An IRS official said Friday that subjecting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status to extra attention wasn’t motivated by politics. Even so, the agency has stoked anger all across the political spectrum. And tea party activists are letting loose a collective we-told-you-so.

“The irony of the IRS scandal is they drove the point the tea party was making all along — that government can get too big,” said Matt Kibbe, president of the tea party group FreedomWorks.

Practically speaking, the news is both good and bad for conservative groups, said veteran Republican strategist Ed Rogers.

“Damage to their fundraising potential, at least among major donors has already been done,” Rogers said. “What donor wants to take the chance that Big Brother isn’t watching?” On the other hand, Rogers added, “it could help mail and Internet fundraising,” and overall, provide the political right with “a psychological boost” and an “I-told-you-so-swagger.”