The Pencil Today:

Nazis On The March In America!

If there’s one thing we can all agree on when it comes to the Tea Party-ists, it’s that they consider themselves the most persecuted group in the whole history of humanity.

Listen to TP rhetoric and you’ll come away convinced that the Jews of Europe in the first half of the 20th Century suffered a bad case of poison ivy in comparison. The Native Americans had it easy. The Cambodian Killing Fields were merely sites of playground squabbles.

The Tea Party lives and breathes on the conceit that jackbooted thugs from the teachers unions and cold blooded assassins culled from the ranks of social workers plot night and day to do them in.


OSHA Inspectors

Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and a dogpile of Fox News commentators express bafflement and outrage over the rotten shake fundamentalists and radical conservatives get these days. Even in a battle for civil rights, gay marriage for example, the Far Right positions itself as the wronged party. How many more headlines do you need to read that scream bloody murder about Christians’ rights being trampled? Their rights, that is, to deny people their rights.

“Self pity has become central in the consciousness of the resurgent Right,” writes Thomas Frank. He holds up the example of Sarah Palin (click ’em both).

Even those who followed her career don’t really know where Palin stood on many issues. We only know that she was being constantly maligned…. Indeed, if political figures stand for ideas, victimization was what Sarah Palin was all about. It was her brand, her myth. But to become such a symbol, Palin had to do the opposite of most public figures: where others learn to take hostility in stride, she and her fans developed the thinnest of skins. They found offense in the most harmless commentator remarks and diabolical calculation in the inflection of the anchorman’s voice. They took insults out of context to make them even more insulting. They paid close attention to voices that are ordinarily ignored, relishing every blogger’s sneer, every celebrity’s slight, every crazy Internet rumor.


Poor Woman

One of the adoring biographies of the former would-be veep was called The Persecution of Sarah Palin; it is a catalog of just about every nasty thing anyone has ever said about the woman. Its author, Matthew Continetti, actually seems to specialize in such profiles in victimhood: He has also written a cover story for the Weekly Standard about the persecution of the Koch Brothers… who, it is Continetti’s solemn duty to report, receive mean e-mails every day. They are in fact, “the latest victims of the left’s lean, mean, cyber-villification machine.” Pity these billionaires, reader.

Koch & Koch

Poor Men

Pity the Billionaire, Picador, 2012, pp. 127 & 128

These are the folks, I may remind you, who equated Barack Obama and Barney Frank with Nazis, who packed local schoolboards so they could push across their creation myth in public classrooms, and who have their very own 24-hour news channel that just happens to be the single most watched cable TV news outlet in this holy land. Some oppressed minority, huh?

Well, guess what. They’re back at it again. And once again, a spokesperson for an Obama Administration department quickly stripped off her Schutzstaffel uniform, donned a civilian disguise, and begged for forgiveness.

SS Uniform

What The Well-Dressed Bureaucrat Wears

This Obama gang is the damnedest bunch of tyrants I’ve ever heard of.

Anyway, since Obama took office thousands of political organizations have filed for tax-exempt status. See, under IRS guidelines, a group can claim tax exemption if its reason for being is primarily “social welfare.” That is, they must be dedicated to doing good for society at large. As long as they’re helping ease the burdens on their fellow humans, they can even do a little political advocacy.

So, say a Catholic group wants to run a home for unwed teen mothers. As long as that’s their primary business, they can then participate in rallies to overturn Roe v. Wade, say, or call for the end of sex education classes in public schools. All the while, they can keep their tax-exempt status.

Okay? Cut to this tempest in a teapot between the IRS and certain Tea Party outfits. The tax collection branch of the feds in the last several years has set aside some 300 applications for tax-exempt status. Out of those, 75 were from organizations that had tea party or patriot in their names. The applications were then double-checked and further inquiries were made into the applicants’ primary goals.

Sounds reasonable to me. Tea Party-ists are not particularly known for comforting the afflicted. In fact, Tea Party goddess Ayn Rand fashioned a literary career out of bleating that those who are afflicted deserve what they got. And any group that has the word patriot in its name is a pretty fair bet not to be all that interested in running a food bank.

So, IRS office drones, reasonably enough, cherry-picked those applicant organizations for special review.

Naturally, Tea Party-ists and their fellow anencephalics are screaming to high heaven that the IRS is running a vendetta against them at the behest of their boss, Barack Obama.

The Tea Party flag, you may recall, reads “Don’t Tread On Me.” Because, as we all know, white middle class folks have been tormented since the day this nation came into being.

Rather than tell them to drop dead, Lois Lerner, who’s in charge of tax exempt organizations for the IRS (and what a scintillating job that must be) held a conference call for reporters and sounded like a schoolgirl who’d been caught smoking in the bathroom.

Staffers in her office, Lerner whimpered, “did pick the cases by names and that’s absolutely inappropriate and not the way we should do things.”


An Apologetic Obergruppenführer Lerner

Later, she added, “It was an error in judgment…. When this came to my attention, we took some action to try and undo some of these things.”

By the way, the complaining organizations, by and large, have been approved for tax exempt status. A lawyer for the organizations said, “The IRS admission and apology should have come much sooner.”

So this is what passes for tyranny in the fever dreams of the Right — a bunch of paper-shufflers who don’t grovel for forgiveness quick enough. And Hitler’s henchmen only slaughtered people, the amateurs.

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