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Friday, May 10, 2013

Turns out the Tea Party wasn’t so paranoid after all

There’s an old joke that goes: “You’re not paranoid if they are really out to get you.”

The revelation this week that the IRS has targeted organizations with “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names for special scrutiny should concern us all deeply.

Mitch McConnell is entirely right (I can’t believe I’m saying this about Mitch McConnell!) when he calls  “for a government-wide review to ensure such practices were not underway elsewhere.”

The IRS depends heavily on voluntary cooperation, and is supposed to be completely nonpartisan.  Sure, tax policy itself is viciously partisan, but the enforcement of tax policy must be evenhanded in order to help preserve the spirit of voluntary cooperation upon which the system depends.

There are echoes of Nixon’s enemies list here, and I hope all they are just echoes.