Monday, May 20, 2013

What would you think if this were happening to you?

What would you think if you were suddenly (and then quite consistently thereafter), audited/inspected/detected/summoned/ and otherwise ‘visited’  by the FBI, IRS, ATF, OSHA, your state’s  ‘commission on environmental quality.’

What would you think if it was also the case that prominent house Democrats suddenly were talking about you (one pointing you out for scrutiny to the DOJ, the other personally writing accusing you of voter suppression and airing that accusation on two cable news networks predisposed to suspect those of your political persuasion)?

What if the result of all this were several significant outlays for petty fines and overlooked permits, & etc., not to mention costs for legal counsel.  What would you think if you were assured that you were not under criminal investigation despite all this?

If this were to happen ALL AT ONCE, and right after you began to form a politically active right leaning group, you might think there was a concerted conspiracy against you. You might think that.

 This story of the two folks who founded the group “True the Vote” will give you a good feel for what it is like to be at the center of such unwanted attention, that’s for sure.

Getting back to the conspiracy hypothesis- if you were these folks and asked to put your thoughts into words, well, you might say something like this:

“If these efforts are intentional, politically motivated, and widespread across multiple states, they could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their constitutional rights.”
(See the story for the source of that quote)

You would probably have similar thoughts about denying free-speech rights, or rights of association and assembly.

If that sort of thing is the aim, these actions do seem to be having the intended effect:

Catherine says she knows of at least one other group that received government inquiries about its relationship with True the Vote, and she suspects more did, too. And other Tea Party groups decided not to form nonprofits at all after learning about her experience, she says. “They were scared,” she explains, “and you shouldn’t be scared of your government.
Meanwhile, Catherine says the harassment has forced her to seriously reconsider whether her political activity is worth the government harassment she’s faced.”

Exactly. You are being ‘nudged,’ to borrow a euphemism.

I keep asking myself:  “What if this sort of thing had been going with small liberal leaning groups during the administration of the nefarious Bush the Junior?”

So, is it a conspiracy, or perhaps the result of a bad command climate in the political left, (the rot coming from the top)?

One does not have to stretch to make this observation: The sort of institutional hubris here evidenced can be explained by the success of a partisan narrative that has been advanced over the last several years, a narrative, according to which, all or most conservative leaning politically active groups are basically morally evil and either secretly funded by the nefarious Burdettes…er Koch brothers…

or (inclusive sense here) some other righty ne’er do well,

or (inclusive sense again, just to be sure you have the idea) independently wealthy, enough so as to be able to wield some power when it comes to public opinion, or electoral politics.

In any case, any one of these disjuncts being true (as the narrative would have it), such groups must be stopped, because they are against everything good and decent and have the power to do great evil.  That’s the narrative.  It's no wonder that things like this are coming out.


Hey, if you are fighting evil, extraordinary measures can be taken, because you are on the good side, even if no criminal investigation is really going on.


A few eggs…omelets… don’t cha know.