House Republican Hypocrites Rage About The IRS While Demanding An Audit of the AARP

It has been a week since revelations the Internal Revenue Service questioned the legitimacy of political activists’ applications for tax exemption as “social welfare” organizations started the phony scandal of whether or not the scrutiny was part of an Obama Administration plot carried out by IRS criminals singling out beleaguered conservatives for vicious persecution. Republicans are playing up another phony scandal out of sheer spite and part of their four-year campaign to discredit the President, but as is always the case with Republicans, they are projecting on the President what they themselves are guilty of. Corporate media is remiss to remind Americans that Republicans targeted the voter registration organization ACORN for eradication after racist angst, fabricated evidence, and phony allegations drove them to destroy what they perceived as an outfit that served African Americans who supported the President in the 2008 general election.  Conservatives deemed their attack was warranted and legitimate, and bristled at suggestions their effort was racially or politically motivated. Now, while Republicans are raging at President Obama and the IRS for what they call politically motivated persecution, they are using the IRS to target an organization for its support of the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, a day before the IRS apologized for scrutinizing conservatives’ applications for “social welfare” tax exemption, House Republicans sent a letter to the IRS Commissioner demanding an audit of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) claiming the organization does not qualify for tax-exempt status and deserves extra scrutiny.  Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee want the evil IRS to investigate AARP’s finances, but AARP asserts all of its revenue is put to use supporting it mission of assisting senior citizens. The letter sent to the deposed acting-commissioner said “facts laid out in our report strongly suggest that AARP, Inc., and its affiliates may no longer qualify as a tax-exempt organization.” In light of the Republicans’ repeated attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act they failed to thwart in 2010, it is more likely they are meting out punishment on AARP for throwing its considerable weight behind the healthcare reform law, and the hypocrisy in using their new arch-enemy the IRS to do their bidding in revoking AARP’s tax-exempt status is stunning, but not unusual.

The IRS must be reeling from the ambiguous signals emanating from Republicans who are, on one hand, pressuring the agency to scrutinize AARP’s tax exempt status for its support of the healthcare reform law, and questioning whether or not there are “political implications of access to healthcare, denial of healthcare” in light of the phony IRS scandal Republicans are raging over. According to Michele Bachmann, the “extremely troubling” IRS scandal is proof her opposition to the Affordable Care Act is warranted becauseknowing it’s the IRS who will be the enforcing mechanism for this new entitlement program of Obamacare, it is very important to ask could there be potential political implications of access to healthcare, denial of healthcare,” and “will that happen based upon a person’s political beliefs, or their religiously held beliefs?”

The prescient question Republicans need to answer is could there be potential political implications in their demand for the IRS to scrutinize AARP’s tax exempt status based on their support of the Affordable Care Act because as Bachmann says, “this question is more than reasonable, and more than fair for the American people.” Bachmann was addressing teabaggers from around the nation and joined by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul who impugned the “extremely troubling” IRS they expect to scrutinize AARP in a purely partisan political act of retribution. The mixed messages aside, Republican hypocrisy is the story Americans will never hear from the conservative media.

The notion that the phony IRS scandal is political partisanship on the part of the Obama Administration as claimed by every Republican on the planet fails to admit, and media is loath to report, is that the IRS commissioner who sanctioned the appropriate scrutiny was a Bush appointee. The previous director of the Exempt Organizations Division also said it was appropriate for the IRS to look closely at conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Marcus Owens said, “I think that it would be unreasonable to expect the IRS to simply approve these 501(c)(4) applications from politically active organizations as if they were Scout troops or Little Leagues; there should be special evaluation.” Republicans disagree because the special evaluations were aimed a conservative groups, and yet they have no qualms demanding the IRS investigate AARP with a view toward revoking their tax exempt status based on their support of the ACA.

Republicans cannot have it both ways, and yet that is precisely what they propose. They had no issue with the senior advocacy nonprofit until they supported healthcare reform, and their demand the group be investigated and no longer qualifies as a tax-exempt organization is politically motivated in the same vein as their assault on ACORN was and they know it. George W. Bush’s appointee oversaw the conservative groups’ scrutiny, and the IRS performed its job with due diligence without political motivation, and the previous director agreed giving extra attention to politically active organizations was well-warranted as part of the IRS’s job and not politically motivated.

However, Republicans assailing AARP is politically motivated because it supported healthcare reform, and it is not the first time Republicans encouraged IRS scrutiny of non-conservative groups. During Bush’s administration, Republicans pushed the IRS to target an anti-war religious group, the NAACP, environmental advocate Greenpeace, and a progressive nonprofit Emerge America. Those IRS investigations were politically motivated, Republican attacks on the IRS now are politically motivated, and the media is complicit in covering up the other real scandal; Republicans are politically motivated hypocrites.

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