Could Jon Stewart be permanently disillusioned with the Obama administration?
The Daily Show host and ardent Obama supporter declared last night that the IRS scandal has now “in one seismic moment shifted the burden of proof from the tin foil-behatted to the government.”
Of course you don’t have to be wearing a tin foil hat or be a conspiracy theorist to be concerned or alarmed when the federal government engages in apparent widespread violations of the Bill of Rights. Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle have blasted the recently revealed IRS practice of subjecting Tea Party groups for heavy scrutiny in their tax-exempt-status applications. For example, Rep. Michael Capuano (D – Mass.) said, “There’s no way in the world, I’m going to defend that. Hell, I spent my youth vilifying the Nixon administration for doing the same thing.”
Added Jon Stewart: “Well, congratulations, President Barack Obama, conspiracy theorists who generally can survive in anaerobic environments have just had an algae bloom dropped on their f*****g heads, thus removing the last arrow in your pro-governance quiver: skepticism about your opponents.”
The Comedy Central anchor also assailed the managerial skills of the federal government officials involved. ” … your managerial competence falls somewhere between David Brent and a cat chasing a laser pointer.” The hapless David Brent was portrayed by Ricky Gervais on the UK version of The Office.
Noting the apology that the IRS made on Friday in advance of an Inspector General’s report on this apparently illegal practice, Stewart quipped that unlike the IRS, taxpayers can’t merely get away with saying “I’m sorry” for mistakes on their tax returns.
The Stewart presentation even alluded to the disputed premise that despite government denials, backgrounds checks could indeed lead to a national gun registry as gun rights advocates have insisted.
Stewart made a good point that granting non-profit status to so-called social welfare groups who engage in political activity may be BS, but that IRS approval should be granted equally.
The IRS did not target any similar groups on the left of the political spectrum for special scrutiny, which included intrusive questions about internal operations and donors.
In other developments in this ongoing scandal, the ProPublica news organization has revealed that the IRS leaked nine confidential Tea Party applications to ProPublica last year. It also appears that IRS officials in Washington and possibly two other offices, rather than just the Cincinnati field office, were involved in inappropriately singling out Tea Party and other politically conservative groups for review.
The IRS is set to gain access to personal medical records in the implementation of Obamacare.
Watch Jon Stewart weigh in on the Internal Revenue Service Tea Party scandal: