If you just read the news headlines today, you’d think that the IRS was the second coming of COINTELPRO. The IRS is targeting the Tea Party and other conservative, right-wing political organisations, they say. For the average citizens, this reads as though your average citizen’s political views were somehow known to the IRS, as if the IRS was going after registered republicans or members of right wing political groups individually. This is not the case. As Ezra Klein (who is really on his game lately, by the way) points out, what actually happened is quite a bit more mundane than all that.