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Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Sanctuary Cities for Conservatives

Driving political rivals from office or appointed positions has a long tradition. Indeed, that is what politics is all about.

Taking that fight into the private realm, whether someone's private employment or private associations, however, is a tactic we are seeing with increasing frequency from the Obama administration and its supporters. Politics now doesn't stop at the government doorstep, but extends into the personal lives of opponents, their businesses, and their associations.

Rush Limbaugh is the most recent example. I've tried hard to think of another example of someone being driven out of a private investment based on his political views. There may be examples, and if so, please list them in the comments. But the Limbaugh case is important because it shows the extent to which Obama supporters will go. In what else should Limbaugh not be allowed to invest?

The public attacks by the Obama administration on Fox News, combined with freezing out Fox News from access to the President, is another example of an attempt to punish a critic. The snub of Fox News on Obama's Sunday media blitz was just petty. And criticisms of media coverage by administrations is not new.

But I don't recall the type of public, wholesale attack on an entire news organization as we witnessed days ago from Obama's media spokeswoman. At least not since the Nixon administration. There certainly are examples of both Republican and Democratic administrations attacking a particular article, or news item, or disclosure of leaked secrets. But the attack by the Obama administration on Fox News took matters to a whole new level, leading even some liberal media outlets to criticize the ongoing tactic.

Another example is the threat by Democrats to investigate and punish the insurance industry for opposing Obama's health care proposals, using Congress' antitrust authority. The politicians and the pro-Obama media operations moved in sync on the antitrust issue, suggesting coordination. This use of government legal power to punish political opponents is dangerous in itself, but even more so when combined with synchronized political advertising.

And the list goes on. These examples are not isolated, but part of a deliberate strategy by supporters of the Obama administration, as summarized in a recent Politico.com article, The left aims for critics' jugular:

[U.S. Chamber of Commerce President] McCaughey and other Obama critics are falling victim to tactics honed as much by the right as by the left: Bloggers research the opposition and post material that is picked up by allies on cable talk shows, who push it into the broader media.

But the new twist is that private firms, some with little connection to the policy debate and little warning, are being hauled into the public courtyard because of their association with an advocate-employee.

Several progressive groups are employing versions of the tactic, not as part of a coordinated effort but often enough to seem more than coincidence.

Faiz Shakir, editor of the progressive ThinkProgress blog, said the juncture of personal finances and political positions is fair game.

These tactics of taking politics into the personal lives and livelihoods of opponents results from the intersection of the age-old intolerance of liberal dogma and the Chicago-style politics of Rahm Emanuel.

The manner in which Obama ran his campaign made this all predictable. Indeed, just prior to the election, when Obama's victory seemed all but certain, I predicted that we would endure a period of retribution unlike anything seen recently:
Given the zeal with which the Obama campaign, it supporters, and the mainstream media have attacked anyone who dares criticize The One, those who have spoken out against Obama should prepare for retribution. You will be labeled racist, and that label will be used to deprive you of your free speech and your job. You will be called selfish, and required to reeducate. You will be investigated, and your records searched for any possible infraction....

In just about every aspect of your political life, you will be ridiculed and belittled. There will be no sanctuary cities for you.
A key ingredient is the race card, the false accusation of racism. It worked well for Obama during the campaign, and has been refined over the past nine months as documented here repeatedly. The Limbaugh case is a good example, where racist comments were fabricated, broadcast by the mainstream media, circulated on the internet, and repeated by various pundits as a ground to shut Limbaugh out of a private investment.

We are witnessing on a national level a blurring of political and personal boundaries, driven by the executive branch and its well-financed media operatives. For conservatives, and for anyone else who speaks out against the Obama administration, there are no sanctuary cities.

Related Posts:
Al Sharpton for NFL Commissioner
An Allergic Reaction To The Race Card
Obama and Rahm Emanuel: When Will You Stop Being Surprised?

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  1. Agreed. For the time being, this is the new norm. If candidate Obama shows up in your front yard and you ask him the wrong question, your tax records will be made public. If you you answer a question about gay marriage in a displeasing manner, you'll be stripped of titles and have every detail of your life delved through for hints of sluttiness (and, not finding any, they'll just make it up). If you are a rising conservative star, The Atlantic will underwrite a year long investigation of your uterus.

    But this is where things always were going. The Left has no rules, and never will. To their minds, they are the definition of virtue, we are not. They are building a utopia, we are standing in the way. To that extent, we are evil and not only can be destroyed (personally and professionally), but probably should be. Not just for the good of the country, but for our own good as well.

    "Ye shall be as gods" is whispered in their ears, and they believe it.

  2. The lies and false accusations in the Limbaugh-Rams battle still unfolding, are an amazing albeit entirely predictable reaction to Rush’s attempt to gain authority or standing beyond his EIB microphone. In the events unfolding, he can probably kiss his judgeship in the Miss America Pageant goodbye too.

    And why not? This IS a civil war, isn’t it? Assassinations and killings are not really part of this war yet, except, well, as may take place in the abortion realm. But, have no doubt we are involved in an intense sociological, no-holds-barred civil conflict. In this war, terrorism is routinely employed. Terrorism is generally understood to be the killing of ‘innocent civilians’ and the destruction of real property. But, a viciously effective assault upon the power, wealth and reputation enemies of the opposition is also terrorism. So, the Limbaugh crusade is just another chapter being written in the history of this contest.

    Is anyone but the naive really surprised? We all know, the first victim in any war is truth. And, what is truth anyway? Are Conservative truths about taxation the same Liberal tax truths? Does a Libertarian not laugh at the thought of ‘homosexuality as evil’ believed so fervently by many Christians on the right? So, truth is not about facts. Today, we routinely lie and invent facts whether those facts originate in Scripture or Wikipedia. And, we believe whatever truths feel good to us.

    What’s next?

  3. So thinkprogress says the juncture of personal finances and political positions is fair game. Does that mean the politics of personal destruction is back? Did it ever go away?

    It happens on a local level too. Nepotism, cronyism goes on every day. The local school district can tar and feather your kid if you complain about a teacher. The local zoning board can become filled with environmentalists that deny a business requests.

    I don't see a continuation for long, and keep wondering, What was it like before the Civil War broke out?

    The ideological differences of free market/capitalism verses socialism/central planning do not seem to be resolvable. One side is going to win and the other not be happy. One side is trying to use argument and the other force. For all the peace prize hoopla, I bet you can guess which side uses what.

    For those that cheered Martha Stewart's imprisionment, and now Limbaugh's defamation, it should be a warning: It can happen to you.

  4. Excellent post. Of course you leave out Academia which punishes any thinking outside the leftist orthodoxy. But this new gate the elitists have expropriated for NFL ownership is remarkable. I suggest that Rush lead a group to buy NBC/Universal, now that his savings are liberated from NFL investments.

  5. There's only one truth. It isn't subject to perspective or interpretation. It is what happened, its what is happening. And it doesn't care whether or not we recognize it, because the truth is the truth.

  6. Isn't the "personal as the political" theme one originated by the New Left in the 60s? It seems we're seeing it come into full flower with the (for now) ascendancy to power of that generation and their heirs, like Obama.

  7. Ahh... truth is a tricky thing, isn’t it? Truth is elastic, pliable and inventible. Just ask any psychologist or lawyer. Your truth is what you believe whether that be your religious faith (or lack thereof), or your political outlook and worldview. For me, I’m not so sure what is true. But, I sure have opinions.

    Here’s my opinion of the latest Rush Limbaugh brouhaha:

    1. I think Rush is very intelligent. He is an acknowledged expert on the NFL, its leadership, its teams and its players.
    2. I believe Rush is a consummate conservative and has one of the (if not THE) most powerful national voices in Conservative advocacy in the nation. He knows politics, current events and is an expert on the Progressive movement.
    3. Therefore, it is unthinkable that this controversy was unexpected on his part.

    So, this begs the question of ‘why did he do it?” Here’s my take:

    1. Following on the heels of Jimmy Carter and the chorus on the left employing the race card to damage its very fierce and recently successful opponents (e.g. tea parties, Glenn Beck , Andrew Briethart et al) – the left has obviously overstepped any self-regulatory bounds. As any desperately enraged person, they have gone too far. They are ripe for a damaging counterattack.
    2. Rush knew all about the false quotes posted on Wikipedia and attributed to him – and probably knew they would be used by the now very partisan and sloppy media and smug sports commentators.
    3. Rush made himself part of a group bidding on the Rams. The inevitable left-wing and race baiting gang predictably charged once again out the gates. As usual they were gleeful and unthinkingly stupid in their accusations. And, they were successful. Their conduct caused Rush’s partners to drop him from their bid thus producing measureable damages to Limbaugh.

    So, now we will see the weeping, gnashing of teeth and sputtering denials from the stupid overconfident ones. Rush has the dollars to embarrass and humble a lot of his media enemies now. I think this was his plan from the beginning. And, the initial victory on the left is turning into a very Pyrrhic one.

  8. No matter what people think of Bill Gates or of Windows, the actions against Microsoft also fall into this same category. These actions were taken in an attempt to discredit Gates and to have a swipe at his empire with ensuing victories in the courts. It is worth noting though, that Linux is no more popular than when Microsoft was fined for bundling Windows etc. etc.

    There will always be this insane jealousy of others.

    The effort against Limbaugh may yet backfire on the Left. If Limbaugh does slap a lawsuit on those who willingly participated in the spreading of malicious gossip and innuendo (slander) and it is on tape, and in print, then the people who participated better start looking for legal advice.

    Since this was slander Rush has the right to sue these slugs, starting with Keith Olbermann and Rachel Madcow.

  9. Maggie, I agree with you.
    2470144, so Rush had it all planned? Wow, that's a bit "out there." But, that's just my opinion.

  10. To understand in detail what we are seeing in today's White House I urge you to visit my site and link over to the American Spectator article by Codeville. It is truly enlightening and frightening at the same time.

    Applying the points from it, makes all of what you are seeing, including "water running up hill" make sense.


  11. I wouldn't blame the NFL for preferring not to willingly bring politics -- especially the brand of sharply partisan politics Rush plays -- into the business. But it is disgraceful that the NFL allows itself to be dictated to by the likes of Al Sharpton and a transparently ginned up "racism" campaign, while at the same time sanctioning shelter -- and a highly lucrative job -- for Keith Olberman.

    Olberman's partisan viciousness has no close competitors on the left or the right, at least among those who have big-time TV or radio shows.

    The thing is that conservatives will continue to be targeted in this fashion as long as you don't fight back by bringing comparable counter-vailing pressure of institutions like the NFL when issues like this arise.

    It seems to me impossible to imagine that fewer than half of NFL fans -- or the fan base of many if not most teams -- are conservatives and/or Republicans (plus at least some fair-minded Democrats). Give them tit for tat -- in the form of demands that Olberman lose his gig -- or this will happen again and again.