You are hereHuffington Post: 10 Examples of Bush and the Republicans Using Government Power to Target Critics

Huffington Post: 10 Examples of Bush and the Republicans Using Government Power to Target Critics

-By Bob Cesca

May 16, 2013- They say two wrongs don't make a right, but ignoring one of those wrongs while vilifying the other is intellectually dishonest and violently hypocritical, among other things. And certainly that's the case surrounding news that the IRS targeted tea-party groups as a means of determining and verifying their tax-exempt status has resurrected a familiar debate about government overreach and abuse of power.

As of right now, it's unknown whether the IRS was acting on the behalf of the Obama White House. What we do know, however, is that it's not the first time something like this has happened. And we know that the lock-step party, the Republicans, spent eight years defending, applauding and enabling Bush abuses on this front, while subsequently cheerleading the congressional Republicans as they carry forward the politics of intimidation and government overreach into the Obama era.

Let's begin there. The congressional Republicans are outraged by the IRS story, but they haven't been able to scramble to the floor of the House quickly enough to target left-leaning groups. Yes, the following list contains some forgotten history from the Bush years, but the first three items are quite new and ongoing.

1. Planned Parenthood. After a hoax video was produced by James O'Keefe and released by a professional clown-wrangler, the late Andrew Breitbart, the Republican Party has engaged in a years-long effort to strip the organization, which offers cancer screenings and other affordable medical services for women, of critical funding from the government. The votes in the House as well as in state legislatures from Arizona to New Jersey to Texas and New Hampshire -- to the tune of at least $60 million -- are nothing more than assault against a political enemy.

2. ACORN. The government attack on ACORN, traditionally a left-leaning organization, might be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. As with Planned Parenthood, the Republican inquisition against ACORN was nothing more than a politically motivated witch hunt based on, once again, a selectively-edited prank video by a scam artist, O'Keefe, who's been convicted of wiretapping a sitting U.S. Senator and forced in court to pay $100,000 in restitution to a fired ACORN employee. Yet the entire Republican congressional delegation lined up behind Breitbart and O'Keefe and destroyed ACORN, which entirely shut down in 2010. But that hasn't stopped the Republicans from continuing to vote on at least several occasions to defund the nonexistent group. In fact, last week the chairman House Appropriations Committee Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) introduced a section into a spending bill that reads: "None of the funds made available in this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries or successors."

3. Voter ID Laws and Voter Purges. Whether it's Governor Rick Scott of Florida purging voter rolls of minority voters who are likely to vote for Democratic candidates or states like Georgia, Indiana, Kansas and Tennessee passing restrictive Voter ID laws, the Republicans are making sure that fewer and fewer Democrats will be able to freely cast a ballot -- our most sacred right as citizens in a representative democracy.

What about the Bush years?