Hardball with Chris Matthews, 5/13/13, 4:59 PM ET

Obama calls IRS scandal ‘outrageous’

The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman and Time’s Joe Klein join Hardball to discuss the big stories fueling the right-wing conspiracy theories: Benghazi and the IRS.

Chris Matthews to Obama on IRS scandal: ‘Do something’ or face 2014 backlash

Updated

Two big stories tonight: the IRS and Benghazi. The President called one “outrageous” and the other a “sideshow”. Let’s start with the outrageous.

Taxes. If you’re honest and pay ‘em, the best feeling you get after April 15 is, “well, that’s over with!!!” You’ve done what you have to do.

So you try to believe that the system is basically fair - that those progressive rates really mean something - that those IRS people who go over your returns really are looking to keep people honest and they’re fair about. How else can you deal with all this if you don’t have some basic faith in the system?

This, my progressive, independent and reasonable conservative friends is how we live in this country, how we try to be good citizens. And we are the ones furious at this IRS story!

Do these people know what they’ve done to undermine that basic civic faith that we’re not being chumps for being honest at tax time? Do they know what they’ve done to the faith that this republic can perform the way we need it to?

Then, there are the far-right people. They love this baby. They always expect the worst. They get up in the morning figuring they’re about to be picked up by FEMA workers and taken to concentration camps, or the Black Helicopters of the World Order are coming to take their guns!

Yes, this expect-the-worst crowd just got an earful of what it goes to bed at night agitated about. I can only guess what they’re saying about the news that some in the IRS have decided to target right-wing groups. “Knew it all the time,” they’re muttering. This is “The Guvament” they’re telling everyone they can get to listen! “They ought to ‘abolish’ that darned IRS.”

Mr. President, I’ve got some advice. This thing is going to demoralize the good people, give firepower to the far-out. So don’t just talk about how “outrageous” it is. Do something. Act!

Remember what Reagan did when the air traffic controllers broke faith with their oaths and went on strike? He fired the bunch of them!

Guess what! You may not like the rough treatment, but that’s when we realized he was President! That’s when the Bad Guys in the soon-to-be-gone Soviet Union knew this country had a leader!

So do something. I can call something “outrageous.” You can act!!! Find a way to get rid of whoever did this or your enemies will ride this baby right through 2014. Find a way to get rid of these people or Mitch McConnell will ride them right through re-election

Chris Matthews to Obama on IRS scandal: 'Do something' or face 2014 backlash

Updated