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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Griper Blade: GOP Hyping IRS 'Scandal' to Death

Man screaming
I get the feeling that if you pulled a modern conservative aside and said, "Dial back the rhetoric," they'd stare blankly at you like you'd just spoken in an ancient regional variant of Middle English. I think years of RINO hunting have evolved the part of the brain that controls moderation nearly out of existence. Given an issue on which they have an opinion, they'll become instantly hyperbolic. Everything is the Holocaust, everything is like the Soviet Union, everything is the worst thing ever! A community bikeshare program, for example, is totalitarian government run amok. "I disagree" is never enough. It's always, "I disagree, BECAUSE YOU'RE HITLER!!" Shrill, shrieking, and strident, the modern American conservative has developed a whine high-pitched enough to make anyone's ears ring.

So it's not much of a surprise to learn that Republicans are taking one of their "White House scandals" and keening on about it in a register that can shatter stemware. As the IRS/Tea Party controversy fails to catch fire with the American people -- by virtue of spinning its wheels in the mud -- individual members have apparently decided to crank everything up to eleven and set the nation's teeth on edge. And while they seem to believe that this will elevate the issue, what they're really doing is burying it under piles of BS.

In arguing that the GOP is blowing their big chance to tar Obama, Ed Kilgore points to Dana Milbank's latest column:

A third House committee joined the stampede to examine the IRS on Monday, and its chairman did exactly what you would expect somebody to do before launching a fair and impartial investigation: He went on Fox News Channel and implicated the White House.

Asked by Fox’s Bill Hemmer what he hoped to learn at Monday afternoon’s hearing, Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) offered this bit of pre-hearing analysis:

“Of course, the enemies list out of the White House that IRS was engaged in shutting down or trying to shut down the conservative political viewpoint across the country — an enemies list that rivals that of another president some time ago.”

It was a sentence in need of a verb but packed with innuendo. And it is part of an approach by House Republicans that seems to follow the Lewis Carroll school of jurisprudence. Not only are they placing the sentence before the verdict, they’re putting the verdict before the trial.
"Rogers isn't some random Fox personality; he's one of Congress' most powerful officials," Steve Benen reminds us. "And on the IRS story, he's already unhinged, spewing nonsense on national television"...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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