Durst: The taxman's tangled tango - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Durst: The taxman's tangled tango

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Recipient of seven consecutive nominations for Stand-Up of the Year, Will Durst's new one-man show, "BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG," is presented every Tuesday at The Marsh, San Francisco. Go to... themarsh.org for more info. Or willdurst.com

Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2:14 pm | Updated: 11:21 pm, Tue Jun 11, 2013.

As part of the brash rash of wire-brush scouring on the Teflon coating that routinely seals the Obama presidency, a large heavy-duty cast-iron deal has been made of the IRS conducting audits on Tea Party-affiliated organizations. But scratch the surface and it makes a sort of perverse sense.

Tea Party and Associates are what you might call... anti-tax. Like meringue is anti-diet. So much so, they eschew the easy road by denying their name was taken from the early tax rebellion, but rather claim it an acronym of "Taxed Enough Already." These guys are strict.

On the other hand, the IRS is, for lack of a better phrase, less anti-tax. You could go so far as to say the IRS is pro-tax. Although employees undoubtedly consider their task following the letter of the law rather than the grisly art of squeezing blood from 300 million turnips. Type AB, Rh negative preferred, please.

These ornery combatants are mortal enemies along the lines of the mongoose and the cobra. Sheep and wolf. Electric vehicles and Oklahoma. Sarah Palin and The Learning Channel. Irish skin and Equatorial Guinea. The guy from IT support and everybody else in the fricking office. Pantyhose and coffee table corners. Cheese and cat hair.

Nobody wants the government targeting dissenters: that's way too Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Uncomfortably reminiscent of Burma, and that doesn't mean the romantic Pindaya Caves either. The 1984 Orwellian nightmare of Winston Smith revisited. But neither should we forget the Tea Party's stated goal is to shrink the government and get rid of the IRS. Then ostensibly teach the rest of us how to pave our own roads by making mud bricks in our ovens.

How difficult is it to understand that people whose philosophy preaches something is evil might garner a bit of extra scrutiny from the folks whose very jobs they are threatening? Just like a "Legalize Pot" bumper sticker might prompt a cop to sniff the air inside a car after he stops it. The same way you don't mock the stewardess's hairstyle within earshot then expect extra peanuts.

That's not profiling, it's human nature. A reflex. Common sense. Besides, this isn't two beloved groups we're talking about here. The Tea Party versus the IRS. It's a battle for the bottom. The disdained versus the detested. A fight between stinky and yucky. With anybody caught in the middle destined to emerge with a few of the sticky bits on their shoes.

Out of 296 applicants not one Tea Party organization was denied nonprofit status. Admittedly, some had to wait. And that's what the major charges boil down to: the IRS making things difficult. Imagine that. An inconvenient interaction with the government. Next thing you'll try to tell me that insurance companies employ delaying tactics. Can't wait for Obamacare to kick in, right?

But for now, the party has been put back into the Tea Party. They're waving their flag of victimization wild and high and are once again protesting like its August of 2009. A Reenergized Tea Party: the last thing the Obama administration needs. As a matter of fact the only people dreading it more would have to be the entire rest of the Republican Party.

Recipient of seven consecutive nominations for Stand-Up of the Year, Will Durst's new one-man show, "BoomerAging: From LSD to OMG," is presented every Tuesday at The Marsh, San Francisco. Go to... themarsh.org or willdurst.com for more info. Use code "boomer" for discount tix.

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