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Ed Driscoll

Hey, remember back in 2004, when Barack Obama, then still a candidate for the US Senate in Illinois, said in the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, July of 2004 that put him in on the national map:

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

The IRS asking what American citizens are praying about? That’s totally cool, though.

“This passage could have come directly from George Orwell’s imagination, emphasis mine,” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, linking to testimony from Sue Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, to the House Ways and Means Committee today:

“[T]he IRS continued questioning us,” Martinek continued. “On June 22, 2009, IRS Agent Richards sent us additional written requests, as follows: ‘Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3).”

She added: “Organizations exempt under 501(c)(3) may present opinions with scientific or medical facts. Please explain in detail the activities at the prayer meetings. Also, please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups as compared with the other activities of the organization. Please explain in detail the signs that are being held up outside of Planned Parenthood and explain how they are considered educational.’

As Allahpundit writes:

Yes, when I pray to our Lord, I usually check in with my local IRS office to ensure I’m not transgressing their authority by appealing to Him.  We are The Bureaucracy, and thou shalt have no other God before us.

More importantly, though, note that this began in June 2009 — long before Citizens United, with the Tea Party movement still in its nascent stage.  This demonstrates a hostility to conservative, pro-life activism that existed within the IRS well before the supposed triggering event from the Supreme Court.  It came well before the eruption of outrage at Congressional town-hall events during the recess of August 2009 that put the Tea Party movement on the national radar.

Oh and speaking of those Tea Party groups, they totally had it coming from the IRS, according to Dem. Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington State today:

McDERMOTT: As I listen to this discussion, I’d like to remind everyone what we’re talking about here. None of your organizations were kept from organizing, or silenced. We’re talking about whether or not the American taxpayers will subsidize your work. We’re talking about a tax break. If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you. You could go out there and say anything in the world. I get the feeling that many of you, and my Republican colleagues, just don’t believe — or believe you should be free not just from political targeting, but from any scrutiny at all.

At the PJ Tatler, Bryan Preston writes:

Notice, by the way, McDermott’s use of the word “we” in this sentence.

If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you.

Who’s “we” in this context? Did McDermott just confess to something?

Meanwhile an interesting — and potentially devastating — story if it pans out: “Conservative group claims it has proof IRS leaked donor list:”

Asked by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., if he had “proof” that the IRS leaked that material, [John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage], said that he did.

Eastman explained that while some information was redacted in the posted version, his group’s “forensic” specialists were able to strip layers from the document and found “the original document that was posted there had originated from within the IRS.”

He said the version had “internal IRS stamps,” which “only exist within the IRS.”

Eastman added: “You can imagine our shock and disgust over this. … We jealously guard our donors.”

He later alleged the information was “deliberately” provided to their opponents.

“If that’s inadvertent, the word no longer means anything,” he said, claiming his group has been “stonewalled” in its request for an investigation.

And finally:


As Mark Steyn wrote in his Friday column, the process is the punishment.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled using a modified Shutterstock.com image.)

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
We were wondering why the tea parties did not turn out more of the conservative grass roots in 2012. Now we know, the IRS targeting had crippled them. Obama turned the entire federal govenment into his reelection organization. Venezuela could not have done it better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What McDermott really want to say: If you didn't wear that dress, you would not have gotten raped.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Really? IRS agents routinely ask American citizens what they're praying about?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (18)
All Comments   (18)
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An organization's tax exemption status is not a subsidy. McDermott called it a subsidy, but 501(c) status does not confer a grant to qualifying organizations.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Surely the IRS provides a printed guideline for agents to use in determining what prayer content invalidates a group's 501(c) tax exemption status. Likewise, the IRS must also keep a list of people to compare with a group's membership and their associations to decide who is not acceptable. Just how does the IRS use prayer content and one's friends and acquaintances in approving or disallowing tax exempt status?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
McDermott should just come out and say it - He and the other Dems just consider all the money we earn to be theirs, and they just oh-so-generously allow us to keep a portion of it. It's getting just too expensive to allow their political enemies to keep all that money to use to unseat them these days.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
For more than three decades, we have watched while unruly undergraduates on college campuses throughout the land shouted down speakers (generally conservatives) with whom they disagreed, while the adults (sic) in charge of the institution stood smugly and meekly by. These little thugs, now all grown up, are currently in charge of most of our major institutions, including the government itself, and they think it wholly legitimate to shout down or otherwise silence those with whom they disagree. Chickens. Roosts.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Notice, by the way, McDermott’s use of the word “we” in this sentence.


If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you.

Who’s “we” in this context? Did McDermott just confess to something?"

Preston is right, this is a straw man argument. If there was really a "we" in this context then the liberal groups would have received similar levels of scrutiny, which we know never happened.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you should look up, and understand, the meaning of "straw man argument" before you use the term.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
We were wondering why the tea parties did not turn out more of the conservative grass roots in 2012. Now we know, the IRS targeting had crippled them. Obama turned the entire federal govenment into his reelection organization. Venezuela could not have done it better.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What McDermott really want to say: If you didn't wear that dress, you would not have gotten raped.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They should've said ballooning across the Atlantic.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
it was exactly this kind of bull**it that turned me away from any 501 organization. Right now I contribute to a pro life organization, a homeless ministry and a right wing Bible thumping Holy roller political action group with nothing to answer to the gbmint for....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
These bureaucrats will wonder what, exactly, they did wrong all the way to the gibbet, just like their ideological forebears that centralized authority in France did so many years ago.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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