Emerging Consensus That IRS Scrutiny of Nonprofit Applications Not Political

In an article titled "I.R.S. Scrutiny Went Beyond the Political", NY Times reporter Jonathan Weisman recaps the recent history of IRS review of applications for nonprofit status, and finds that the issue was "less about ideology," and more about the difficulty of applying one set of standards across applications from organizations whose purposes range from deveoping open-source software, to helping musicians obtain Internet access, to political advocacy.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA) complained "“We replaced the leadership of the I.R.S. over this. We have subpoenas out. We are deposing employees. And we have damaged the president.... It turns out this has been a gross distortion of reality."

Even some Republicans are apparently having second thoughts.

“We haven’t proved political motivation,” said Representative Charles Boustany Jr., a Louisiana Republican who, as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, is leading one inquiry.

Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said that in retrospect, suggestions that Mr. Obama had orchestrated an I.R.S. attack on his political enemies were unwarranted.