While I do not necessarily agree with the politics of the tea party and other groups like them, I do find this disgusting. Our government blatantly harassing tax exempt groups and their members demanding membership lists and the such just because they disagree with them politically, sets a dangerous precedent. Some people claiming this isn't a big deal would be with torch and pitchfork outside the IRS building if this happened to a Democrat group under a Republican presidency. This isn't the first time this has happened, Clinton tried similar tactics in the early 90s, and to be fair republicans have done this as well, I know Nixon did.
“I’m somewhat disappointed that more African Americans don’t think for themselves and just go with whatever they’re supposed to say and think."
- Dr. Benjamin Carson
Locke is spot on. Here we have a group of people whose initial purpose was to protest taxation, and they're applying to be tax-exempt. It's only common sense that they would be scrutinized more thoroughly than other tax-exempt entities. Let's assume there was a movement for individuals to be able to carry guns on planes. Members of this movement are known to wear camo hats. You don't think security would "randomly" search individuals with camo hats more than ordinary citizens. I'm not saying what the IRS did was right, but everyone has to admit that it makes sense.