Schumer did not back up his statement with examples.
He doubled down on urging the IRS to investigate the Tea Party, and claimed that he also wanted the IRS to scrutinize liberal groups. But in the wake of little-reported recent events, Schumer's claim about liberal groups does not ring true.
Schumer has been incredibly vocal in his distaste for the Tea Party and has come up with a "scheme" to "poison" the group by pitting the members against each other, as reported earlier this month at the Examiner.
Although the Tea Party will not buy into the class-war strategy, it is disheartening that Senator Schumer's obsession with destroying the conservative group trumps his desire to serve his constituents, who happen to include members of the Tea Party.
Since when do elected representatives bash American citizens?
In a little discussed speech he gave in November as reported at Liberty Unyielding, Schumer made derogatory comments about Senator Ted Cruz, and said that the Tea Party is racist, misogynistic and anti-gay.
He made some other wild claims, as well.
Schumer unbelievably said that the Tea Party has
"emboldened our competitors like China, who urged all nations to accelerate the pursuit of a world where America does not play a crucial role."
“When things get bad, there are always those who appeal to our lesser instincts…to fear and to anger and to negativity and to division. That is where the Tea Party finds its' appeal.”
Here is one of the more egregious tweets,
There is a sharp divide between Tea Party elites & their followers. Time for Democrats to exploit it...
With Schumer's (false) claim in mind, consider this comment made by Speaker John Boehner on Thursday night, as reported at Liberty Unyielding.
After falsely blaming the GOP for the so-called “government shutdown,” Boehner said in part,
“Listen, I don’t have any problem with the tea party,” he said. “…My problem was with some Washington organizations who purport to represent the tea party who I think mislead them.”
The role of the Citizens United v. FEC ruling in the IRS targeting of conservatives and the obsessive focus by progressives on the Tea Party cannot be overstated.
In fact, Schumer mentioned the ruling during his interview with O'Reilly, and tweeted about it, as well.
4 ways to redirect Tea Party anger: go on the offense, legislate to grow the middle class, fix citizens united & explore top-two.
— Chuck Schumer (@chuckschumer) January 23, 2014
After the supreme court ruled that corporate donations were protected under the First Amendment, progressives have been outraged that the Tea Party would have more power in swaying elections. In fact, the IRS targeting of conservatives happened shortly after the ruling, as reported by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post,
Kessler wrote in part,
“The targeting of [conservative] groups began in early 2010, after the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC was announced on Jan. 21.”
Shortly after President Obama's re-election, as reported in detail at Tavern Keepers, the "Democracy Initiative" was born out of a "secretive meeting among 'progressive leaders' as exposed by Washington attorney Cleta Mitchell and described last year by Andy Kroll of Mother Jones."
One of the goals articulated at the"'invite-only and off-the-record" meeting was to get "big money out of [conservative] politics," and in order to achieve this goal, the heads of these progressive groups, including the NAACP, the Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America and Greenpeace, "pledged millions." The list of endorsers can be found here.
The real goal, despite their faux focus on "getting big money out of politics," is to squash the Tea Party.
Consider the following from a New York Times OpEd on the Citizens United ruling:
"Unleashed by Citizens United, a handful of renegade billionaires made life miserable for Mitt Romney, the establishment candidate.... [and] turned the primary process into an open contest, giving full voice to the more extreme wings dominated by the Tea Party and the evangelical right." [emphasis added]
Or this, at the Huffington Post,
"The 2010 Citizens United decision and a subsequent lower court ruling opened the door to unlimited independent electoral spending by individuals, corporations and unions. Very conservative groups seized on the opportunity to pump more money into Republican primary elections and ultimately managed to elect some of the stars of the current crisis, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)."
As discussed at the Examiner, a proposed IRS rule, “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities,” has been "reverse-engineered" to specifically target the Tea Party.
The IRS is seeking to legalize the targeting of conservative groups. Importantly, should this rule go into effect, Kimberley A. Strassel of the Wall Street Journal writes that the rule would effectively
"...shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs." [emphasis added]
Importantly, this proposed rule would only impact non-profit groups with 501(c)(4) status and not groups that have 501(c)(3) status, such as Greenpeace, the NAACP, the Communications Workers of America, or the Sierra Club Foundation.
Comments on the proposed IRS rule can be made here until February 27.
Bill O'Reilly pointed out that Priorities USA spent $57 million dollars during the 2012 presidential election on attack ads targeting presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Schumer replied,
"If they did it under the 501(c)(4), they ought to be shut down. Say it right here, liberal group, pro-Democratic group, shut them down."
Click on the video to watch the exchange.