Mike Klein Online

The New White House Enemies List

Atlanta Mike Pix_Press_Club_189_-_Version_2This week American political dialogue became increasingly ugly and official White House administration policy reached a disgraceful low point when it began to collect the names of Americans who disagree with the Democratic health care initiative.

Welcome to the new White House Enemies List.

Every administration keeps track of friends and enemies.  Political friends agree with your proposals and they help you achieve goals.   Political enemies are the people who think your ideas may be wrong.  Everyone understands you reward friends and you make life uncomfortable for enemies. That is how professional politics works.  Folks with weak spines should watch from the sidelines.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was certainly no milquetoast.  FDR used the Internal Revenue Service to make life miserable for political enemies who did not support his visions.  When large and small business owners refused to enact FDR mandated pricing, he simply put them into jails to think about it behind bars.

Richard Nixon and his band of criminals kept a White House enemies list, staged illegal activities and lied about what they did.  Most got what they deserved except for Nixon who should have gone to jail.  But the Nixon White House band of thugs would look like amateurs today.

Barack Obama has taken the White House Enemies List one step further, into the internet and social media age.   The White House disguised this new Enemies List as a request for help.  We are asked to report Americans who might not be ready to march instep with health care policy legislation.  Here is a direct excerpt from the official White House website:

“Scary chain emails and videos are starting to percolate on the internet, breathlessly claiming, for example, to ‘uncover’ the truth about the President’s health insurance reform positions … These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.

“Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.”

This column previously said something will result from OFHC – Obama Fixes Health Care.  Given the political numbers in Washington, it seems inevitable.  But a lot of folks still don’t trust the process or the outcome.  So the White House has reason to be concerned about the political conversation, but that is no reason to ask Americans to begin to spy on and turn in fellow Americans.

Is this now standard White House policy when the next issue occurs, and the next, and the next?  Will the Obama administration continuously come forward asking Americans to report on other Americans who disagree with federal funding for abortion, or federal government control over curriculum, or any policy that creates legitimate questions that require legitimate answers?

Or, is this more evidence that this rookie administration continues to make rookie mistakes?

As the White House begins to track names, we also see more evidence of bullying.  Recently, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner launched into an expletives filled tirade against independent federal regulators who did their jobs by asking questions about OFFR – Obama Fixes Financial Regulation.

This week Republican congressman Darrell Issa of California slammed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for “Chicago political machine” intimidation tactics, saying, “It will not work to intimidate me or other members of the United States Congress.”

Americans who attend congressional town hall meetings to ask questions about OFHC – Obama Fixes Health Care – were dismissed this week by the Democratic National Committee as the “right wing extremist base.”  A committee video warned, “Desperate Republicans and their well-funded allies are organizing angry mobs.”

This is fascinating stuff.  Fathers and mothers, folks with and without jobs who ask real questions about health care policy, are depicted as right-wing “mobs” focused on destroying the president.  Rather than debate and defend the policy, attack and denigrate those who question the policy.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn wrote to the President:  “I am not aware of any precedent for a president asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed ‘fishy’ or otherwise inimical to the White House’s political interests.”

Anyone interested in freedom should not let this issue go away.

The establishment of a White House Enemies List threatens the substantial fabric of our society.

August 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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