President Obama, who remains so critical of former President George W. Bush’s foreign policy that he still hasn’t ruled out prosecuting Bush officials for war crimes, began stifling criticism of his own policies through the compilation of an enemies list last week.
That’s right: In Nixon-like fashion, Obama is using the power of his office to compile information on private citizens “for political purposes.”
News of this enemies list began breaking on August 4, 2009, when the administration posted a request at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/, asking citizens who support Obamacare to rat out citizens who don’t. And particularly to rat out those pesky people who keep interrupting congressional town hall meetings that are used by Democrats to avoid accountability for their congressional voting records.
Of course the administration didn’t word the request to rat out fellow citizens quite the way I did, but I think you’ll agree that their wording leaves little to the imagination:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
What this boils down to is simple: “rumors” about Obamacare, i.e., the truth about the danger it poses to our economy, our independence, and our healthcare system, are being passed from conservative to conservative, and even to independents and Democrats, through normally free avenues of communication like “emails” and “causal conversation.” To date, these are still two of the few things that Democrats don’t control, so they need our help in tattle-telling on people like the guy I overheard in the pharmacy saying: “If you think drug prices are high now, just wait till you’re buying drugs from the government.”
Was the gentlemen’s observation about drug prices wrong? No, it was factual, which is worse than being wrong as far as Democrats are concerned.
Rush Limbaugh has long contended that, “facts destroy liberalism,” and Democrats are now proving the veracity of Limbaugh’s words by seeking to suppress “fishy,” factual comments about how expensive things will be under Obamacare. And every day that passes without Obama recanting the request for citizens to point the finger at political dissidents is just another day where the Democrats demonstrate their inability to comport with reality.
And while it’s clear that the short-term goal in compiling this enemies list is to bully dissenters of Obamacare into silence, we must also recognize that there could be long-term affects as well. Who knows what a government-sponsored collection of private information on citizens could be used for once compiled? This is why Senator John Cornyn (R-Tx) is demanding the President cease the compilation of the list and asking, “the administration [to] inform Congress what it’s doing to ensure that names and electronic information about citizens weighing in on health care are not collected.”
For now, it appears that Obama is short on hope but big on change. The problem is, it’s not the kind of change our Founders would have approved.
You remember the Founders don’t you? They’re the guys who wrote and signed off on the First Amendment to the Constitution. The one that reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Although our Founders used the word “Congress” intentionally, the First Amendment implies that no part of the federal government, including the president, can “[abridge] the freedom of speech” or infringe “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” even when that speech is spoken in opposition to proposed legislation or when the assembling takes place at congressional town hall meetings.
Just for kicks, I’ve already ratted on myself to email@example.com , so the Obama administration is fully aware of the “fishy” information I’ve given you in this article. And I think ratting on myself was the right to do, as I tend to believe it’s what our Founders would have done to show that they wouldn’t be frightened into silence by an administration that is opposed to facts.