same reason! Doesn't matter. Don't bring politics into your job.
- Ooh, that mean old Grover Norquist [me: :rolls eyes:] and the rest of the Right are being horrid to us! Doesn't matter. Don't bring politics into your job.
- Ooh, those awful Republican elected officials Boehner, Boustany, and Issa keep getting into our business! Doesn't matter. Don't bring politics into your job.
- Ooh, the way that those Tea Party
hussies were dressedgroups were talking they were totally asking for it! Doesn't matter. Don't bring politics into your job.
But I guess that this advice of mine is coming too late. And may even put me at increased risk for an audit. And that last bit is the problem. We have previously tolerated government bureaucrats largely being of one political party because they have largely been wise enough not to push the issue in any but an essentially incremental fashion. But apparently this has changed, under Barack Obama... and here's a little secret: no government bureaucracy can in fact survive except under at least the forbearance of both American political parties. And it is not currently in the Republican party's best interests to extend that forbearance to the Internal Revenue Service.
Bottom line: the bureaucrats can police themselves, or they can have us police them for them. Either way will be fine.