The IRS scandal comes into focus

Aftermath: Democrats quickly dropped any feigned outrage over IRS targeting and circled the wagons around the agency. Why? The targeting was outrageous, the public was fuming, and nobody likes the IRS. Joining with Republicans would have only been right and popular.

That is, unless Democrats are worried. As the Camp timeline and details show, the IRS responded to liberal calls to go after conservative groups. Democrats weren’t just sending letters. Little noticed in the immediate aftermath of the IRS scandal was a letter sent May 23, 2013, by Carl Levin and (Republican) John McCain to the new acting director of the IRS disguised as an expression of outrage over IRS targeting. Artfully hidden within it was Mr. Levin’s acknowledgment that his subcommittee on investigations had for a full year been corresponding and meeting with IRS staff (including Ms. Lerner) to ask “why it was not enforcing the 501(c)(4) statute.”

What was said in the course of that year? How much specific information was demanded on conservative groups, and how many demands dispensed on how to handle them? Good questions.