Rep. Cummings shows us how his head explodes every time Rep. Issa opens his mouth
Rep. Cummings shows us how his head explodes every time Rep. Issa opens his mouth
Rep. Cummings shows us how his head explodes every time Rep. Issa opens his mouth

In Washington, DC, last week, Darrell Issa cut off Elijah Cumming’s microphone as his colleague decried what is clearly a political snipe hunt.

“I am tired of this,” Cummings continued, as Issa signaled to have his microphone cut off. “You cannot just have a one-sided investigation. There is absolutely something wrong with that, and it is absolutely un-American.”

“We had a hearing. It was adjourned,” Issa responded. “I gave you an opportunity to ask your questions. You had no questions.”
“I do have questions,” Cummings replied, as Issa walked out of the hearing. “Chairman, what are you hiding?”

The argument between Cummings and Issa broke out moments after IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to testify about her role in singling out conservative groups for excessive tax scrutiny. Issa and Lerner’s attorneys have continued to debate whether she is still protected from testifying after giving a statement during the previous hearing.

To be clear, Issa is the one who no longer wants to hear Lerner’s testimony. It might tend to work against the conclusion he wants to reach, which is that the IRS “targeted” tea party nonprofit organizations for special scrutiny. Issa is playing to the conservative base, which loves this story like Benghazi, no matter what everyone else thinks and no matter what the actual laws say about politicized nonprofit organizations. As if to underline that conservative activists are not giving up on their contrived story of oppression by the IRS, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this weekend provided no shortage of anti-IRS propaganda. But just look at who the propagandists were.

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Fraudulent author Dinesh D’Souza, who was recently arrested and charged with campaign finance violations, warned the crowd that Obama’s IRS is coming to confiscate their property any minute now.

Think about this, it’s almost like here you are at home, you’re watching TV, and a bunch of government guys show up at your door and they start taking your furniture and taking your car and you’re like, ‘What are you doing?’ They’re like, ‘You know your paycheck that you got last month? You didn’t earn that, you stole it, it doesn’t really belong to you.’ This is what, in a sense, we are up against.

What real-world situation could stir up such a fever dream of paranoid speculation and dire, apocalyptic nonsense? D’Souza is in trouble for his sloppy accounting, which was so obvious to anyone looking at his campaign financial disclosure forms that even the FBI noticed it. But rather than fight his charges on those dry mathematical terms, D’Souza screams about oppression and calls the investigation a political payback for his ridiculous fake documentary about the president. This is normal behavior in the conservative Circle of Scam, where frauds like D’Souza make big bucks by telling right wing activists what they want to hear, then scream about partisan political motivations whenever their malfeasance is exposed.

Speaking of partisan political hackery: Ali Akbar, a tireless advocate for the fake IRS controversy of 2013, was also at CPAC last weekend. He even tweeted a picture of the “bloggers briefing” at the National Bloggers Club suite, where Ralph Reed showed up to stoke the IRS “scandal” in person.

But less than two hours before Akbar sent that tweet, we had announced that weeks ago in February, the state of Texas foreclosed on Akbar’s license to do business as the National Bloggers Club. Akbar has collected donations for the NBC as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and the NBC has sponsored an annual party at CPAC using those donations, but the NBC has never actually applied for nonprofit status with the IRS.

It is time that mainstream news agencies took note of these hypocrisies. Whenever Darrell Issa or Ralph Reed opens their mouth about contrived IRS scandals, journalists should instantly ask them about the National Bloggers Club, which is exactly the sort of fake nonprofit organization that the IRS ought to investigate. In particular, whenever Rick Perry or Rand Paul blathers on about the IRS applying the laws of the land to “social welfare” dark money organizations, reporters ought to immediately ask them how much money Akbar’s fake nonprofits took in over the last two years. This is fair game, because after sharing a stage with him at CPAC, both men certainly know who Akbar is, and Rand Paul in particular has longstanding ties to his activities. Yet these people expect to go on forever with their contrived scandal and never get held to account.

As we have been saying for almost a year now, the entire IRS “scandal” is just a smokescreen for the sloppy and even criminal accounting habits that have become the normal state of business in conservative politics. The conservative movement is desperate to avoid scrutiny of these activities forever if they can, so they constantly frame these stories as persecution of their belief system. Mainstream news media should stop letting them get away with this, because the laws do not care what party Dinesh D’Souza represents, or whether Ali Akbar throws a party. These men are simply supposed to obey the laws while they do their thing, but they apparently have not.