Gimme Your Read on This

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I want your take on this. House Democrats seem to be getting emboldened about challenging the apparently collapsing IRS scandal. Rep. Levin (D-MI) sent this sharply worded letter to the Treasury IG which I could summarize as basically, WTF? How did you manage to write out that IG report without noticing or mentioning that progressive groups were also targeted.Now there’s this new piece just out on the AP wire saying that, yes, the IRS delayed action on progressive applications too. Here’s the lede:

Leaders of progressive groups say they, too, faced long delays in getting the Internal Revenue Service to approve their applications for tax-exempt status but were not subjected to the same level of scrutiny that tea party groups complained about.

But when you actually read the piece, I’m not sure the story itself sustains the lede. It sounds more like the progressive groups weren’t as bothered or suspicious about what was going on. As one of the people from a progressive group is quoted saying in the piece, “This is kind of what you expect. You expect it to take a year or more to get your status because that’s just what the IRS goes through to do it.” In other words, rather than feeling persecuted their response was more like, Yeah, that’s just how it is.

They seem to describe very similar treatment: long delays, excessive and sometimes weird questions. Only they don’t seem as up in arms about it. But that’s different from being treated differently.

Now, the Inspector General’s spokesperson does suggest that the Tea Party groups were flagged for extra scrutiny that progressive groups weren’t. But her boss is under fire now and it’s not clear on what basis she makes that claim.

In any case, I’m not asking this as a rhetorical question. I’d really like hear what you make of the piece. Here it is. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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