Home / General / There’s nothing to whipping a fool

There’s nothing to whipping a fool


Hell, fools were made to be whipped.

But to take another pro, even your partner, who knows you, and has his eye on you — that’s a score.

The Grifters

Your memories of the Before Time may include the Great IRS Political Targeting Scandal, which supposedly revealed that the most satanic of DC agencies was targeting right wing fundraising groups in a very unfair way because Obama ordered it to.

Of course the whole “scandal” turned out to be a classic product of the tendency of the paranoid style besetting the right wing mind to meld almost seamlessly with the grifting tendencies of the right wing id:

First, one branch of the IRS did create search terms designed to allow the branch to give extra scrutiny to political groups that might be falling askance of limitations on political activity by non-profits. Yet a series of several year-long, multi-million dollar investigation have concluded, over and over again, that these search terms were not designed to give extra scrutiny to right-wing organizations. Many liberal and left-leaning groups were subjected to scrutiny as well. In short, despite extensive (and costly) efforts to find it, no evidence has ever been found that conservative groups were in any way “targeted” because they were conservative.

Second, not a shred of evidence has ever been found for the proposition that the (again, what was actually a non-partisan) IRS investigative policy was itself a brainchild of the Obama administration in the first place. The worst that could be said of the policy was that it was an inefficient use of agency resources — no group, conservative or liberal, actually had its non-profit status revoked — and that it was vulnerable to being mischaracterized by ideologues wanting to undermine the agency (who of course did and continue to do exactly that).

The whole “scandal,” in other words, has always been an utter fabrication from beginning to end. You will also be shocked to hear that these facts have had zero impact on the smooth functioning of the Republican propaganda machine

But an even more delicious irony underlay all this: as a couple of commenters to my original OP testified from their own professional experience, the real genesis of the whole targeting pseudo-scandal was that a huge number of Tea Party groups were in fact either violating the rules limiting political activity by non-profits, or simply straight-up grifts, designed to separate people from their money in order to enrich the fundraisers, rather than pursue the political goals the organization was supposedly pursuing. In other words, the scandal was that the IRS was doing its job in exactly the way it was supposed to be doing it, thus violating the sacred constitutional and natural right of conservative grifters to make a living by ripping people off.

Several years later, it’s now like a monsoon at Moonie mass wedding:

Republicans have long complained, usually in private, that their fundraising apparatus is overrun with fraudsters. National Review’s Jim Geraghty has a column, “The Right’s Grifter Problem,” saying what many of them have been whispering. Many of President Trump’s most publicly strident loyalists are in the business of raising money for political projects that spend virtually all their funds on operating expenses.
Geraghty lambastes these hucksters for betraying Trump’s interests by diverting money intended to help the president into their own pockets. Operators who “are acting contrary to the president’s interests and putting their own self-interest first” and “using his name to raise money and line their own pockets, diverting funds away from efforts that would actually help the president enact his agenda. If you’re a Trump supporter, you should be livid with these guys.”

An unstated irony behind Geraghty’s complaint is that there is an agency tasked with overseeing the kind of misconduct he denounces: the IRS. 

As Jon is politically incorrect enough to point out, zealous right wingers are a lot easier to rip off than the average person, both because they’re easy marks for apocalyptic rhetoric about America becoming a communist hell hole if Medicare is enacted funded expanded modestly, and, relatedly, because they don’t believe in fancy-talking so-called “experts,” what with their “statistics” and “theories” and other tools of the Devil, intended to steer God-fearing folk from the righteous path that has ended up blessing the Right Reverend Kenneth Copeland with a net worth of $760 million, for example.

. . . A couple of commenters have mentioned Rick Perlstein’s classic essay on this topic, The Long Con

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
It is main inner container footer text