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An Open and Transparent Presidency...
9 years ago

... Complete with an Enemy’s List!

Veritas Libertas by Edward Wimberley

By Edward Wimberley

Posted October 22, 2009 at 9:34 p.m

Upon assuming the Presidency of the United States, President Barack Obama made the following promise to the American people:

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

However, ten months into his administration the following conversation occurred between correspondent Jake Tapper of ABC News and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

Tapper: “It's escaped none of our notice that the White House has decided in the last few weeks to declare one of our sister organizations "not a news organization" and to tell the rest of us not to treat them like a news organization. Can you explain why it's appropriate for the White House to decide that a news organization is not one?”

Gibbs: “Jake, we render, we render an opinion based on some of their coverage and the fairness that, the fairness of that coverage.”

Tapper: “ABC. MSNBC. Univision. I mean how are they any different?”

Gibbs: “You and I should watch sometime around 9 o'clock tonight. Or 5 o'clock this afternoon.”

Tapper: “I'm not talking about their opinion programming or issues you have with certain reports. I'm talking about saying thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a "news organization" -- why is that appropriate for the White House to say?”

Gibbs: “That's our opinion.”

This interchange occurred on October 20. By October 22 the White House had created a schedule for the White House Press Corps to interview Pay Czar Kenneth Feinberg. However, to the surprise of all (well maybe not a complete surprise) this interview schedule excluded Fox News. Fortunately, ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS refused to interview Feinberg unless Fox was also permitted to do so.

Reinstated to the White House Press pool through the heroic efforts of their colleagues, Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett eventually succeeded in interviewing Mr. Feinberg. During the interview, Feinberg claimed that his supposedly autarchic decision to dramatically curtail executive compensation among the seven banks receiving bailout funds was not "vindictive or punitive."

However, at this point the story was no longer why or how Feinberg had acted to cut executive pay. Instead, the story became focused upon the blatant censorship of the press by the Obama administration.

Baltimore Sun reporter David Zurawik called the Fox exclusion "Outrageous" though he praised the other networks for sticking up for Fox News and refusing to interview Feinberg unless all of the television networks were included. Fred Barnes, editor of the Weekly Standard and regular on Fox News Special Report with Brit Hume observed that: "Banning Fox is just breathtaking in its pettiness... I thought Obama would back off but he's not at all." Barnes’s colleague on Fox, NPR’s Mara Liasson, observed “I just don’t see where this benefits anybody.” Meanwhile the third member of the Fox “All-Star Panel,” Charles Krauthammer, was more critical of the White House, noting that "Demonizing their opponents.... is really destructive... To ostracize and demonize Fox, the White House needs complicity.... It was a confrontation between the executive [and] the free press and the executive backed down."

These events and the belligerent attitude of the White House toward the only news outlet daring to be critical of Obama’s policies are indicative of a President and a presidency that is anything but “open and transparent.”

In fact, the last time I saw this degree of arrogance and disregard for the legitimate role of the press was during the Nixon administration. Nixon’s was the last administration to have an enemies list utilized to attack those critical of the administration. I need not remind the reader just how destructive that list proved to be.

However, there is a big difference between Nixon’s use of an enemy’s list and the manner with which Obama is proceeding.

You see, Nixon never pretended to be a nice guy. He was a mean street-fighter and everyone who knew him was aware of his noxious personality and his dislike for the press. Nixon, unlike Obama, never pretended that he was interested in conducting an open and transparent administration.

Continued -

9 years ago

Obama on the other hand has made a pledge of transparence and openness to the public. Unfortunately for him and for the nation his words have been contradicted by his actions. Or,on the other hand, maybe Obama really is as miserable a charcter as Nixon was!

The President freely talks of openness and transparency, but his actions are those of a “thought-thug” who would manipulate the media to present the information and images that he wants them to broadcast.

So, in the end what are we to believe – Obama’s rhetoric or his actions.

From my perspective, this is not a difficult choice. Actions always speak volumes louder than words, and this President’s actions scare the ever living hell out of me.

I believe that this man is an egotistical thug someone who I think could pretty quickly exert his influence well beyond its constitutional bounds and seek to assert autocratic influence and control over our economy and our government.

In my lifetime, I have never encountered a President who I seriously believed had the disposition and the personality to become more than a President. This President, however, with his swagger, arrogance, smooth; slick rhetoric, and his never-ending efforts to manipulate and control the press and the public, leaves me fearful that after all these years we may have just elected the first President embodying the disposition and capacity to become our nation’s first despot.

Obama’s intolerance of those who disagree with him, combined with his youthful inexperience and his penchant for radical political friends and politics - friends who peddle racist and Marxist politics - leads me to conclude that we will need to closely monitor this our first African-American President throughout the entirety of his presidency.

This is, I believe, the President who would be king.

I fear that Barack Obama may have the capacity to become a truly threatening leader - a person with the capacity for both aggression and thuggery.

Please understand that I am not pleased to have arrived at this conclusion. However, Obama’s willingness to label people as “friends” or “enemies” on the basis of how completely they endorse his agenda, along with his penchant for utilizing the resources of the state and the media to attack persons and reputations, dispose me to wonder who we have really elected to the Presidency.

Ultimately, I have concluded that Barack Obama is a radical who has been groomed for his current role since a young age. However, despite the notoriety of being the first African-American President, I find him to be distinctly lacking in many leadership qualities.

I fear Obama is a demagogue who will say whatever the public needs to hear while pursuing his own personal agenda. I have come to expect him to sincerely extol his love for this country and his vision of how we shall redeem her. Nevertheless, I am not buying either his story or his rhetoric. Maybe I am just cynical, but in my mind, something is not right with this man or those who surround him.

God willing, I hope that we can ultimately deter his socialist agenda by regaining control of the Congress in 2010. Once we have restored Congress to conservative leadership, we can more aggressively resist this leftist President and hasten the day when he is voted from office.

However, until then this President Barack Obama will need to be closely monitored and regularly questioned and challenged to insure that he doesn’t attempt to illegitimately assert his authority beyond that level afforded him by the nation’s constitution.

In this our modern era, we have never experienced a President who attempted to extend his term of office beyond constitutional limits. While I can't explain why it has so stongly occurred to me that Obama just might be unwilling to surrender authority when his term is up, there's something about him that alarms me and I wonder just how far he would be willing to go to assert his agenda and authority. What I see from him to date reinforces my deep-seated concerns about him and those that he surrounds himself with.

For some inexplicable reason, when it comes to this President my intuition tells me that he could become extremely belligerent and bellicose if his authority and power are threatened. In fact, I most worry about his behavior in the event that the Congress is again led by conservatives - hopefully in 2010.

Obama seems to crave power and authority and he may not be the kind of person who relinquishes either easily. For that reason, I remain concerned that he may a candate for resisting term limits or election outcomes. More specifically, I worry that he may either engineer a situation under which he might suspend constitutional protections, or simply take advantage of a natural crisis or event for the purpose of setting aside the usual constitutional protections for liberty and property.

Hopefully, my intuitive radar is malfunctioning when it comes to this President. Even so, until I can confirm that this man is driven by the spirit of patriotism and democracy and not governed by his inexhaustable ego and ambition, I will remain vigilant and concerned that this man, our President, may yet be driven by the ambition to become “the man who would be king.”

9 years ago

Nixon enemies list - baaad.

BHObama enemies list - gooood

9 years ago


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