One of the great things about America is the right to believe what you want to believe. So if you want to believe the White House took no part in the IRS scandal, that’s your right; just be sure to wash it down with a large gulp of Kool-Aid.

The IRS scandal moved into new territory this morning as members of the House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony from a few of the victims of the IRS abuse of power: leaders of Tea Party and other conservative organizations who were targeted by the IRS.

The first to testify was Kevin Kookogey, Founder and President of Linchpins of Liberty, who spoke about how the IRS’s unfair treatment of his application for non-profit status had greatly limited his group’s ability to carry out their responsibilities. Kookogey urged Congress to “act with the moral resolve to check the power of the executive branch.”

Diane Belsom of the Laurens County Tea Party in South Carolina detailed the process through which her organization had attempted to comply with the IRS’s comically exhaustive questions, including inquiries about social media sites and any potential remarks by guest speakers at events about upcoming elections.

John Eastman, Chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, told the story of how the IRS had leaked that group’s confidential list of donors to liberal groups that opposed its positions, in violation of the law. Eastman noted his organization’s unhappiness and disgust at “unacceptable conduct in our democracy.” Ironically, he said, when his group first complained, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigated them instead of investigating the IRS.

Karen Kenny of the San Fernando Valley Patriots spoke about the patriotism of her group and objected to being singled out while liberal groups–often those devoted to destroying the constitutional foundation of the republic–were given a free pass. “We’re the San Fernando Valley Patriots, not Occupy Oakland,” she said.

Betty Gerritson at IRS hearings

In an emotional but forceful opening statement, Becky Gerritson of the Wetumpka, AL Tea Party told Congress that the federal government’s behavior towards her group and others had violated the country’s founding principles. “I want to preserve and protect the America I grew up in….I’m terrified that it’s slipping away.”

This scandal isn’t going away any time soon as demonstrated by this fifth congressional hearing on the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Even with all the attention the IRS has failed to identify a single individual responsible for initiating the targeting that has taken place. The White House continues to deny any direct involvement, though testimony has shown the Obama administration knew far more about the IRS scandal than it first claimed.


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