Ever since its spontaneous inception, the Tea Party has been doing their Paul Revere thing with respect to warning citizens about the danger of too big, out-of-control government.
So, in a move designed, seemingly, to prove their point, the IRS’ responded by implementing a program designed to harass and intimidate individuals and groups that looked anything like a tea party.
Alinsky rule # 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
That sounds a lot like bullying to me! Which does violate one of our most important rules:
Oh sure, it was just a few rogue employees in Cincinnati who didn’t realize that Big Guy was just kidding around back in 2009 when he suggested he would use the powers of the Presidency to smite his enemies:
At his Arizona State University commencement speech last Wednesday, Mr. Obama noted that ASU had refused to grant him an honorary degree, citing his lack of experience, and the controversy this had caused. He then demonstrated ASU's point by remarking, "I really thought this was much ado about nothing, but I do think we all learned an important lesson. I learned never again to pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA brackets. . . . President [Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS."
That’s just crazy. Of course he was joking. An American president would never do that; use the IRS to target his enemies.
So we can assume that Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of “True the Vote” was just exaggerating when she told her story about government intimidation and abuse of power with respect to her, her husband, her family businesses, her organization and members of her organization:
“We applied for nonprofit C-3 status early in 2010. Since that time the IRS has run us through a gauntlet of analysts and hundreds of questions over and over again. They’ve requested to see each and every tweet I’ve ever tweeted or Facebook post I’ve ever posted. They also asked to know every place I’ve ever spoken since our inception and to whom, and everywhere I intend to speak in the future.”
Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family’s firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership–which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”
The Democratic Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against her, as did an ACORN affiliated group. Both the FBI and the BATF continued to poke around her life, the lives of people in her Tea Party group, and her businesses.
She should have hired a media/marketing analyst before picking a name for her tax-exempt group. For instance, instead of “True the Vote” if she’d selected something more suitable like “Screw the Vote” or “Green the Vote” she would have breezed right through.
After conducting a thorough internal investigation however, we find her complaint to be without merit. While her experience was unfortunate, we find no evidence of targeting or malice. It was simply another case of “horrible customer service” (h/t Steven Miller) – brought about by to all those sequestration cuts.
Butt hey! We did the best we could, considering all of the circumstances. Close enough for government work, right? And it’s not as if anyone’s life depended on it, right?
In fact, in government, I guess you get really big bonuses for providing “horrible customer service.”
Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network