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by Jonah Goldberg
Of course the president deserves some of the blame.
Yes, it's extremely unlikely he ordered the
Imagine for a moment if black civil rights organizations, gay groups or teachers unions loudly complained to members of
Obviously, it would take longer for Obama to actually get to the bottom of the accusations and, if true, punish those responsible. But you can be sure that the moment he heard credible allegations of political persecution of liberal groups -- outfits with "progressive" or "civil rights" in their names -- he would have moved heaven and earth to make things right.
But when such allegations came from the right, the response from the president -- and from a press corps that until recently acted like a king's guard -- ranged from smirks and eye-rolling to flat-out lies or virtual applause.
For 27 months, groups with such terms as "tea party" or "patriot" in their names were singled out for deeply intrusive and expensive scrutiny, while groups flying the "progressive" banner sailed through. Drew Ryun gave up trying to get
When top Democratic senators pressured the
But Obama's culpability in all of this isn't restricted merely to his sins of omission. Throughout his presidency, Obama has set a very clear tone.
He's made it clear that people who disagree with him are fevered, illegitimate, weird, creepy, dangerous, stupid, confused, ignorant or some other adjective you might assign to a revamped version of the seven dwarves. He's explained that he doesn't mind "cleaning up after" after Republicans but he doesn't want to hear "a lot of talking" from them. The time for democratic debate is always behind us with an administration that began with the mission not to let a crisis go to waste, for as Obama said in his second inaugural address, "Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time, but it does require us to act in our time."
Moreover, President Obama often insists we live in a country where the "government is us," where there's no need to fear tyranny "around the corner" because we could never be tyrannical against ourselves.
In his 2012 State of the Union address, Obama lamented that the American people couldn't function more like the military. Soldiers aren't "consumed with personal ambition. They don't obsess over their differences. They focus on the mission at hand. They work together. Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example. Think about the America within our reach." Never mind that we have a military to keep us free, not to be a role model Translation: I wish Americans would fall in line and follow orders.
It's a funny thing. In his address to
And yet, nearly every day, President Obama divides the country between the forces of truth and reason and the forces of deceit and selfishness. He and his supporters are the "ones we've been waiting for," while his opponents, well, we don't need any more talk out of them.
So fine. Obama probably didn't order the
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