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DC at Night

Friday, June 21, 2013

Right Wing Speech Under Attack, McConnell Claims

Conservative Republicans, Tea Party supporters, and right-wing Evangelicals are under attack from the Obama administration and government bureaucrats who are trying to harass, stifle, and vilify all those who disagree with their liberal positions, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell charged today.

"There is a coordinated assault from groups on the left and a White House that is determined to shut up dissent," McConnell (R-Ken) said. "And just because McConnell is pulling the fire alarm doesn't mean there isn't a fire."

The Minority Leader said he didn't believe President Barack Obama was directly issuing orders for the attacks on conservatives, but added that the president didn't have to. "I don’t believe that the president ever actually picked up a phone and told someone over at the IRS to slow-walk those applications or audit anybody. But the truth is, he didn't have to. The president has been demonizing these people. The CEO has laid out the game plan," McConnell contended. "We have a president that simply can't accept the fact that the public is not going to applaud everything he does."

Following his 40-minute presentation at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an emotional supporter pleadingly asked McConnell if there weren't some way to impeach Obama for his actions.

"We need a thorough and complete investigation and let the facts take us where we are supposed to go," McConnell replied.

McConnell's remarks came just weeks after revelations that the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently been targeting Tea Party and political groups pushing conservative agendas by delaying their requests for tax-exempt status and ordering audits.

"There is a culture of intimidation," McConnell said. "They (leftists and bureaucrats ) are trying to vilify and harass anyone who has formed a group for conservative causes. The goal was to win at all costs. And that meant shutting up the the opposition. You can get an audit for questioning how the government is being run? The IRS is thumbing its nose at the American people. It's pure arrogance"

But McConnell contended that the IRS was not the only federal agency targeting conservatives. Others were using similar practices, he said. "It reflects a culture of intimidation that spreads throughout the government. They can make your life miserable and, even worse for Democracy, they can force you off the political playing field," he said.

Returning to the IRS, McConnell said he believed that the agency should be granting more, not fewer,   exemptions for social cause groups. "The government should not be in the business of micromanaging a status that should be relatively easy to obtain," he said.

McConnell proposed that the IRS targeting and similar incidents highlighted the biggest difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. "They are the party of government and we are the party of the private sector. This is what you get when you elect a government that thinks (more) government is the answer," he proposed.

"They (Democrats) are desperately trying to prove that nobody at the top was involved in these scandals, but the IRS (situation) puts the lie to all this posturing," McConnell said.

"It's clearly an uphill battle. But if we are to take these assaults one by one, I am confident we will beat them back. The only way to beat a bully is to fight back. Be wise to the ways of the left. Never give an inch on free speech," he added.

Tales, Tidbits, and Tips
Although McConnell declined to comment on NSA surveillance on private citizens, he did briefly discuss 2 issues he thought were related to the overall theme of threats to political free speech. Claiming that unions support government growth, McConnell said "I support unions in the private sector, but I question the appropriateness of unions in the public sector." McConnell also issued strong support for the Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United, which determined that corporations people and allowed them to contribute unlimited amounts of support and money to political campaigns. "It is a good, fair decision of leveling the (political) playing field," he said. He claimed Democrats' calls for more disclosure of  campaign contributions were  attempts "to get their hands on the names of people who oppose them. Disclosure is nothing more than going after donors. These people were talking about the Koch brothers by name so much that you would think they were running for president."

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