Turns out, the IRS was screening not-for-profit tax-exempt applications for words like "occupy" and "open source" and "medical marijuana" as well as "Tea Party," out of concern that these might be money-making operations. Even some Republicans are now willing to admit that the IRS was not targeting conservative groups after all:
“We haven’t proved political motivation,” said Representative Charles Boustany Jr., a Louisiana Republican who, as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, is leading one inquiry.
Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said that in retrospect, suggestions that Mr. Obama had orchestrated an I.R.S. attack on his political enemies were unwarranted. ... “Presidents have always been very careful about maintaining the appearance of keeping hands off the I.R.S.,” he said.
Not that the truth will change the popular narrative. It's too late for that. This myth of persecution at the hands of liberals will be forever engrained into the paranoid psyche of the American right. Dare to offer a factual refutation and you will be branded an idiot, a liar, or worse.
The tax-exempt martyrdom of the Tea Party will always be the truth, whatever the facts.