We missed this on Friday, but Instapundit caught it today — part of his laser focus on the IRS scandals. Dr. Ben Carson, who became a conservative-grassroots favorite after openly criticizing Barack Obama in his presence during a prayer breakfast in February, believes his recent IRS audit to be a case of lèse-majesté rather than any serious concern over his tax status. And what should worry the White House even more than Carson is that CBS News is taking the concern seriously:
Dr. Ben Carson, known for medical miracles, is now known for making waves. It started with an in-your-face criticism of the president’s policies at a national prayer breakfast this year.
“People are not used to hearing things that make sense come out of Washington. And so somebody actually gets up and says something that makes sense and people start hyperventilating,” Carson said in February.
Whether it’s because he said it with the president sitting right there, the media fallout or coincidence, he was audited. The suggestion that the IRS uses its power to influence politics seems farfetched, but then we see IRS employees in a Star Trek spoof–part of a $4 million employee training conference.
“It was a difficult money trail to follow, but in the end we got it,” the spoof said.
And then came the admission that group requests for tax exempt status were red flagged and sidelined for their politics.
Why did CBS take it seriously? Perhaps because the IRS is building a track record of political vendettas. First came the news that the IRS used more scrutiny for Tea Party and other conservative groups when applying for tax-exempt status. Last month, USA Today reported that the IRS specifically targeted groups that used “anti-Obama rhetoric” in their literature.
Under those circumstances, Dr. Carson’s suspicions look a lot less like paranoia and a lot more like recognition of a pattern.