There won't be any direct order found telling the IRS to go hassle Conservative groups. That's not the way it works. Obama's style is to "other" groups he does not like, to impugn their motives, and to cast them as pariahs beyond the bounds of civil society. Such and such group, he will say, opposes me not because they have reasonable differences of opinion but because they have nefarious motives. Once a group is labelled and accepted (at least by your political followers) as such, you don't have to order people to harass them. They just do it, because they see it as the right thing to do to harass evil people. When Joe Nocera writes this in support of Obama in no less a platform as the NY Times, orders are superfluous
You know what they say: Never negotiate with terrorists. It only encourages them.
These last few months, much of the country has watched in horror as the Tea Party Republicans have waged jihad on the American people. Their intransigent demands for deep spending cuts, coupled with their almost gleeful willingness to destroy one of America’s most invaluable assets, its full faith and credit, were incredibly irresponsible. But they didn’t care. Their goal, they believed, was worth blowing up the country for, if that’s what it took...
He concludes by saying
For now, the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests. But rest assured: They’ll have them on again soon enough. After all, they’ve gotten so much encouragement.
There are probably some deeply confused people in the IRS right now -- after all they were denying tax exempt status to terrorists, to enemies of America. They should be treated like heroes, and now they are getting all this criticism. So unfair.
Postscript: And they are racists. Racist terrorists.
But Obama, in his most candid moments, acknowledged that race was still a problem. In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent "Tea Party" movement that was then surging across the country.
This is totally the Obama way of fighting a political battle. He is saying, "forget their stated reasons for opposing me, such as opposition to the health care law, to Wall Street bailouts, and to rising government debt. They really oppose me because they are racists and I am black." Obama's opposition are absolutely never, ever people of good will who simply disagree.
PS#2: It's pretty hilarious the NY Times published Nocera's "Tea Partiers are Terrorists" editorial just 6 months after they editorialized against incivility in the context of the Giffords shooting, which by the way had as much to do with civility in public discourse as the Benghazi attacks had to do with a YouTube video. In fact, it sure seems like this administration has a history of falsely blaming tragedies on their political opposition's speech.