I think that Coyote sums it up nicely:
There won’t be any direct order found telling the IRS to go hassle Conservative groups. That’s not the way it works. Obama’s style is to “other” groups he does not like, to impugn their motives, and to cast them as pariahs beyond the bounds of civil society. Such and such group, he will say, opposes me not because they have reasonable differences of opinion but because they have nefarious motives. Once a group is labelled and accepted (at least by your political followers) as such, you don’t have to order people to harass them. They just do it, because they see it as the right thing to do to harass evil people. When Joe Nocera writes this in support of Obama in no less a platform as the NY Times, orders are superfluous
You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them.
These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took…
He concludes by saying
For now, the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests. But rest assured: They’ll have them on again soon enough. After all, they’ve gotten so much encouragement.
There are probably some deeply confused people in the IRS right now — after all they were denying tax exempt status to terrorists, to enemies of America. They should be treated like heroes, and now they are getting all this criticism. So unfair.
Jay Carney mentioned the other day that the White House and Barack Obama is responsible for setting “tone.”
I think that Obama has been clear that the Tea Party is the bad guy. That’s the tone.