Saturday, May 18, 2013

North Korea, the IRS, and a "Kick Me" Sign

Against all GOP hopes, their Four Horsemen of Scandal failed last week to catch public attention and keep it.  Public interest in the alleged Libya talking-points-scrubbing, the IRS  "persecution" of the Tea Party, and the Justice Department taking of AP phone records have all thus far produced a yawn from the American citizenry.  The fourth horse  -  the military tolerance of abuse of women  -  wasn't a GOP favorite anyway.  Sadly it was the one issue which really did warrant an outcry.  The GOP just couldn't be bothered playing it up because (1) many of its right-wing members despise women and (2)  the GOP knew it couldn't tie the military mess to the White House or even suggest such a thing.  Obama has those two daughters.

Not that they could tie the other stuff to the White House either.  And it was their foaming-at-the-mouth attempt to do so that probably convinced the majority of American public that this was just more of the GOP's wild accusations.  The GOP has pretty much exhausted its creds by being frequently preposterous in its accusations about Obama for four and a half years.

It makes one think of Kim Il What's-His-Name of North Korea.  That's what he wants.  He wants us to think about him, to notice him, to be scared of him.  He stands like a chubby little school boy in an empty field, shaking his fist at us and yelling, "You better watch out and be really scared.  Because I'm going to do terrible things to you.  And, boy, will you be sorry!  You just wait and see!"  He's always saying this and shaking his fist.  We look at him for a while and then we don't look any more.  On Saturday he gave up threatening nuclear war (no one was listening any more anyway) and instead fired a couple of missiles off his east  coast to plop into the Pacific.  At least South Korea said he did.  Neither the USA nor Japan bothered to say anything about it.

Like the GOP, Kim Il has shot his wad.

No one much believes them any more.

Yeah, you say, but what about those evildoers at the IRS?  Surely they really exist and did bad stuff.

Nope, they just did dumb stuff.  If you have ever worked in government or any major organization, you know what happens when people get in over their heads or are swamped with work.  They take up drinking or they flail with both arms.  Or sometimes they do both.  Which is hard to do at the same time.

These poor schlemiels in Cincinnati were suddenly swamped with 70,000 applications for special tax status.  Because of budget cuts engineered by the GOP, there were only 200 of them.  And they weren't lawyers.  Yet they were being asked to do a task of "determining eligibility" without any clear guidelines.  I've watched well-meaning low-level civil servants struggle with problems like this, and it's not a pretty sight.  We should probably be glad there wasn't a mass suicide, bodies raining down from the IRS offices in the fed building in Cincinnati.  Instead the poor clucks decided to simplify things by picking out of the pile all the applications that announced in bold letters that they were from blatantly political organizations.

Actually, maybe they were doing exactly the right thing.

Is there anything more blatantly political-sounding than the words "Tea Party"?  Yet these are the words these groups used in their titles.  Why would they assume that no one would think they were political?  You'd have to be a genuine idiot to ignore "Tea Party" in a group's name.

Haven't these Tea Party groups gone to great lengths to convince us all that they are profoundly and muscularly political.  "Watch out!" they shout at their demonstrations, waving their fists and their signs.  "We are coming to get you, you election you!"

Sort of like Kim Il Whosit in his empty field.  Obviously they want to be noticed.

If you wear a sign saying "Kick me", somebody is likely to do so.  You can't boast about being formidably political and then expect to escape scrutiny about whether you are too political to get special tax treatment.

The IRS folks in Cincinnati were just doing their job.  All thumbs perhaps.  But they weren't persecuting anybody.  They were nobody's political tool.  In fact, some of them are probably secretly Tea Partyers themselves.

In fact, in all my days I have never met an IRS employee who was anything but fiercely conservative.

So this whole so-called IRS scandal is, in all likelihood, a dog that won't hunt.  And did anybody ever really think that Obama is stupid enough to do what Nixon did in using the IRS for political purposes?    We Democrats have our faults.  Stupidity isn't at the top of the list.  NIXON GOT CAUGHT.  Obama knows that,  I know it,  you know it.

When an idiot network newsperson asked Obama the other day if last week's problems were his Watergate, he suggested that "the press read some history".  Yep.  That's a very good idea.    



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