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February 23, 2009

The Strategy: Obama, Democrats Reject Dissent as Unpatriotic


Once upon a time (shortly before the November election), dissent was considered patriotic in every anti-Bush camp that practiced it. Indeed, attacking dissent was fascist and un-American.


But that was once upon a time. When Barack Obama and the Democrats took power in Washington and themselves became subject to dissent, the principle abruptly changed. Suddenly, those who preached the virtues of dissent became its harshest demonizers.


The turnaround is being illustrated right before our eyes. Obama and the Democrats are dynamically and strategically pulling the “patriotism” card to win policy debates, assigning it to their positions and using it to rebuff their opponents. And by their own words from once upon a time, their strategy is dangerous.


In announcing the so-called “stimulus” deal reached earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proclaimed:


“I’m really at a lack of words how to express my admiration, respect for the love of our country, the patriotism, and the courage of (the three swing senators who supported the spending bill).” (Emphasis added.)


This statement closely mirrored the words of Obama on the matter. An Obama official declared that the president had called the three senators “to thank them for their patriotism in helping advance the bill at a critical time.” (Emphasis added.)


The unambiguous implication, of course, is that if you did not help advance the bill, you are not patriotic.


But these are decidedly not isolated statements. They are very much part of a Democratic operation to demonize serious opposition as unpatriotic. And it only shows signs of accelerating.


The operation saw its beginnings soon after the November election that assured Democratic power in Washington, but before their reign even began. After a group of Republican senators stood up for taxpayers despite pressure from President Bush and congressional Democrats to waste money on Detroit automakers, Michigan’s Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm declared: “It is unacceptable for this un-American, frankly, behavior of these U.S. senators to cause this country to go from a recession into a depression.” (Emphasis added.)


Democratic Congressman John Dingell further asserted: “Let’s be clear about what happened in the Senate: Senators from states where international automakers do considerable business unpatriotically blocked (the bill).” (Emphasis added.)


What would have been the public’s and media’s reaction had the Republicans actually mounted such a campaign to assault their Democratic opponents as “unpatriotic?” It goes without saying that they would not have overlooked any such operation, and justifiably so. But the aggressors here are not the Republicans. They are Obama and his cohorts. Who would expect the media to hold The One accountable?


Of course, this is not the first time Obama has personally used patriotism as a political tool. During his months in the U.S. Senate, Obama signed a letter labeling Rush Limbaugh’s words as “unpatriotic” after Limbaugh criticized anti-war activists who falsely claimed to have fought in Iraq.


And yes, this was the same Obama who, this past summer, while trying to attract votes, insisted that “it is worth considering the meaning of patriotism because the question of who is – or is not – a patriot all too often poisons our political debates, in ways that divide us rather than bring us together.”


Perhaps it might be a good idea to get the summer’s Obama and today’s Obama together for lunch sometime. The former might have some good advice for the politician who has lost his way. Sure, it is possible that Democratic politicians are individually coming up with the remarkable idea of dismissing their political opponents as unpatriotic.


But it is difficult to believe that the “uniter” president, by promoting such perilous tactics, is not the one uniting his party in an unprecedented strategy of filthy politics – a strategy from which he himself dissented only months ago.

© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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