The default 'reasonable liberal' response to this current IRS brouhaha - that the IRS must be completely fair to everyone - is, of course, correct. But you're applying it incorrectly in this situation.
It's perfectly 'fair' for the current IRS, or any other government organization charged with enforcement of Federal laws, to closely scrutinize conservative affiliated groups, especially those self identifying as members of the 'tea party'. It's absolutely correct and reasonable that such groups get more attention from Federal law enforcement than other groups... and when I say 'other groups', I mean, groups that have not made it a basic part of their philosophy that they should not have to obey Federal law, that the elected President is illegitimate, that any form of resistance to 'liberal/socialist tyranny' (up to and including ARMED REVOLT, folks, ARMED REVOLT) is perfectly acceptable... especially not paying taxes.
Conservatives, especially tea party conservatives, have spent the last six years screaming that, essentially, Federal laws do not apply to them. Some justify this with the presumption that President Obama is not really the President, some on the grounds that they have God given rights either never mentioned or only vaguely referred to in the Constitution, and many just say it because, you know, that's what they think and na na na boo boo.
If the IRS had issued an order to all of its examiners saying "pay special attention to any individual or group self identifying as a 'sovereign citizen' ", would we be having this kind of discussion now?
The Tea Party is every bit as crazy as the 'sovereign citizen' movement, and in exactly the same manner. If they don't like Federal law, they move to nullify it on a state level, or simply ignore it. They fume and mutter about open rebellion against the government. They sure as hell don't want to pay any taxes to the Kenyan social Muslim pretender President and his black helicopter flying U.N. minions.
At what point is the Federal government allowed to take notice of all the crazy outlaw rhetoric they've been spouting and respond to it in a meaningful way? The Feds aren't locking anyone up... the branch of the Federal government charged with collecting legitimate tax revenue is looking more closely at groups who self identify as unwilling participants in the Federal government, especially its tax code. What the hell is wrong with that?
Now, the Obama Administration's fanatical desire to lock up whistleblowers and the recent revelation that Justice has been accessing the phone records of AP reporters who were involved in a story that involved national security... THAT's a scandal. That is probably the single area where President Obama has disappointed me the most... any government needs frequent housecleanings in the light of day to be kept honest, our government most of all. We should lionize our whistleblowers and the few members of our press still willing to commit actual journalism, not investigate, prosecute, and jail them.
But the IRS going after people who are identifying themselves as probably tax cheats? Lib'rul, please.