Roy Blunt tweeted apropos the so-called IRS scandal a few weeks ago that “the IRS is targeting conservative groups.” In his slick and weaselly, you’ll-never-pin-me-down way, he tried to implicate the President, saying of the trumped-up scandals: ” I do think the obmaa [sic] administration has used the ability of the government to control activities more than any administration than [sic] I’ve ever seen.”
Today, Steve Benen sums up all that we now know about the nothingburger IRS scandal (follow the links for the full Monty):
GOP officials and commentators said conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status were singled out for excessive IRS scrutiny. That’s wrong. Republicans said conservative groups faced delays that liberal groups didn’t have to endure. That’s wrong. Republicans said President Obama’s critics were unfairly targeted. As the NYT reports today, that’s wrong, too.
Where does this leave ol’ Roy? As Benen notes and has been widely reported, he’s trying to pretend he never rode that particular hobby horse as enthusiastically as he did, while at the same time suggesting – without a shred of evidence – that you never can tell, there may yet be something amiss. This is what the New York Times calls a “tempered” response. Note the effort to sound judicious and disinterested, to back off accusations while implying that they may yet prove true:
Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said that in retrospect, suggestions that Mr. Obama had orchestrated an I.R.S. attack on his political enemies were unwarranted.
“Presidents have always been very careful about maintaining the appearance of keeping hands off the I.R.S.,” he said. “I don’t have any reason to believe there wasn’t targeting of conservatives, but it might well have been a lot more than that as well.
Roy has no reason, he says, to believe that Obama wasn’t targeting conservatives, although, of course, he never had any hard evidence that there was politically motivated targeting of conservatives – just a lot of sound and fury in the absence of facts. Like so many GOPers, however, he just won’t give up, hence, the sly bits of innuendo with which this statement is larded. This, my friends, is the GOP shuffle, the way that slippery and corrupt pols manage to never have to say that they’re sorry.
*1st sentence of last paragraph edited for clarity.