Political Animal


May 13, 2013 1:10 PM Already Jumping the Shark

By Ed Kilgore

Snakes alive, are conservatives already in the process of jumping the shark on the “IRS scandal,” even before Democrats can finish duly registering their dismay at the improper nature of the IRS’ scrutiny of selected 501(c)(4)s and supporting calls for an investigation?

Could be. It sure looks like every failed 2012 presidential candidate is getting into the act with a fresh “angle” on the issue that makes it more impossible to talk about rationally. Here’s Newt Gingrich on Morning Joe linking today’s topic to—you guessed it—Obamacare!

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Monday said the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups could be a huge problem for President Barack Obama because the agency is central to his health care reform law.
“Obamacare relies very heavily on the IRS,” Gingrich said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “Now every American understands there are elements of the IRS that go off on their own, do what they want to….
“Why would you trust the bureaucracy with your health if you can’t trust the bureaucracy with your politics? … There are bureaucrats in the IRS who are capable of ruining your life while lying about it.”
He added, “I think the president has to say he is opening it up totally and demand everybody meet with Congress, go to the hearings. He is going to fire everybody he can legally fire who has been involved in this and they have got to look at changes. How can you put Obamacare under the Internal Revenue Service?”

Just a matter of hours, I’m sure, before Rick Santorum gets someone to interview him and goes off on the evil persecution of churches by the IRS for discharging their duty to announce from the pulpit the manifest Will of God that all secular-socialists (including all those many millions of fake “liberal Christians”) be driven from public office.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on May 13, 2013 1:29 PM:

    Ah, that Newt, he's a cunning fat philandering phucking pant-load!

    Everyone in the US hates and fears the IRS. And now, he's trying to create a "guilt by association" with Obamacare.

  • esaud on May 13, 2013 1:40 PM:

    I just listened to an hour of Democracy Now about the brutality of former president Rios Montt. And now that he has been convicted, perhaps this would be a good time to review the involvement of the Reagan administration in propping him up.

    It drives me crazy that so many real scandals were brushed aside. People should still be serving prison time for their part in the atrocities (Rios Montt was convicted of genocide).

    Oh, by the way, the IRS stuff happened during Shulman's term, a Bush appointee. He stepped down in November when his five-year term expired and (of course) the position was never filled. It's hard to see how any of this can be pinned on Obama.

  • T2 on May 13, 2013 1:41 PM:

    Every Monday some wake up thinking somehow the Right will return to normal. Sorry, but what we have today IS the normal GOP......no, and I mean NO popular and sensible policy options for the American people as a whole, so thy just have to stay crazy. And we have to suffer.

  • PTate in MN on May 13, 2013 1:45 PM:

    Andrew Sullivan this morning commented, "What we have on the right right now is a confluence of delusions buoyed by an unending fuel of rage." We're six months out from the election, and they just seem to be getting more and more hysterical.

    Given the Spring we've had here in Minnesota--45ºF yesterday, 92ºF tomorrow, snow in May--and passing the 400 ppm threshold, I am terrified about global climate change. And these powerful, paranoid, spittle-flecked jerks are obsessing about this sort of trivia!!! They ignored Huge things done by Republicans--the outing of Valerie Plame, the politicalization of government under GWB (remember the targeting of state attorneys?), the GWB lying repeatedly to invade Iraq--so we can assume it is entirely about amassing the power to gut government of, by and for the people. Meanwhile, the planet burns.

    How do we stop them? They have become the primary problem facing the USA.

  • Anonymous on May 13, 2013 1:49 PM:

    The howling has another tell. Like a kid who's caught stealing cookies screams how unfair it is, the GOP also knows how to play the victim. It was pretty clear that churches and a lot of right wing groups were crossing over the partisanship line. And it was pretty clear that they had a lot more money to do it than any progressive groups.

    Yes, an explicit partisan angle was clearly wrong, but explicitly crossing the line was just as wrong. Too bad Dems aren't starting with that argument.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on May 13, 2013 2:01 PM:

    @ esaud:

    The GOP can pin it on Obama the same way that Sarah Palin pinned those horny Secret Service agents oogling her during the 2008 campaign on Obama... KER-POW!!! Nunchucktard logic!!!

  • smartalek on May 13, 2013 10:28 PM:

    Sadly, Sgt. Gym Bunny has it exactly correct.
    The current GOP has no need for any factual basis for their "scandal"-creation machinery to whip up the hysteria.
    Who's going to call them on their lies?
    The corporate media, owned, operated, and increasingly staffed by the very same powers that own and operate the Publicans?
    The corporate-funded rightwing Dem's who are their accomplices?
    Or the few, and fabulously feckless, real Dem's who are barely hanging on in DC, and couldn't command media attention if their lives depended upon it -- and probably wouldn't know what to do with it if they could?
    This is exactly why it's not at all surprising that, in the infamous recent survey, 18% of Democratic respondents joined the 44% of Publicans who said they thought it entirely possible that an "armed revolt might be necessary" within the next half-decade.
    For a while, it seemed as if a slim majority of American voters could be relied on to see thru the web of lies. And that still might be true, and might remain so.
    But it's just going to get progressively (heh) harder for them to do so, as the Pubbies and their media hos ramp up the hysteria -- as they must do, before the improving economy completely and irrevocably robs them of their one salient selling point for their increasingly un-sellable "policies."
    When you have but one product to sell, that's what you're gonna sell.