Anyone who has met Murray Bass knows him as a fine man and true gentleman. No one doubts his patriotism. But I can’t understand how he thinks.
His most-recent column put the finger on the IRS as the prime agent of oppression and main operator of the massive loss of liberty that we see all around us. What’s that? You don’t see any loss of liberty? Look around! See the jack-booted police kicking in doors down the street? You’re next! Wake up, people!
Oops, I digress.
Murray’s column spoke of the IRS’s new rules regulating tax-exempt “pubic interest” groups, 501c4s. Public interest used to mean things like soccer leagues, Esperanto clubs, vegan enthusiasts, flying saucer spotters and the like. That was until the nation’s prime political pirate, Karl Rove, found them. He palled up to them because they don’t require the publication of donors’ names.
What a find that was. Using 501c4s, he could hide the names of big conservative donors like Freiss, Adelson and Koch.
So Rove drove a truck through the intent of the law, and now the IRS is trying to return things to normal.
You know, if you want to run political ads, you have to form a committee and identify your donors. Horrors, sez Mr. Bass and our local tea partyers. That’s a loss of liberty – especially for our billionaires who are ever so shy.
Karl is probably right. If you hear Koch, Freiss, Adelson too much you might get the idea that our political process has become warped by Big Money. People might get the notion that a small clique of billionaires and corporate money has bought the US Congress outright. Why, that would give the whole game away. Some flaming pinkos might even begin calling the U.S. a plutocracy – government by the rich. You and I know that Big Money plays only a small part in politics today, right? Everyone knows that.
But the aspiring plutocrats certainly don’t want you to suspect it. Their funding of every method of keeping their names under wraps and waging jihad on government in general works well for them.
Government, you see, is the only power that can control Big Money. So the idea is to discredit it early and often. Thus we have oil spills that are the government’s fault, credit meltdowns that are the government’s fault, poverty that is the government’s fault, lack of jobs that is the government’s fault.
You get the idea. And our good, patriotic tea partyers are the shock troops of the plutocrats. They just don’t know it.
Jack Batson is a former member of the Fairfield City Council. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.