Pundit Peggy Noonan recently asked, Where Was the Tea Party?.
Think about the sheer political facts of the president’s 2012 victory. The first thing we learned, in the weeks after the voting, was that the Obama campaign was operating with a huge edge in its technological operation—its vast digital capability and sophistication. The second thing we learned, in the past month, is that while the campaign was on, the president’s fiercest foes, in the Tea Party, were being thwarted, diverted and stopped.
Technological savvy plus IRS corruption. The president’s victory now looks colder, more sordid, than it did.
Frankly, the only thing going cold is my patience with Washington Beltway insiders like Noonan.
It’s nice to see Peggy finally entering the warm waters of Obama criticism, especially after they have heated considerably since her 2008 endorsement. As a reminder, filmmaker John Ziegler offers a refresher on Noonan’s views:
There are two things which make this occurrence all the more infuriating. One, Noonan hasn’t done a thing for the conservative cause since she wrote a few good speeches for Reagan over 25 years ago. Secondly, and even more amazingly, she clearly endorsed Obama in 2008 in both print and on TV. Somehow, not only did that not take away her ability to once again play the “I am a sensible Republican telling the truth about my guy” card, but it doesn’t even ever get mentioned that she has ZERO credibility on this issue!
I am growing concerned about the echo chamber syndrome, which now has Republican-based groups claiming that the IRS targeting of tea party non-profits is a main reason Mitt Romney lost the election. SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition President Dawn Wildman speaks to this point, specifically in response to Noonan’s piece.
“Overall, the tea party groups were small,” notes Wildman. “They weren’t going to bring in a lot of money. And many of them would have directed those funds to local and state races, anyway. What the 2012 election came down to was that people weren’t excited enough to vote or vote Romney, and that the GOP’s approach to elections is outdated.”
Noonan and Wildman agree that the Republican Party needs to reboot how it uses social media. However, the area of concern I have is that the IRS situation is being used by the Republican beltway elites for their own purposes. In Noonan’s case, it is to reestablish her conservative bona fides ahead of the 2014 election. For the GOP, it has been a chance to cash in on scandal.
I have gotten 12 calls in the past few weeks from Republican entities wanting donation to prevent IRS targeting in the future. However, the Republicans knew about this targeting prior to the first ballot being cast in November, 2012.
Here is a letter from California Republican Congressman Tom McClintock dated April 2012: IRS Harassment of Tea Party Groups
It seems that Tea Party groups are now being treated very differently than their counterparts on the political Left. For the last two years, many have been stone-walled by the IRS when they have sought to register as non-profits and most recently, they have been barraged with increasingly aggressive and threatening demands vastly outside the legal authority of the IRS. Indeed, the only conceivable purpose of some of these demands could be to intimidate and harass.
A Tea Party group in my district is typical of the reports we are hearing from all across the country.
The letter is addressed to “Mr. Speaker”. In April 2012, the speaker was John Boehner.
The last time I checked, Boehner is Republican (though some Legal Insurrection friends may question this).
Like video journalist James O’Keefe, I have learned to be highly skeptical of anyone who spends more than 24 hours at a time in Washington DC. Before you give any money to a group citing the IRS targeting, it is good to remember this background. Better yet, donate to the cause directly (via SueTheIRS.com) or the the group helping to support the lawsuit against the agency, Citizens for Self Governance.
Finally, follow Mandy Nagy’s guidelines on citizen Research 101. It’s more worthwhile than Noonan’s belated concerns.