Asking Obama to “Play Nice” is No Way to Defend Freedom

Some Republican Senators are concerned that the IRS will single out Tea Party supporters for tax audits and other restrictions.

Excuse me—but isn’t this what government does? Play favorites?

If this weren’t the case, there would be no massively Big Government and no IRS with arbitrary powers to support its financing.

Naturally, when a liberal Democrat controls the executive branch, people on the other side had better watch their backs.

Don’t misunderstand me. The Republican Senators are right to raise this concern. They’re right to suggest that it’s wrong for the Obama Administration and the IRS to single out their opponents. When Richard Nixon was thought to be doing this sort of thing, he was drummed out of office and forced to resign. For whatever reasons, it’s unlikely that Barack Obama will ever be held to such a standard. So I wish the Senators luck in their efforts to protect and defend the anti-Big Government Tea Party. Obama’s attitude is clearly that he’s going to do what he wants, and he’s not going anywhere.

Unfortunately, if the Senators defend the Tea Party on the premises and values of their opposition, they’re going to make a bad situation even worse.

Here’s what I mean. In a recent public statement, these Republican Senators tried to defend the Tea Party this way:

‘Civic and social welfare organizations have long performed valuable roles and offered numerous benefits to our society,’ the senators wrote. ‘It is imperative that organizations applying for tax-exempt status are able to rely on a consistent and foreseeable review structure from the IRS. Any significant changes to the IRS review process should be implemented only after appropriate notice and opportunity for comment from the public and affected parties.’

Excuse me, but the Tea Party (or any other peaceful citizen) does not have to establish its equal rights under the law by ‘performing valuable roles’ or ‘offering numerous benefits to our society.’ Whether or not the Tea Party does these things depends on who you talk to. The people who work in the Obama Administration, and who agree with Obama’s ideology of government, will be right to conclude, ‘Well, I don’t agree that the Tea Party serves society. So we should send the IRS right after them.’

No, it would not be right for members of the Obama Administration to do this. But it would be logically consistent of them to think it, and do it, based upon the very terms proposed by these Republican Senators.

The problem is that the executive branch has these powers in the first place. Someone long ago said that ‘the power to tax is the power to destroy.’ This is quite literally true. Government has the power to take away property and, if you refuse to comply with the IRS, to put you in jail. I would call all of that destruction.

These Republican Senators cannot hope to inspire principled opposition to the Big Government supporters (in both parties) who hate the Tea Party and want government to keep on doing everything it’s doing.

The way to take a principled stand is as follows.

‘The Tea Party has a right to exist. They have as much a right to exist as anyone else. Although we don’t like everything about the IRS and taxes as we know them, it’s imperative that everyone be treated equally under the law. If evidence is uncovered that the Obama Administration is singling out political opponents in any way, for any reason, we will fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. And we’ll hold the President legally accountable. In this country, people are equal under the law, and that’s the end of it.’

This is a much more principled and accurate argument than the mealy-mouthed claim, ‘The Tea Party is selflessly serving society and therefore should not be attacked by the IRS.’

The main point here is that you don’t have to earn your rights. An individual’s right to be free from force is inalienable and unalterable. In the United States, it was supposed to be protected for all time under the Constitution. That’s part of what the Tea Party is actually trying to argue, to the great annoyance of those with four decades old political careers in Washington D.C.

Government infringement upon the rights of individuals will never be defeated with apologies and pleas to ‘play nice.’ The people who run our Big Government are not nice.

Rights don’t come about because you provide community service or please others. Rights exist because they’re yours. They’re not conditional.