THE QUOTE OF THE DAY

Today\’s quote – and it is a truly astonishing one, given that it was made by someone who claims to be a journalist – comes to us from NBC/MSNBC\’s Chuck Todd.

Todd, it seems, cannot figure out for the life of him what the problem is with the Internal Revenue Service – arguably the most feared government agency there is, unless you are on the FBI most-wanted list – riding herd over applicants for 501(c)4 (tax exempt, non-profit) status based on the likelihood that their positions are opposed to those of the current administration.

His exact words:

“Sowhile the IRS is certainly not a good guy here they have beenterrible about being forthcoming. Are there any actual real victims?Folks, this scandal is not black and white since frankly two wrongsdon\’t make a right. We know what really is working here forRepublicans. Beating up the IRS, good for the base. Good politicsthere makes for great fundraising e-mails. But let\’s remember whatthe controversy itself is about.”

I do not consider Chuck Todd a hopelessly mind-numbed partisan robot. But I have to admit, reading that quote makes it hard not to at least consider the possibility.

Let me help you out, Chuck.

When the IRS held dozens or even hundreds of apparently conservative groups seeking 501(c)4 status in limbo – neither approved, nor able to appeal a rejection – until after the 2012 presidential election, it gave a huge advantage to the pro-Obama groups which had no problem becoming 501(c)4\’s. 

While conservative groups were filling out form after form, and being asked to give information it was unconscionable for the IRS to ask (membership lists prominent among them), the pro-Obama people were going on their merry way collecting tax exempt money, and using it to support their candidate.  

Did that change the election result, Chuck?  We\’ll never know – which means the answer could be “yes”.  Finding any real victims yet?

And then there is the broader issue of free speech. 

When I think of  501(c)4 groups – e.g. Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees – being treated differently, depending on whether they do or do not support the people in power, I think of places like Venezuela and Syria, I don\’t think of the United States of America.  But that is exactly what we are talking about here.

And, in that regard, every one of us is a victim, Chuck. 

Tell me:  what happens when a Republican becomes President, and uses the tactics we have seen from the Obama-era IRS as a basis for pulling the same crap on groups which support Democrats?  Will you be able to find any real victims then?

Never forget that suppression of free speech – in this case, favoring one side\’s freedom over another\’s –  is a nonpartisan issue.  Every person either is, or can be, affected by it. 

Even a hot-shot “journalist” with a smug attitude and a partisan outlook.

I award Chuck Todd Quote Of The Day honors for being so obtuse and/or so partisan that he cannot figure out what a large – and increasing – majority of the US population has:  that the IRS scandal is real, and there are victims galore.

Way to go, Chuck. 

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