Both the Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks say their ultimate goal is to pressure Congress to slow the implementation of the health care law, even if its repeal has become increasingly unlikely.
It is exactly that politicization that former IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson feared in his testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last year. Everson said that by putting the IRS in charge of executing the health care law, Congress opened the agency up to apolitical "savaging" not unlike what it experienced in the late 1990s when the agency was even more unpopular than it is now.
Now, in light of the current scandal, Everson told ABC News that his fears might have been justified.
"This whole chapter is very disturbing," said Everson, who is a vice chairman at Alliant Group and served as commissioner of the IRS between 2003 and 2007. "I do worry that we'll now be in another period where people are very conservative and they don't feel comfortable doing their jobs as well as they should."
Everson said that if the IRS had any chance of surviving these political headwinds, Obama must appoint a permanent commissioner soon who has enough bipartisan support to mend the agency's relationship with Congress and the public.
"It is incumbent upon the president to get a new confirmed commissioner in there as soon as possible," said Everson. "One who is capable of rallying the troops and has the respect of all parties so they can star to rebuild the agency."