Barack Milhous Nixon’s new enemies list
Imagine having to watch a train wreck in slow motion for three straight years. Imagine the horrible things you’d see, and how much you’d just want it to end. No doubt, there would be brief moments during that time in which you’d go slightly numb, perhaps even as a self-defense reaction. But then, some new horror would shake you out of your brief moment of respite, perhaps even shocking you with a whole new level of ghastliness.
I am, of course, providing a metaphor for the first term of the Obama Administration. Needless to say, he has supporters for whom he can do no wrong. These supporters will deny anything and everything that we can offer as evidence, but the rest of us see the truth.
He has little respect for Separation of Powers, doing end runs around Congress and empowering bureaucrats to do anything on his agenda that he can’t get past the Legislative Branch of government. He uses openly threatening language towards the Supreme Court, in an obvious attempt to intimidate the Justices. Barack Obama—a man who campaigned as a uniter—is singularly vicious to his opponents. He rewards political allies—especially, though not exclusively, labor unions—with favors and access far beyond even the most shameless of his predecessors.
In spite of three years of ramrodding unpopular legislation down America’s throat, actions of questionable legality, and a general air of Chicago politics being the norm at 1600 Pennsylvania, Barack Obama still has the power to shock and horrify America. To wit,
Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.
Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for “betting against America,” and accuses you of having a “less-than-reputable” record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.
Are you worried?
Richard Nixon’s “enemies list” appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers—to jail, to fine, to bankrupt—are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats. This is why presidents since Nixon have carefully avoided the practice.
Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”
“Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules.”
That really is it. He doesn’t respect the traditions of the nation of which he is president. He doesn’t revere the classical liberalism of its Founding Fathers. He comes from a leftist school of thought that seeks to replace the existing order with an entirely new vision, and he is devoted to that task. As such, his quest for power matters more than American traditions and normative values of governance. Outing one’s opponents and saying, from the highest office in the land, that they are ”betting against America” was once out of bounds.
But nothing is out of bounds for this president, for, as Strassel says, he acknowledges no rules. The only limits on the actions he will take, it seems, are the limits of what he can get away with.
Strassel’s conclusion is potent:
The Obama campaign has justified any action on the grounds that it has a right to “hold the eventual Republican nominee accountable,” but this is a dodge. Politics is rough, but a president has obligations that transcend those of a candidate. He swore an oath to protect and defend a Constitution that gives every American the right to partake in democracy, free of fear of government intimidation or disfavored treatment. If Mr. Obama isn’t going to act like a president, he bolsters the argument that he doesn’t deserve to be one.
If Obama’s supporters were to engage in these actions, it would be within bounds, for they are not the president. They cannot wield state power and ruin someone with a phone call. Obama can. And given his behavior thus far, one suspects he would.
This is not the first time that Obama and his crew of bullies have done this, and it will not be the last. This is how they roll.
As a reminder, let’s start taking a look at just a few of Obama’s donors and bundlers—many of whom really do have something to hide, and some of who have already gotten caught . . .
Crooked buyer of senate seats, forced out of Goldman Sachs but still walked away with $400 million. Helped write Sarbanes-Oxley. Lost over a billion dollars at MF Global.
Accused of fraud and impersonating a bank official. Team Obama finally returned her money six days ago.
Specialist in offshore tax havens. Has helped convicted criminals hide their money offshore. Now bundling for a president who has decried—and promised to fight against—offshore tax havens.
Donated a million dollars to an Obama SuperPac. Not accused of any crime, save for the ongoing crime against humanity that is his show and the repellent, hateful, misogynist things he says . . .
More to come…