It was a very bad week for Charlie Sykes.
It didn’t seem bad. In fact, it seemed for a while to be Charlie’s idea of fun.
Thanks to a blessed barrage of bad news for President Obama, Sykes was treated this past week to the chance to dutifully fluff up mere stories into full-blown Democrat-damaging scandals. Good times.
But then the problems for Charlie began to pop up all around one of those scandals. This is the one involving the IRS. The story goes that the IRS subjected right-wing groups to intrusive scrutiny. In actuality, the IRS would be an ineffective government agency if it did not scrutinize these groups quite a lot. To earn tax-free status as what is called a 501 (c) (4) organization, you are supposed to be non-partisan.
Hilarious that on Monday Sykes said one of the outrages that this “scandal” contains is that the IRS asks these non-profits for names and addresses of the groups’ participants, associates, even family members. This is outrageous, Charlie had to pretend, because then this personal information becomes public record.
Charlie, of course, conspired in the coordinated effort with these 501 (c) (4) groups to publicize the personal information of all Walker recall petition signers. It was a well-funded but shadowy effort that involved out-of-state groups.
So guess what? These personal-information publishers are claiming to be victims because, among other things, the IRS might make the information of those involved publishable public information.
On Friday, the Texas-based organization called True The Vote that helped run the recall petition signer harassment effort became a national story by pretending to be a victim of the IRS.
Combining all the BS on which the IRS scandal floats with all of the BS that the Walker recall opponents produced strained the dissembling abilities of Charlie, inducing a hernia of hyperbole.
Sykes sounded like a fool.
Speaking of foolish, here is how Charlie’s RightWisconsin website described the recall effort and his Republican allies’ efforts to oppose and exploit this righteous, homegrown movement:
“The result of the project helped Wisconsinites know who was forcing this expensive recall to move forward, busted the Democratic Party's myth of 1 million signatures, and added transparency and integrity to the recall process. Thousands of signatures were flagged as invalid, incomplete, or completely illegible. And Verify also provided transparency for judges, the media, prosecutors and other "non-partisan" employees who signed the recall.”
So much scrambling of reality here, when we know the 931,000 that the GAB ultimately tallied blew way past the necessary 540,000. The amount of fraud that was ultimately documented by this extraordinary scrutiny was also miniscule. Even if it did number in the thousands rather than a higher factor of 10 then it would be less than or maybe right around one percent of 900,000.
What has become obvious, though, is that the true purpose of the database was to give Charlie and Mark Belling the names of folks that they could target with their fascist thuggery, ranging from judicial candidates to school board members and reporters.
So listening to Charlie interview on Friday the True the Vote leader Catherine Engelbrecht of Houston, Texas, I had to cringe. His bad week of ignoring the monstrous holes in right-wing talking points and of straining to pretend reached a climax when he interviewed her.
Here are all of the whoppers that Sykes dutifully ignored in his interview:
1. That the untaxed group led by Ms. Engelbrecht – who dutifully used Rush Limbaugh jargon such as “democrat party” in her answers –is about as non-partisan as the Waukesha County Republican Committee.
2. That Sykes was a throbbing hypocrite for bitching at the IRS for doing to a group what the group itself exists to do even more blatantly and intentionally: making individuals’ names and addresses public.
3. That these shadowy GOP groups knew their work was not meant to “ensure the legitimacy” of the Walker recall movement. They know their work was done to to let talk show hosts target squadristi-like any candidates, reporters, public employees for on-air persecution.
4. That this campaign to intimidate a righteous home-grown Wisconsin movement against Scott Walker and the agenda of his out-of-state patrons is itself a conspiracy of dark forces, including Engelbrecht’s movement based in Texas, relying more on outside-the-state groups than the efforts to oppose Scott Walker in 2010 ever were.