Yesterday I told you about the latest poll numbers related to Obama's approval rating and trustworthiness. Today we have new insight from the CNN/ORC survey related to the IRS scandal. The latest findings show us two important things.
1. The number of Americans who believe that the IRS targeting of conservative groups was a direct order from the White House has increased by 10 points in the last month to 47%. For independents, the number who believe the White House ordered the targeting of conservatives has crossed the 50% threshold.
2. The other thing to note is that this IRS targeting scandal is still important to the majority of the American people, but that number is starting to slip. In May, 55% felt it was a “very important” issue to the nation, and now that number is at 51%.
If we put these numbers in the context of the numbers I told you about yesterday, it is clear that people are losing faith in this president. The benefit of the doubt is beginning to erode as scandals hammer his credibility, and the possibility of wrong-doing no longer seems all that far-fetched. I'm not saying that the American people are correct in that the White House directly ordered the targeting of conservatives, but the perception that this is possible is important. It will hurt Obama's ability to govern effectively, if you can consider what we've seen over the last few years to be “effective.”
The fact that this is slipping as an “important issue” is, in my mind, a failure of the media. Or more accurately, it is by design that the lapdog media has backed off this story and in some cases still fails to make the connections and updates we've come to learn. For example, a top IRS official in Washington by the name of Holly Paz has admitted that she was involved in scrutinizing 20 to 30 cases related to conservative groups. This is on top of information we've since learned, which completely puts to rest this lie we were initially told – and some still maintain – that the targeting was isolated to the employees in Cincinnati. This is a lie. But as Jay Sekulow points out in a column today, there is an urgency by the left to “move on” from this scandal, and I have no doubt that the lapdog media will comply. However, Jay Sekulow's lawsuit continues to grow; He is now up to 41 plaintiffs in this lawsuit against the IRS.
There are a few other updates to the IRS scandal.
I just told you about Holly Paz, the IRS’ director of rulings and agreements. She says that the term “tea party” was used as a blanket term to describe any group engaging in political activity. She described it like people using “Coke” to describe any “soda.” I'm not buying it and you shouldn't either. The fact is that you can call it “Coke” and say it applies to all sodas, but if you are only targeting “Coke” products, then it's pretty much a moot point. The fact is that no liberal groups were targeted. No matter what you called it, the nature of the targeting was based on the content of the politics at hand.
According to testimony from an IRS agent based in Cincinnati, pro-Israeli groups applying for tax-exempt status had their applications routed to the antiterrorism unit of the IRS and underwent additional screening.
Meanwhile, during the height of the campaign season in 2012, while the IRS was targeting conservative groups, the Religion News Service reports that CAIR – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – miraculously had its tax-exempt status reinstated just in time for Ramadan, a highly charitable time for Muslims.
Tomorrow, Wednesday June 19th, there will be an "Audit the IRS" rally from noon until 2 p.m. on the West Lawn in Washington DC. The Tea Party Patriots website reads: “It’s time that Washington sees first-hand just how outraged the American people are by these discriminatory acts.”