Many folks, Nooners included, have latched onto an AEI “study” which claims that only the IRS could have possibly stopped tea party-mentum from putting Romney over the top in 2012. Wick Allison at AmCon provides the thorough rebuttal, which you should read in full, but I will blurb the key point in Eschatonnish fashion.
These groups all wanted 501(c)4 tax exempt status. This bracket of the tax code lets you both tax-exempt your donors’ cash and shield them from public disclosure. However, it forbids political activity by eligible groups. Nonprofits, for example, cannot endorse or campaign against a specific candidiate. If swinging the election was a goal for any of these tea party groups (cough) then they did not deserve 501(c)4 status in the first place. The argument destroys itself in a logical paradox and Shatner wins.
Aside from the main point, it is worth repeating how consistently excellent the writing and thinking at American Conservative really is. Daniel Larison you should all know, and Ron Unz’s series on race and IQ more thoroughly deconstructed the neo-racialists than any other treatment that I have seen. Then you have Pat Buchanan, who comes across as a cranky and paranoid Charles Townsend from the TV show with Daryl Hannah. As I mentioned before staff meetings there must be something like the Algonquin Round Table plus Gilbert Gottfried reading from Fifty Shades of Grey.