That’s funny. Two different articles, one in Mother Jones, one in the WaPo, yet they’re running the exact same explanation as to why the IRS targeted conservative groups filing for tax exemptions.
From Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog:
The context for all this is that after Citizens United and some related decisions, the number of groups registering as 501(c)4s doubled. Because the timing of that doubling coincided with a rise in political activism on the right rather than the left, a lot of the politicized groups attempting to register as 501(c)4s were describing their purpose in tea party terms. A popular conceit, for instance, was that they existed to educate on the Constitution — even if the particular pedagogical method meant participating in Republican Party primaries and pressuring incumbent politicians.
From Kevin Drum in Mother Jones:
The problem is that the explosion of 501(c)4 groups is a genuine problem: they really have grown like kudzu, lots of them really are used primarily as electioneering vehicles, and the IRS has been either unwilling or unable to regulate them properly. So the fact that some of the folks responsible for processing these applications were looking for a way to flag potentially dubious groups is sort of understandable.
So that’s the New JournoList party line, is it? It’s an “understandable” error due to the rise in the number of groups registering for tax-exempt status.
Note also how both of them nod their heads and agree that the IRS screwed up. They “bungled it horribly” (Drum) and they “were attempting to create a usable shortcut” (Klein). Justify, justify, justify. This one must have a multi-tiered thread in the New Journolist listserv. Guaranteed this is just the first of many explanations that will be thrown against the wall to see which one sticks. And it will be aided and abetted by the mainstream media, because the New JournoList is the mainstream media.
I found two. How many more New JournoList IRS apologists can you find?
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