May 15, 2014

Maybe wingers have decided the Benghazi Select Committee will be a bust, but for whatever reason, Judicial Watch dumped nearly 1500 emails online today with yet another erroneous story about how the IRS National Office coordinated everything which means of course the White House was directing them.

Except that's not what the nearly 1500 pages of emails show at all.

When we last left the soap opera known as The IRS Scandal Turns On Conservatives, Fox News and their pals at Judicial Watch were ensconced deeply in OppositeLand, where what happened is the opposite of what they say happened.

Nothing has changed much. The latest blizzard of redacted emails still shows that they don't understand what happened, but this time they're working hard to rope in hard-working managers from all over the country.

Contrary to what these yahoos claim, there is a coordinating process in place for policy decisions that affect every field office processing applications. At the time that advocacy organizations started using 501(c)(4) entities as their primary vehicle to avoid disclosure, there was concern on all levels, from the Senate to the IRS field offices. The news was filled with stories about astroturf organizations, mostly masquerading as social welfare organizations.

As those applications flowed in, field offices began to wonder about policy. Meanwhile, Lerner was fielding all of the congressional inquiries at the same time. Under established procedure, that means the National Office gets involved, because whatever policies come out of the process must apply nationally. Since Cincinatti isn't going to make policy for Los Angeles, it's necessary to bring in IRS counsel as well as to coordinate nationally.

But that's not stopping Krauthammer and Judicial Watch from claiming this is all coordinated in the White House, because somehow responding to Senate inquiries is now exactly the same as a White House inquiry.

In all of the emails cited by Judicial Watch, none involve the White House. But that didn't stop Krauthammer from claiming the document release "gives lie to the administration claim that this had nothing to do with the election, nothing to do with targeting opponents of the administration."

Here's a memo for Krauthammer, Judicial Watch and all of the wingers about to try and obfuscate their own witch hunt (Benghazi!) with this one. Follow along carefully:

  1. The Senate is not the White House.
  2. There were legitimate reasons to look carefully at right wing organizations claiming to be social welfare organizations.
  3. Investigating the legitimacy of these organizations and the IRS criteria for approval of them falls well within the scope of Congressional oversight.
  4. Two words: James O'Keefe, who received approval for his 501(c)(3) Veritas project in 2011. If any non-profit deserved denial, it was his.

There's STILL nothing to see here, folks. Move along to the next exhibit, which might be Benghazi! or Obamacare, but won't be jobs, infrastructure, or economic growth.

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