In 2010, Obama told a Latino audience: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” We, in the conservative blogosphere were horrified. This sounded Nixonian, it sounded banana republic unethical. Yes, the president sounded petty and self-important, but he was also proud in a bizarre way–as if, punishing enemies and rewarding friends was something that was not beneath him, as we might expect from someone in a position of such power, but was instead something that he actually relished. It was mind-boggling, really, to think that the president’s political “enemies” (not “opponents,” not “loyal opposition,” but “enemies”!) were going to be labeled by the head of state as essentially “‘enemies’ of the state.”
Even those of us who heard it and understood the implications didn’t know how, exactly, these punishments would be doled out, what form they would take. Perhaps, we hoped, he’d just keep calling us names, mocking and deriding us, sneering down at us from his Styrofoam pedestal. Maybe he’d lie about us more than usual, urge his sheeple in the tabloid media and regressive groups to attack and attempt to discredit us more often. Maybe he’d set up another version of “Flag the Fishy” and “Attack Watch” to get our fellow citizens to turn us into the state . . . for some reason, to locate all the “enemies” he has? And to what end? After all, this is America, you can’t “punish” Americans for political dissent or on the whim of a president.
You can’t, right?
This president has taken punishing his enemies (and often simultaneously rewarding his friends) and elevated it to an art form that would make history’s worst tyrants and dictators drool with envy:
His DOJ: in addition to suing Arizona for violating federal immigration laws (while ignoring violations of immigration law in “sanctuary” states and cities, of course–after all, what petty tyrant doesn’t pick and choose which laws he likes best?), also has a well-known policy of never prosecuting blacks for crimes against whites. 0’s DOJ also went after Gibson guitar on bogus “wood” crime allegations.
His TSA: in addition to gross abuses of power and zero ability to actually detect an actual terrorist, the TSA considers anyone who “opts out” of their porn scans and gate rapes to be “domestic extremists.”
His DHS: in addition to the unprecedented (and frankly bizarre) stock-piling of ammunition about which they decline to comment, issued a memo in April 2009 telling various law enforcement agencies across the country to be on the lookout for dastardly “. . .. groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority [i.e. that pesky 10th Amendment which protects citizens and states from a too-powerful central government]. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,’ the warning says.” I.e. conservatives, TEA Party groups, patriots.
His military: in addition to forcing its pastors to perform gay “marriages,” has also targeted Christians in a special effort to silence their free speech. And the army has been told not to consider actual terrorists (Nidal Hissan, for example) as terrorists, but instead to focus on Christians, Jews, and Islamaphobes.
His press secretary: tried to exclude the “enemy” network Fox News from an interview. Yes, it was one interview, but if they had succeeded, it would have been the end of Fox in the WH press pool. It was a baby step to see how far they could go in ending the freedom of the press.
His NLRB: targeted Boeing in a bogus lawsuit in an attempt to bully them into opening a new plant where the administration (and its union thug friends) wanted it.
His DOE joined with his DOJ to effectively revoke the First Amendment on all college campuses receiving federal funding (the majority of them, in other words).
His IRS: the recent revelations that the IRS was intentionally and methodically targeting TEA Party, “patriot,” and those groups or individuals “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” has created deep concern on the right–leftists, not being the targets this time, are perfectly happy to see this gross abuse of power to intimidate and silence opposition. This isn’t that surprising; after all, if we’ve learned nothing else over the past four years, we’ve learned that leftists are perfectly happy with tyranny and oppression . . . as long as they are the tyrants and oppressors. Too bad for them that totalitarian takeovers historically end badly (very very badly) for the regime’s early supporters and apologists.
Not only are we, justly, concerned that political dissent will make us a target of IRS (or FBI, CIA, FDA, DOJ, or any other executive branch agency–keep in mind that the videographer 0 falsely blamed for Benghazi is still in prison. Sure, he did something unrelated to the video wrong, but odd how he was only picked up after the attack in Benghazi when the president and secretary of state needed a scapegoat. And believe me, every single person out there is guilty of some crime or violation of some regulation–there are so many that we don’t even know about. You could be harassed for collecting rain water, for growing vegetables or herbs on your porch, for who knows what else. So we are not only concerned about the IRS targeting us as taxpayers), but we also are concerned about what this means with the new role that the IRS has as the 0Care enforcers. They now have, granted by the 0Care monstrosity, access to our personal bank accounts (actual access, not the power to freeze them–they’ve had that for ages), free reign to monitor our purchases and income, access to our personal medical files, and a list of other means by which to “enforce” the 0Care mandate. These things could all be used to intimidate, bully, silence, even imprison any person “guilty” of political dissent.
And now we know, for a fact, that 0 is not only willing but actually relishes wielding the power of the presidency to “punish” his “enemies” (no, I won’t rant about his insistence that he can use drones to kill American citizens on American soil because he thinks them an “enemy,” but . . . well, not so tinfoil hatty now, huh?). We, that is anyone who opposes this administration, are 0’s “enemies,” and no abuse of power, no strong-arm tactics, no bullying thuggery is beneath him.
These are the times that try men’s (and women’s) souls. Luckily, we are Americans, and this tyrant wannabe will not intimidate, cow, or silence us. We are not Germans defeated in spirit and nation, we are not Russian or Chinese peasants–isolated and disarmed, we are not, in other words, easy pickings. And for that, I am forever grateful.