Obama Starts A Classic Slow-Motion Fold Over IRS Controversy

Obama doesn't seem to understand that he's only fanning the flames when he entertains even the possibility of these rightwing paranoid fantasies being true. Oy.

I used to work at a lobby shop. Let me tell you, 501(c)3s and (c)4s have really strict reporting requirements and the people who work for them understand (or should understand) there's a line you can't cross. That said, the groups on our side of the fence tend to be a little more casual about that sort of thing. And our side doesn't have a vast pool of corporate money the way the other side does --particularly the way the Kochs and Co. have sent a tsunami of cash into the Tea Party movement. If the IRS didn't target them, they wouldn't be doing their job.

President Obama on Monday morning called the Internal Revenue Service’s admitted targeting of conservative groups “outrageous” and said he “will not tolerate it.”

“This is pretty straightforward,” Obama said at a news conference. “If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous, and there’s no place for it. And they have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity.”

Obama couched his statement a bit, stating that he didn’t want to prejudge an inspector general’s report on the matter. But the IRS last week admitted to the wrongdoing.

Obama added that the outrage should be bipartisan: ”You should feel that way regardless of party.”

“This is something that I think people are properly concerned about,” Obama said. “I am not going to comment on their specific findings prematurely. But I can tell you that if you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions, and people have to be held accountable, and it’s got to be fixed.”


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