It took them a while, but it seems like at least some Democrats are realizing just how bad the IRS scandal is.
Yesterday, it seemed like the Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee wanted to complain more about 501(c)(4) groups than the actual, provable targeting of conservatives.
Today, though, at least some of them got it right. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) took the lead on grilling Douglas Shulman, the comissioner of the IRS when the targeting occurred. “Sir, you misled Congress — make no question about it,” he said.
See his full questioning here:
Ranking Democrat on the Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), also posed important questions to Shulman, asking him why he never told Congress what he knew about the targeting. “That simply isn’t good enough,” he said. “Help us help the taxpayers.”
To be fair, not all Democrats got it right. Rep. Matthew Cartwright (D-Penn.) completely defended the IRS employees responsible for the targeting, saying their actions were only a way to streamline their work after the amount of 501(c)(4) applications doubled in 2010 after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.
“Whether or not we know what the cause was, we know that the applications doubled in 2010,” Cartwright said.
The only problem there is that Cartwright is 100% wrong. Applications for 501(c)(4) groups increased, but not until long after the targeting began.
As committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) pointed out, any connection with Citizens United falls on the IRS, not the number of applications. The targeting began two months after Citizens United, but long before the applications increased.
I’ll give some of the Democrats credit for their outrage, but Cartwright should check his facts before he speaks next time.