Anti-government groups ought to be investigated
Behind all of the conservative posturing and playing of the “victim” card, there is the simple logic that fringe, anti-government, anti-tax, highly political groups probably should be double-checked or investigated when they seek 501 (c)(4) status. The Internal Revenue Service had no reason to believe that these groups respected the very laws that they were trying to use to their own advantage. The tea party and related right-wing political think tanks tried to pose as social welfare organizations to avoid having their donor lists made public, thus freeing them to pour money into various state and national elections.
Radical, anti-government rhetoric in the ’60s led to many left-wing groups being investigated; the same desire to protect the rule of law holds true today. Those who wrap themselves up in the flag (or Bible or Second Amendment) try to place themselves above the law, then cry foul when their inflammatory rhetoric brings government attention.
Finally, I can’t help but think that the Republican leadership is whipping up this non-issue to appease its conservative wing while putting Democrats (and the next Democratic presidential candidate) on the defensive. Sore losers.