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Blog

    The Left Was Wrong on IRS Targeting

    08/05/2013

    Mark Twain said “It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.” In the wake of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the left would’ve done well to heed this advice.

    At the first vague suggestion that the agency might have targeted progressive groups as well as those on the right, Salon eagerly declared “that whole [IRS] scandal is entirely bogus. False. A fiction.” Yet since this proclamation, each new piece of evidence to emerge has reaffirmed conservatives’ initial telling of events.

    IRS Inspector General J. Russell George has confirmed – much to the chagrin of House Oversight Democrats - that conservative, and not progressive, groups were targeted. Now, over at National Review, David French has put the final nail in the coffin of the IRS’ scrambling apologists. A chart used in French’s column is included below. Writes French:

    If progressives experienced similar targeting, why didn’t they make any notable contemporaneous complaints?... Perhaps progressives didn’t complain because their targeting experience involved seven groups that were asked an average of just five additional questions (rounded up to be generous) and were approved at a 100 percent rate.

    Even the New York Times has noted that, while “tea party” applications were being endlessly obstructed, the IRS approved the applications of myriad liberal groups. Media Trackers - a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months - was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney continues to call the IRS’ targeting a “phony scandal.” It’s no wonder that this claim is starting to strain even the credulity of MSNBC hosts; the numbers increasingly show it to be abjectly false.