This piece does an excellent job of exploring the motives for the IRS' unfair scrutiny of Tea Party organizations. Actually, maybe causes it a better word than motives. I was among those who accused the left of McCarthy tactics in smearing the Tea Party Movement. They tried to stick label after label on the movement. When one didn't stick, they tried another. It truly was hysteria; they saw a movement that was energizing the conservative base and they did all they could to discredit it.
But what is truly frightening here is the IRS' attempt to dismiss this as a clerical error. You're an idiot if you believe that for one minute. I think Douthat's thesis is valid; the anti-TPM hysteria led IRS staff to act, well, hysterically. Further, Tea Party groups have been saying for two years they're being unfairly targeted and the IRS denied it. Now the IRS says those at the top didn't know this was going on. If that's true, how seriously did they investigate the TPM group claims in the first place? How can you deny something is going on when you're accused of it and then say you didn't know about it????
This is another example of the perils of a completely in the tank liberal media. If this happened to groups with "liberal" and or "progressive" in their names during the Bush years, this would be Watergate 2.0. But the MSM's reflexive response here is to protect its own. But as Benghazi shows, enough dripping sounds and even the liberal media will start nosing around. Perhaps the conservative media needs to keep picking at this story until the MSM finally notices.