The administration-ordered persecution of Tea Party groups shut down the movement in time to save President Obama's reelection and starve Republican Mitt Romney of the 4,262,296 votes needed to take the White House, according to an explosive new book from tax foe Grover Norquist.
In End The IRS Before It Ends Us, a clarion call for a new, fairer tax system, Norquist pieces together the IRS scandal and scholarly electoral studies to show that plot worked to stifle the expanding Tea Party movement in the nick of time to help Obama.
"Had the Tea Party repeated and built on their activism of 2009 and 2010 in 2011 and 2012, Obama would have lost the election. What happened to the Tea Party boost? It didn't grow from 2010. It appeared to weaken," writes Norquist, president of the influential Americans for Tax Reform.
But, he adds, "The Tea Party didn't fall down the stairs. It was pushed."
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His theory is built on two key facts.
First, he cited a study on the Tea Party movement that found it pushed up to 5.8 million extra Republican voters to the polls in 2010 when the GOP took control of the House, essentially shutting down Obama's agenda.
Then he cites comments in official reports from former IRS executive Lois Lerner, the key figure in the scandal, who said that she received orders in advance of Obama's reelection to "do something" to shut off conservative funding in the wake of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
He cited a speech she gave at Duke University in October 2010 in which she said the IRS was under pressure. "Everyone is up in arms because they don't like it," she said of the Citizens United case opening up the donor floodgates for conservatives. "The Federal Election Commission can't do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem. The IRS laws are not set up to fix the problem ... so everyone is screaming at us right now: fix it now before the election," he quotes her saying.
Norquist charges that the IRS went to work after huge Democratic House losses in 2010 and helped end Tea Party expansion and stop the growth of motivated voters for Romney.
"In our modern kneecapping, President Obama was Tonya Harding," scoffed Norquist. "The American people who had voted strongly in 2010 and threatened the president's chances of winning in 2010 were Nancy Kerrigan," he added.
Norquist, who allied with many of the groups and their focus on curbing taxes and spending, says that move by the IRS to stall their tax exempt status meant that perhaps hundreds more never got going, and also never helped to rally voters against Obama and for Romney.
"In the two years running up to the 2012 Obama re-election campaign, the IRS, driven by a political activist with no experience that would recommend her for that job, decided to smash the Tea Party movement by stopping them from organizing," Norquist concludes.
His 330-page book is being released Tuesday and is published by Center Street.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.