Who knew what when? Whose heads should roll? Is Democracy itself in jeopardy? The recent turmoil surrounding the IRS’s Nonprofit Division has sparked no shortage of sensationalism or bravado-filled calls to action.
But is it possible that we’re failing to see the forest for the trees? Sure, an arm of the IRS used right-wing buzzwords to help identify organizations trying to take advantage of tax breaks meant to encourage advancements for the public good, rather than the causes supported by one particular political group or another. But might this “scandal” – which is all the rage in the current news cycle, yet sure to fade in time – speak more to the pervasive posturing in contemporary politics and the way the IRS is viewed than any sort of bias or conspiracy theory? There has been an explosion in the number of tea-party themed nonprofits in recent years, after all, and they’re not in the business of giving dolls to impoverished children or anything like that.