This Twitter exchange somewhat explains part of my “evolving” philosophy which involves no longer trying to change things but instead trying to establish what the new rules are.
National Journal obtained private IRS (or tax) documents of Americans for Prosperity that supposedly were accidentally published on a governmental website. These non-public tax documents were then used to attack Americans for Prosperity and the Tea Party. As you can see from the tweets, not only did National Journal somehow exclusively obtain these supposedly accidentally released documents, but it then uploaded them to Scribd. Furthermore, this was the second time the same source somehow obtained supposedly accidentally released tax documents relating to the Koch brothers and then exclusively sent them to National Journal.
It’s also funny that the story here is that the libertarian Koch brothers donated money to an organization—not that a governmental body was incompetent and accidentally uploaded private tax documents to a website, not that the National Journal source has now at least twice obtained private tax documents on the Koch brothers, and not that National Journal is at the very least engaging in what at one time would have been called ethically questionable behavior. The story isn’t even that the instructions on the Schedule B tell those who don’t have to file it (and good luck with deciphering that with as complicated as tax documents are) not to do so because the government might actually release this schedule when it is not supposed to do so. Imagine that. Keep this story in mind the next time someone assures you that your private medical records will remain private under Obamacare.
Seitz-Wald says he and his source legally obtained the documents they used for their ongoing information operations campaign against the Tea Party. But take a look at his bio and archive of writings on his National Journal page. He’s listed as a “Political Correspondent,” which sounds unbiased and nonpartisan, but he clearly is not. Mind you, I’m not changing what I said in my tweet—I’m still not calling Seitz-Wald a liar. But this all seems more than a little strange and it is part of a trend of private tax documents of conservative (labeled or actual) individuals and organizations somehow finding their way into the hands of political enemies. (It also follows such incidents as: the IRS targeting the Tea Party, government officials improperly searching databases for “dirt” on Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher, questions on if the IRS gave Harry Reid Mitt Romney’s tax records, the Democratic Party supporting fake Tea Party candidates, leftists backing a Ken Cuccinelli impersonator, and leftists bugging Mitch McConnell. Think the NSA has engaged in illegal intelligence activities? My guess is if someone would thoroughly investigate, he would find the NSA has nothing on the Democratic-Media complex.)
And if you think my distinction between calling someone a liar and questioning him is a small or illegitimate difference, consider Seitz-Wald’s, “Tom DeLay Is Still Guilty,” at National Journal. DeLay is a man the left hounded for the past ten or so years. And even after he was recently found not guilty, Seitz-Wald and fellow leftists still insist he is guilty. So the distinction I make between calling someone a liar and questioning him is more than legitimate and fair based on these rules.
Also, I am not really angry at Seitz-Wald or National Journal. I would have been at one time but (again) as you can see by the Twitter exchange, I no longer have any faith that people will uphold the law or even simply do the right thing. After all, we live in an age where a U.S. citizen can get dragged out of a public meeting for speaking out-of-turn (saved from prosecution by video and public outrage), kids can get suspended from school for playing with toy guns on private property, and Pennsylvania officials who are upholding the law are being sued even as the Pennsylvania official who broke the law is lionized (the government sued to stop him, but it didn’t arrest him nor, as far as I know, did it sue him personally). Furthermore, invading illegal aliens are feted at the highest level of governments and by the media, and the U.S. government arms al-Qaeda. This is the new normal. And this establishes that there no longer is any common ground between a significant portion of this nation. So what point is there in becoming angry any longer?
Instead, it’s time to establish what we all actually believe. This will tell us who the true believers are and who are not; it will tell us if those who think they are conservative really are, and if those who think they are liberal really are. Once we establish this, we will then have the chance to change the way everyone thinks and politically aligns. This would allow society to move forward and make meaningful decisions about what to do with our irreconcilable differences.
I’m open to talking with anyone to establish what our true beliefs are. And I sincerely mean this. After all, I served in the Army and listened for years as private citizens and government officials have openly slandered troops and even cheered for or supported our enemies in murdering U.S. troops. So I can take listening to honest beliefs (even those that advocate for my murder) and witness treacherous actions without demanding apologies or becoming violent.
In other words, if someone tells me they hope I die or that my children die, I wouldn’t demand that they retract their statements. I would simply document such sentiment, thank them for their honesty (forced apologies are insincere), and then note that such rhetoric is part of the new rules. I’m as tired of debating and arguing as everyone else is.
So if Seitz-Wald and National Journal want to say that it is fair game to obtain, use, and re-post non-public tax documents of private individuals and/or organizations, then so be it. (And let’s face it, they aren’t the first people to do this; left and right organizations have exploited non-public documents and information from individuals and organizations such as Sarah Palin, STRATFOR, Colin Powell, etc.)
But we all get to play by these new rules.
Let us also start establishing what people really believe so we firmly can establish on which side we all truly are. This requires dialogue with friend and foe alike (not arguments or attempts at persuasion with foes since we have no common ground). And like I said, I’m open to doing this so we truly can progress to the next phase of a society and figure out what to do with our irreconcilable differences.