“Gangster Government” Exposes the First Thug’s Abuse of Power
Washington journalist David Freddoso, who’s making a name for himself as a paladin on the American right, is hot on the trail of the Obama gang again, with both guns blazing.
The fearless author of The New York Times’ campaign bestseller, The Case Against Barack Obama, who warned us of the Chicago-style outlaw government we’d get if we elected him President, is back, this time with a detailed account of how Obama and his gang have abused their powers and now threaten our freedoms.
His new action-packed book, accurately and appropriately titled Gangster Government: Barack Obama and the New Washington Thugocracy (Regnery Publishing) is crammed with criminal indictments against Obama’s hired guns and their dirty deeds. It’s must reading for anyone who is, or will be, working in this two-year election cycle to oust him and his Most Wanted desperados from Washington.
Of course, if you are talking about thugs, there are plenty of them in the ranks of organized labor, many of whom have been wandering the halls of the West Wing over the past two years as if they owned the place. Come to think of it, after all of the IOUs Obama gave them for their work in the 2008 election, they do own the place, and they’ve taken full advantage of their behind-the-scenes influence at the very highest levels of government.
Perhaps no other union official has had more access to the White House than Andy Stern, the politically powerful president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), who paid nearly 60 visits in Obama’s first two years in office. Whatever Andy wanted, Andy got.
What did Stern do to earn his $260,000 a year salary? Why, he lobbied, of course, the kind of activity Obama regularly attacked in his campaign for the presidency under the previous administration. But when Stern lobbied, he did it inside the Oval Office.
Obama and his aides were eager to keep the unions happy, and Freddoso points out that Obama’s $800 billion economic stimulus legislation “was specifically designed to protect state government workers who might otherwise have been laid off—even if their jobs were jobs that states needed to cut.”
When California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger attempted to cut $2 an hour from the state’s subsidy for unionized health care workers to save money, Stern lobbied the White House to block it. The White House dutifully threatened to cut off $6.8 billion in stimulus funds if the Schwarzenegger administration did not back down.
Stepping up the pressure, the White House held a conference call with California officials, putting the SEIU’s general counsel and two union officials in California on the line. When a story leaked out about Obama’s blackmail tactics, the White House backed off. “It was one of those cases where gangster government was just too unsubtle to be effective,” Feddoso writes.
It was also an all-too-typical example of the strong-arm tactics the Obama gang regularly used to get its way.
Next to labor, no other lobbying group exerted more influence on the Obama government than the trial lawyers. At a $2 million fund-raiser bankrolled by the nation’s richest liability trial attorneys, Sen. Joseph Biden said there were “two groups that stand between us and the barbarians at the gate. It’s you and organized labor.”
But the tens of millions of dollars trial lawyers paid to the Obama campaign yielded huge dividends for one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country. The White House made sure that proposed curbs on medical liability lawsuits never made it into the ObamaCare bill that the President signed into law.
One of strongest themes that runs throughout Freddoso’s book is the Obama gang’s cynical view that the Constitution and the laws that govern our country are only for the little people, not for those at the pinnacles of power who revel in ruling over us.
Historically, the government’s departments and major agencies are run by the Cabinet secretaries and agency chiefs nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They are required to testify before Congress and cooperate with any investigations and other oversight inquiries.
But under Obama’s rules, these departments and agencies are now run by a cadre of little-known White House czars, far removed from the Senate’s confirmation process and congressional oversight. The White House wants everything in the government run from the West Wing, far from the prying inquiries of the legislative branch.
While even some Democrats have groused about this seemingly illegal power shift, the White House has gotten away with it.
But it is in the health care law, “read by so few but supported by so many in Congress,” that “President Obama has stretched the constitutional limits of federal power beyond their breaking point,” Freddoso writes. Particularly, he says, in forcing uninsured Americans to purchase and/or businesses to provide federally approved health care plans they do not want and cannot afford, or otherwise pay a penalty or even face jail.
But Freddoso remains confident that, in the end, all of this will be overturned in the next election by the voters whose opposition to the Obama presidency runs far deeper than a mediocre economy and high unemployment. He points to exit polls in last year’s elections, when voters by three-to-one said: “Government is doing too many things better left to business and individuals.”
Freddoso believes the voters have “turned on Obama because they saw something they didn’t like: the big, heavy, pushy hand of big government, reaching out from every shadow. They saw one overreach after another—the stimulus package, the health care bill, the bailout of the automakers, the favoritism toward special interests. And they said No to gangster government.”
We’ll know soon enough whether Freddoso’s prediction proves true, but I suspect he’s right. The political rebellion we saw at work in last year’s elections shows no signs of receding. It’s just getting bigger and angrier.