As Benjamin Brophy noted, the IRS apologized — belatedly, by the way — for targeting conservative groups. Let several other points be noted, though. First, I think our friend Mark Levin merits a lot of the credit for forcing the apology; he was the main one who forced the issue, legally. It was his Landmark Legal Foundation that sent the letter that pressured the IRS into coming clean.
Second, I don’t buy it, not for a single second, when the IRS blames “low-level employees” in Cincinnati for this politicized intimidation. I’m already hearing credible stories of similar things happening in other parts of the country. I guarantee that somebody higher helped direct some of these intimidation tactics. This is the same sort of thing done repeatedly during the Clinton administration; for lefites, old habits die hard — especially corrupt habits.
Third, Orrin Hatch, to his credit, already is out with a strong statement on the matter:
“While I’m glad to see the IRS apologize for unfairly targeting conservative groups, this frankly isn’t enough. We need to have ironclad guarantees from the IRS that it will adopt significant protocols to ensure this kind of harassment of groups that have a constitutional right to express their own views never happens again. As several Senators and I wrote to the IRS last year, there can be no tolerance for the IRS being turned into a political weapon; it has a chilling and, frankly, Nixonian effect on those who wish to speak their mind. I will be discussing this further with the head of the IRS and expect a full briefing and report as to how this happened. The American people deserve to know who at the IRS learned about this unlawful activity, when they learned about it, and what they did, or did not, do when they did learned about it.”
This sounds like the Hatch of the 1980s, refusing to let the left off the hook, insisting that bad practices actually be changed and guarded against going forward. Every other senator with backbone ought to back Hatch to the hilt on this.