Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Obama's Enemies List

One of the reasons many people voted for Obama was because he promised a more civil tone in Washington. People believed that his friendly charismatic demeanor would mean a more bi-partisan cordial way of politics. Remember the "No red states, no blue states, only the United States" rhetoric? Well it seems it was only rhetoric. In nine short months the opposite has occurred.

As far as reaching across the aisle, Obama makes George Bush look like Gandhi in that regard.

Republicans have all but been shut out of the health care reform process. Obama is using Chicago type politics to "neuter" the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from its traditional Washington role as the chief representative for big business because it disagrees with the White house on Cap and Trade and the public option for health care reform. And most disturbing of all, he now uses the office of the Presidency to shut out a news organization.

This is beginning to be called what it enemies list. Sen. Lamar Alexander, familiar with the Nixon enemies list, being a 29 yr old staff aide in the White House at the time, is warning Obama that this is a very bad idea.

Alexander remembers back in 1971 that Nixon had a list of what he called “persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration” and to "use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.” Many on that list were news organizations.

Is this sounding chillingly familiar?

Is Obama using the federal machinery to "screw political enemies?" You decide. The Obama administration, through The Department of Health and Human Services, imposed a gag order on a health care company, Humana, who had sent its Medicare Advantage customers warnings that their benefits might be reduced in Democratic health care reform proposals (the gag order has since been removed thanks to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell). The White House has also been reportedly "taking names” of bondholders who resisted the GM and Chrysler bailouts." Remember when Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, said to ABC that the stimulus plan wasn’t working? The White House then writes to the governor of Arizona and said, “If you don’t want the money, we won’t send it.”

One would hope that if Nixon taught us anything, it was that bullying and wielding power over the heads of those you are suppose to serve, only ends in humiliation and defeat.

The Obama administration would do well to learn from history and not repeat it's mistakes.