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July 13, 2009

Dissent Is Not an Option Under the Obama Regime


“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.” – Barack Obama, prior to the November 2008 elections.


In the wake of the “change” that took the country by storm on November 4, it now appears perfectly acceptable – and even a dependable, primary political tool – to pull the patriotism card under Democratic rule. This was seen only last Tuesday when the powerful Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman proclaimed that opposition to Obama by Republican leadership signified that “they are rooting against the country.” (Emphasis mine throughout this column.)


Unfortunately, this was hardly an isolated incident of what Obama considered thoroughly repugnant politics only a year ago. A quick scan of political history since the November elections can only reveal a regrettable pattern – if not a systematic operation – of Democratic leadership consistently demonizing opposition far beyond the call of political necessity.


Under the rule of the Czar of Czars (whose mesmerizing 53 percent victory, he reminds us often, evidently renders him infallible), the dissent that was once the Democrats’ archetypal illustration of patriotism is now nothing more than the first leap toward treason itself.


It all began even prior to the most recent elections, when Obama and dozens of his Senate colleagues actually signed a letter labeling the words of Rush Limbaugh – a private citizen – “unpatriotic,” after Limbaugh criticized anti-war activists who falsely claimed to have fought in Iraq.


But it really kicked into high gear right once victory was assured in November. After pressure from President Bush and congressional Democrats to waste taxpayer cash on Detroit automakers failed to sway a group of Republican senators, Michigan’s Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm deprecated the “behavior of these U.S. senators” as “un-American.” Democratic Congressman John Dingell more closely approached an allegation of treason when he declared: “Let’s be clear about what happened in the Senate: Senators from states where international automakers do considerable business unpatriotically blocked (the bill).


The same theme was adopted after the Dear Leader’s gargantuan “stimulus” package passed the Senate with the help of only three Republicans. (And thankfully it did pass, or else unemployment would skyrock . . . Oh wait). In high praise of the three Republicans (one of whom actually has since become a Democrat), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proclaimed: “I’m really at a lack of words how to express my . . . respect for the love of our country, the patriotism (of the three).” As if carefully coordinated, Obama also called the three “to thank them for their patriotism in helping to advance the bill at a critical time.


So if the three Republican senators were deemed patriotic for siding with the Democrats on a $787 billion blind spending bill, where does that leave the rest? Aren’t they, essentially by definition, unpatriotic?


They must be, if they are also considered enemies who cannot even be heard. During the ongoing health care debate, the top aides to Democratic Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus threateningly warned Democratic lobbyists against having their clients attend a meeting with Senate Republicans. In the words of a Democratic lobbyist: “They said, ‘Republicans are having this meeting and you need to let all of your clients know if they have someone there, that will be viewed as a hostile act.’”


A “hostile act” to merely talk to the other side? Where are we, Iran?


Perhaps. In April, after hundreds of thousands of Americans very peacefully congregated at hundreds of Tea Parties around the country (one arrest, for standing in the middle of a street) in support of small government, David Axelrod, one of Obama’s closest advisors, announced that the Tea Party movement could mutate into something “unhealthy.” When pressed as to how such a peaceful expression of First Amendment rights could be called “unhealthy,” he refused to backtrack and instead added, “So far these are expressions.”


So far? What is that supposed to mean? Would he ever say that a peaceful left-wing movement is “so far” peaceful?


Of course not. Still, the administration decided that mere words were insufficient – the opposition had to be officially demonized in writing. Enter a threat assessment report released by the Obama Administration warning, with virtually zero evidence, that “right-wing extremism” in the form of opposition to illegal immigration, abortion, expanded social programs, expanded government, gun control, and gay marriage has the potential to translate into terrorism.


In other words, if you’re conservative, you are potentially a terrorist. Never have left-wing groups been attacked with such specificity even by the same Bush Administration that we have been instructed is the root of all partisanship, authoritarianism and pure evil.


Indeed the terrorism theme is one enthusiastically embraced by the Obama team. Matthew Feldman, an attorney on the President’s Auto Task Force, has referred to an opposing attorney in the Chrysler restructuring as a “terrorist” after the latter insisted on the government’s compliance with the law.


Sometimes more subtle words will do the job. When Dick Cheney criticized Obama over interrogation of terrorism suspects, Obama appointee and CIA director Leon Panetta voraciously jumped to his boss’s defense: “When you read behind it, it’s almost as if (Cheney is) wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point.” In an almost purposeful attempt to make us chuckle at the astonishing irony, Panetta added that Cheney was playing “dangerous politics.”


Most Obama supporters are so far giving the Czar of Czars a free pass. While a 2006 poll showed that a majority of Democrats did not want Bush to succeed, the Democratic leadership is now telling us that even questioning authority is dangerous, unpatriotic and even terroristic.


But it is understandable that they wish to stay on the safe side. During a closed-door meeting with House Democrats, Obama identified one of the seven Democrats who dared vote against his “stimulus” and warned: “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.”


Dissent is not an option.

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


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