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Ron Radosh

Harry S. Truman had a famous sign on his desk: “The buck stops here.” Barack Obama seems to have one that says: “I only learned about it when you did, from the television news.” This is, of course, almost exactly what Jay Carney said in his second embarrassing press conference: “We have no knowledge of phone snooping …beyond the press reports that we’ve read.” Or, as Dana Milbank writes, Obama “responded as though he were just some bloke on a bar stool, getting his information from the evening news.” If you believe this, I’ve got a nice White House in the District of Columbia to sell you.

In fact, as USA Today reports in its lead story, the IRS “gave liberals a pass.” The newspaper’s investigation concluded the following:

As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with obviously liberal names were approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like “Progress” or “Progressive,” these groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.

The groups that easily got non-profit tax status were the exact liberal-activist counterparts of the conservative Tea Party outfits. The paper mentions specifically a few of them: “Bus for Progress,” “Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment,”  and “Progress Florida.” All were groups that worked for goals such as increasing the minimum wage, support for “progressive” politicians, and expansion of Medicaid. The USA Today report continues:

Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like “citizen participation” or “voter education and registration.”

In a conference call with reporters last week, the IRS official responsible for granting tax-exempt status said that it was a mistake to subject Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny based solely on the organization’s name. But she said ideology played no part in the process.

It was simply an accident, of course. It was “not a partisan selection,” IRS official Lois Lerner told reporters. Before you laugh and ask “does she really believe her own words?” consider the following.  One must remember that many liberals and leftists see their actions as non-partisan. After all, they are only serving the public interest by stopping conservatives from organizing and expressing their views.

Remember the administration’s early attempts to crush Fox News? Remember the calls to get conservative talk show hosts off the air? All this is par for the course for those who grew up in the 1960s and recall the advice about freedom of speech given by the philosopher-king of the Marxist Left, the late Herbert Marcuse.

Back in those heady days, Marcuse developed the theory of “repressive tolerance.” As he explained, tolerance of the speech of those who are fascist or conservative is not acceptable for a democratic society. To liberate tolerance means “intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left.” This gobbledygook, remember, was viewed by serious intellectuals as brilliant. Marcuse explained his reasoning in these words:

Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and blocked if they are by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.

Get that last point? If you criticize Obama Care, by Marcuse’s logic, you are what the Soviets called “an enemy of the people,” and the full power of government should be put into place to stop you. And were he still with us, he would be penning an op-ed praising the IRS for its clever action in denying conservative groups non-profit status.

Who would make that judgment? Perhaps it would be the people’s courts, the revolutionary assemblies, or the left-wing professoriate, which is acting on behalf of the people before they realize their duty to develop revolutionary consciousness.

Let me end on a serious note. The IRS personnel are probably not smart enough to read or even know about Herbert Marcuse. But they have acted in a way he would have been proud of, having obtained an understanding of how to act against conservatives all on their own. And, it seems, they have an unknowing ally who lives in the executive mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.

More: Soros-Funded Group Linked to IRS Abuses

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Top Rated Comments   
I don't want to use the word "conspiracy." These people know each other, know what they're doing, and they think it's just part of the struggle. No emails, no secret meetings, no communication at all is necessary. The goals and activities are simply understood by everyone involved. It's a culture, not a conspiracy.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, Ron, but you're wrong. I'm pretty confident that I know public employees better than most anybody writing here and you're right that the people doing the actual reviews of applications and sending out the letters demanding all sorts of inappropriate information not only have never read Marcuse, they've probably never read their enabling regulations or the underlying law that the regulations implement; government at the process level runs by rote and doesn't involve much thinking. That said, the people who are suggesting, maybe even directing, this course of action towards conservative groups damned well have read Marcuse, and Alinsky, and Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, and Mao back in their younger days.

The insiduous thing about committed lefties inside government, and there are a LOT of them, is the lefties live their ideology, they do everything based on how it conforms to their ideological views. This gives them the ability to suggest rather than direct. Obama or Axelrod didn't have to give their minions any explicit direction to turn the power of the IRS on any perceived opponents, the minions implicitly understood the ideological objective and knew that turning the power of the government on the Administration's opposition was simply what one did when one had the power to do so.

Some of the underlings whose fingerprints are actually on the dirty work may have been queasy about it, but if they've been in government for a couple of transitions they know better than to question a Democrat administration. If you're a public employee you can usually pretty safely "speak truth to power" in a Republican administration but in a Democrat administration you'll speak when you're spoken to and if they want your opinion they'll give it to you and stand there until you can recite it correctly. Oh, and if you openly cross them, they'll hunt you down like you're a rabid dog. Public employees at any level high enough to actually do or know anything know this and behave accordingly.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>Why the IRS Targets Conservatives: The Apparent Reasoning Behind Their Actions<<

Reasoning? Good grief. It's because they're thugs and that's what thugs do. This isn't freakin' rocket science here. See also, "it's because they can get away with it".
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (33)
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Talking about Communism as left and Fascism as right just shows the inapplicability of a 1-dimensional political spectrum. In terms of individual liberty, Communism and Fascism are 100% identical - they are both totalitarian socialism. The 2 ideologies only differ in a few macro scale respects, as Communism is devoted to universal equality of all peoples in the world under a single regime, and fascism is usually based on the dominance of a Master Race or the dominance of one Empire through conquest. The real similarities allow for a Communist regime to smoothly morph into a Fascist one or vice versa.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Art Chance, I think there's only one thing I can say to improve your post (IMHO). These people are a lot easier for the rest of us to understand if we recognize that leftism is a religion, i.e., if we understand religion as anthropologists do, not as theists are conditioned to do. Leftism is an all-encompassing, demanding faith and its true believers, like freelance jihadis, don't need to be told what to do. Anything that is an obstacle to the ultimate triumph of the all-embracing universal state (e.g., the family, ethical monotheistic religions, conservatives, etc.) is the devil and true believers have a moral mission to destroy it. Not all Catholics have to have read Augustine, Aquinas, etc. They just have to follow the catechism.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's see, some people applied for Tax Exempt status... and they were investigated to see if they might be misusing the tax code...Oh, the Horror, Soviet Russia right around the corner!!! The real funny one is the guy who says he was harassed but got a C note refund.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
But the applications by leftist political groups were rushed through. And Obama's new OFA organization, which exists solely to keep his turnout machine intact and mobilize voters in the 2014 Midterm elections is a 501c(4). It is nothing more than "to the victors belong the spoils", "reward your friends and punish your enemies", and do what is necessary to win the election and worry about any fallout on the other side.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
That the point ALL the groups targeted were either on the right, or Jewish, flew right over your pointy head didn't it?

The IRS confessed to the outrageous bias..

but you're good with it, because .. meh.. they're against my politics so they deserved it?

Congratulations on receiving blind AND the dumb as a post award..
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sir, is there a reason why you intentionally ignore the actual point that those investigated were identified with out-of-favor ideological groups whereas all others that identified with the party in power were given a quick green light and a wave through? Are you really able to feel as superior and self satisfied as you seem based on making such as obviously worthless comment?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the very first day the subtext of the Obama administration’s collective behavior was that there would always be a dem in the WH. To help this scheme along it began doing the kinds of things that newly installed authoritarian regimes do.

Right from the beginning Obama has pursued a gradualist, slow motion takeover of the US government. It is imperative that he is removed from office.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I disagree on the "gradualist" theme. This has been a breathtaking lightspeed!

What has dismayed me is that there seems to be no resistance to it.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
The lefties in the IRA did it because frankly lefties can't control themselves. Let's face it...the whole ideology of leftism is one of carpe diem and lack of self control in favor of having minders.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
At a subconscious level if nowhere else, government employees sense tat their prospects are better under a "big government" administration than under a "smaller government". That applies to the media too, BTW. What Washington bureau correspondent wants to see the federal government shrink and become less a factor in peoples' lives and hence less interesting to read about?

As memory serves, George Bush was Governor of Texas when the welfare reform legislation passed in about 1996. Implementation involved screening the current recipients of AFDC for continued eligibility. Bush or somebody on his staff realized that asking state employees to do the screening was like asking people to work themselves out of a job and wouldn't likely produce the desired result. So they brought in an outside contractor to do it.

That's from memory and could be in error, but it makes perfect sense to me.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ideas are powerful. A name does not necessarily have to be connected with one to make it potent. Few people have ever heard the name of Herbert Marcuse---and yet they are still often his ideological children. His vile doctrines eventually filter their way down to the pseudo-educated.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
So to paraphrase Nixon "it's not illegal when a leftist does it."
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is so bad it is frightening. To fear our own governmentor have severe doubts in values as if we were living in Cuba. Might one wonder was the Election 2012 rigged?? How many American citizens gave up in the election for fear of an audit. Joe "The Plumber" was a hack job by the IRS.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
If liberals, which BTW, they aren't, fail to recognize other points of view, that's not an oversight as normally understood, it is the condition of the aggressive, totalitarian mind.
Ultimaetly it may end up not recognizing other lives, so history informs us. One does have to wonder about that power lust thing.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes - in the past when the utopia hasn't worked (even with a willing populace like in Russia) the blame starts falling on the individuals. And that's when the gulags are formed and the ax falls - to remove the "dissenters."
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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