In the CMO mess, the ratings agencies looked at only a small percentage of the total combined mortgages within a security, 10-20%. In short time, Wall Street handed them that percentage of good mortgages, and filled the rest of the security with known garbage. This is similar. They want to overwhelm the regulatory capacity, so some organizations get no scrutiny. This 'scandal' is an attempt to shame the regulators into less future scrutiny.
When an understaffed regulatory agency gets a unique huge spike in activity, in this case 501(c)(4) applications, it may have to take steps like using keyword identification to narrow the potential field of infractions, because they know they can't investigate all of them.
The real point is that it is the IRS's job to make sure that a non-profit isn't abusing its mandate. If they abuse it, it is their JOB to catch them. The travesty is that the GOP meme is we are not supposed to look, as if the fact that the IRS wanted to look is wrong somehow. In a perfect world, the IRS would check all 501(c)(4)s - last thing the GOP wants.
If the IRS doesn't, who else should? GOP Answer: Nobody, because we have more $$$, and we want to spend it politically, and we want to do so tax-free.
My question is existential. How did the US get to the point where we are electing complete morons? Hasn't the electorate always been able to be misled? Somehow, those elected by previous generations still had some sort of 'pedigree'. Certainly, every generation of every society fortunate enough to live and vote in a democracy/republic has and will elect a lemon or two. Hell, Joe McCarthy was a lawyer, judge, WWII Marine and then Senator. I can understand his election based on these qualifications. Yes, I know, his administration of those duties were questionable and more, but at least he had it. His blathering then was at least somewhat novel, not the hackneyed echo chamber of today's mass media that still gets traction on the electorate.
I'm not saying all elected representatives now are dolts, far from it, yet so many are. I haven't researched it, but aren't there more elected reps with thinner qualifications now than in decades? Having run a company has become a political trump card, even if it was run poorly (Harken). It is so disturbing. My god, half of DU would make better Congressional timber.
Somewhere in the late 80's - mid-90's, it became okie dokie to nominate and elect popular figures. Sonny Bono, Steve Largent, Heath Shuler, Jesse Ventura, Arnold (who ran against Gary Coleman and a porn star among many others in a circus campaign). Some turned out well, America didn't come crashing down, rinse - repeat?
Electability over substance. The film The Candidate came out in 1972, so the concept has been around. Is Rove the inevitable result of the politics of sound byte & news cycle where to look & sound good is paramount and ideas don't matter to the electorate?
This one has been brewing in me for a while. Post-Peristroika, what an opportunity, and what a face palm. Help me to understand.