Noting the rapid co-opting of the administrative apparatus in Crimea by the Russian invaders — trivial little fictions such as Kiev’s being a foreign city so far as the Simferopol airport is concerned become critical facts when they are backed by sufficient levels of terror — the economist Tyler Cowen observed drily: “Bureaucracies can act swiftly when they wish to.”
They can also act with relatively sophisticated levels of coordination and great energy. Consider the case of the corruption of the Internal Revenue Service by progressive political ideologues, which has now degenerated into the mob-trial spectacle of formerly obscure revenuers invoking the Fifth Amendment in front of congressional investigators. Many journalists and investigators have been looking for ironclad proof that the IRS conspiracy against conservative activists was directed by the White House, perhaps by the president personally. The search for what is obscured in the shadows can cause us to ignore what is right in front of our noses, in broad daylight: Elected Democrats in Congress put very public pressure on the IRS to suppress and harass tea-party groups. That is not a secret; even the see-no-Democratic-evil New York Times knows who they are: Max Baucus, Jeanne Shaheen, and, especially, Chuck Schumer. I very much doubt that Barack Obama personally ordered the IRS to abuse its powers, just as I very much doubt that Vladimir Putin has taken a personal interest in terminal assignments at the Simferopol airport. Neither had to — a fact that says as much about the fragility and corruptibility of institutions as any top-down agenda would have, and perhaps more.
I’ll say it again:
These Tea Party groups made the mistake of wanting to participate in the process of legitimization in the first place. Had they NOT applied for tax-exempt/charity status, this wouldn’t have happened to them.
And had they been true to their principles, they would not have applied to join the same club they insist they want to burn down.
One doesn’t apply for an imprimatur and nihil obstat on one’s anti-Catholic samizdat.