Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
Last night on the Kelly File, Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer had a great discussion on President Obama’s imminent executive order that would prevent authorities from deporting Hispanics fitting a certain description. First, here’s the video of the interview:
Here’s the key part of the interview:
“Look, I believe it is an impeachable offense,” Krauthammer told Kelly. “If the circumstances were different, if we were at the beginning of a presidency, if we hadn’t had years when the Congress has been supine and unresponsive at other grabs of their authority by the executive–like Obama unilaterally changing Obamacare after it was passed about 30 times with no response from the Congress–the same as Obama essentially re-writing some of the drug laws.
“This idea of prosecutorial discretion is really a travesty. It is intended for extreme cases. For a case where you want to show mercy for an individual or two where it’s an unusual incident, unusual circumstances and you say, okay, we’re going to give this person a pass. It was never intended to abolish a whole class of people subject to a law and to essentially abolish whole sections of a law. And that’s exactly what’s happening here.”
When statutes are drafted, the legislative language often has descriptions of who’s subject to specific parts of the law. That’s especially true with income tax codes, where the language must include a description of who pays what tax rate. If they didn’t include that description, the legislation wouldn’t apply to anyone or it would apply to everyone.
The only constitutionally-sanctioned remedy for what President Obama wants to do is to work with Congress to change the United States’ immigration statutes. Therein lies the problem. President Obama doesn’t play well with others. He doesn’t even get along with Harry Reid, much less with Mitch McConnell or John Boehner.
At the end of the interview, this interesting exchange took place:
MEGYN KELLY: What would happen, Charles, in this country if we had a Republican president who said, ‘you know what? I’m gonna use my prosecutorial discretion to just not go after those who harass women going into abortion clinics. I realize that there are laws on the books that say we should go after them but I just see them as worthy of my mercy and I tried to push a bill through Congress but those darn Democrats wouldn’t allow it. So with the stroke of my pen, I’m now gonna say we’re just not going to prioritize those prosecutions…’ This may be a precedent that the left might not want to set
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Well, the example I like to use, let’s say you get a Republican president who says ‘I’ve tried to get the abolition of the capital gains tax because it’s hurting our economy but the congress simply won’t cooperate and I will not wait so I have issued an executive order that the IRS will no longer collect capital gains taxes or pursue anyone who doesn’t pay them.’ Everyone would say that this is obviously a breech of the Constitution and it would be an impeachable offense.
They’re both right. There’s no question whether the left is willing to transfer large parts of the legislative branch’s authority to the executive branch. They did that with the ACA and with Dodd-Frank. There’s no question, either, about whether President Obama sees himself as an autocrat. Finally, there’s no question that these Democrats are willing to ignore their responsibility to defend their branch of government against intrusion by the other branches of government.
The only positive that’ll come from this is that President Obama’s executive order is politically stupid. If he signs that executive order, Democrats will be criticized as being anti-law enforcement and pro-chaos. Then they’ll be tarred and feathered for looking the other way when laws were being broken just because the man who broke the laws was from their political party.
This isn’t a solution to a real problem but it is a political headache for Democrats.
Technorati: President Obama, Illegal Immigration, Executive Orders, Prosecutorial Discretion, Impeachable Offense, Lawlessness, Democrats, Megyn Kelly, Constitution, Charles Krauthammer, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner
The biggest takeaway from the Strib’s latest Minnesota Poll article is that Jeff Johnson has cut Gov. Dayton’s lead in half:
Gov. Mark Dayton maintains a lead over Republican Jeff Johnson in a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, but Johnson gained some ground while Dayton’s support stayed flat.
The poll taken Oct. 20-22 shows Dayton leading Johnson, 45 percent to 38 percent, with Independence Party candidate Hannah Nicollet at 5 percent. In September, the poll showed Dayton at 45, Johnson at 33 and Nicollet at 1 percent. With Election Day just over a week away, the DFL governor has shown a consistent polling advantage.
More Minnesotans also now say they have made up their minds about the race, with 10 percent still undecided, compared to 20 percent five weeks ago. They would have to break in large numbers for Johnson if he is to overcome Dayton’s lead.
Jeff Johnson is still fighting an uphill fight. Still, he’s got to be happy that he’s closing the gap while he’s getting better name recognition.
Johnson’s campaign has leveled charges of incompetence against Dayton, and spokesman Jeff Bakken said the Star Tribune poll shows Johnson has room to catch up and pass Dayton amid a national political climate that Republicans see as favorable. “All the momentum in this race is on Jeff’s side, and the result is going to come down to turnout,” Bakken said. “And in the midterm election in this political environment, we like Jeff’s odds.”
The DFL’s GOTV operation is generally thought of as being superior to the GOP’s GOTV operation. This election will tell the tale of whether those reputations are deserved or not. It wouldn’t surprise me if the GOP’s GOTV operation performed better than expected.
Today marks the start of the final sprint to the finish line. Thanks to these poll results, it’s likely to be an interesting finish.
Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.
They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.
While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.
This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:
It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.
In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.
In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.
The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.
If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.
Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.
Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.
All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.
How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?
The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Smear Campaign, Special Interests, Forced Unionization, Medicare, Social Security, Tax Increases, Higher Education, Ken Martin, ABM, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Small Businesses, Prosperity, MNGOP, Election 2014
If there’s anything that’s obvious about this article, it’s that the Burke campaign and the security detail for Michelle Obama went too far last week:
Political campaigns make otherwise reasonable people go over the edge. The latest example surrounds Michelle Obama’s campaign visit to Milwaukee this week in support of Mary Burke, who is trying to unseat incumbent Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter, Meg Kissinger, was trying to interview people who were attending the event when campaign workers stopped her.
This sounds too much like a totalitarian state:
The partisan attacks worry Burke campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki. He called the Journal Sentinel newsroom and tried to have the mention of press restrictions deleted from the online news article. Editors refused. Zepecki then complained bitterly in emails to Kissinger and said it wasn’t news, nor was her inclusion in the article that people at the rally who needed to sit down were having trouble finding chairs.
Zepecki later told me no other reporters mentioned any of this in their news accounts. That just proves Kissinger is the only one who got it right. We can’t have politicians or their staffs dictating how news is covered, because you know they’d love to.
There’s a difference between controlling the message and controlling the reporters. Zepecki tried controlling the reporters. There’s no justification for that.
Fans of press freedom, and, yes, there are some left, praised Kissinger for exposing such a ridiculous rule and then interviewing anyone she darn well pleased. Opponents of Burke seized the opportunity to say, see, she would make a lousy governor who will keep all the people’s quotes for herself.
This isn’t proof that Burke would make a lousy governor. It’s proof that her first instinct is to control the media. That’s un-American. It shouldn’t be tolerated.
Thankfully, Ms. Kissinger didn’t let the thugs masquerading as campaign workers prevent her from telling the world what happened.
Wednesday night, Jeff Johnson highlighted the differences between his main street governing approach and Gov. Dayton’s metrocentric governing approach. This video highlights that difference:
Here’s the transcript of Commissioner Johnson’s response:
There was an increase in local government aid last year under the all-DFL government we have but there was also the largest portion, I believe, that we’ve ever seen of local government aid going to Minneapolis. That’s at the direct expense of communities in Greater Minnesota. And that has been a pretty common theme in the Dayton administration. Greater Minnesota, in many ways, has become an afterthought in this state, whether you’re talking about where we’re spending our transportation dollars at, whether you’re looking at K-12 education funding formula, whether you’re looking at some of the regulations that are killing our farmers and our miners and our loggers in this state or whether you’re looking at LGA. There’s a very metrocentric philosophy at the Capitol right now.
That reply exposed the DFL’s metro-first governing philosophy while highlighting Commissioner Johnson’s prioritizing Greater Minnesota. A vote for Gov. Dayton isn’t just a vote for reckless spending. It’s a vote for the DFL to ignore Greater Minnesota for another 4 years.
This was the biggest jaw-dropping moment of the debate:
Earlier in the day, Gov. Dayton said that he hasn’t lost sleep over MNsure in his attempt to sound like MNsure’s problems are fixed. They definitely aren’t fixed. Here’s the next bombshell that Commissioner Johnson dropped on Gov. Dayton:
Saying that he’ll “fire the entire MNsure board and top staff because they’re incompetent” was definitely unexpected. It’s definitely justified, though. When Pat Kessler says that he thinks that people at MNsure lied to him. Jim Nobles, the Legislative Auditor, is auditing MNsure.
I didn’t notice this initially but it’s noteworthy because it’s Gov. Dayton’s government-knows-best moment:
This won’t hurt Gov. Dayton within the DFL but it might hurt him with women. It’s possible that they’ll say that they know what their families need and that they don’t need government telling them what they need.
It took more than 40 minutes but they finally got to the Dayton-DFL economy before jumping into PolyMet. Commissioner Johnson’s back-and-forth with Gov. Dayton was especially interesting:
Gov. Dayton better hope that people on the Range don’t hear him say that he’s opposed to pushing mining without a lengthy, expensive, environmental review. They’ve endured 9 years of review for PolyMet. There’s no question that it’s safe. The only people who think precious metals mining isn’t safe are the environmental activists in the Twin Cities, which is the dominant wing in the DFL right now.
Technorati: Debates, Jeff Johnson, Greater Minnesota, PolyMet, MNGOP, Mark Dayton, MNsure, MNsure Board, Incompetence, DFL, Jim Nobles, Legislative Auditor, MNsure Audit, Pat Kessler, MNsure Corruption, Election 2014
After reading Pat Kessler’s Reality Check article, I thought a test of Reality Check’s statements were in order. Let’s start here:
“A few years ago, things in Minnesota weren’t going very well,” says the narrator, a thick-Minnesota accented hockey player. “So we got a new coach.” In fact, Gov. Dayton won re-election after Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty decided not to run again.
But the ad accurately describes an economic turnaround. “We’ve added over 150,000 new jobs and have one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation,” according to the ad.
Let’s check whether that 150,000 jobs figure is accurate. Bill Glahn’s post is the definitive source on Minnesota’s job creation statistics. Here’s what Mr. Glahn said:
Let’s start with the 150,000 jobs claim. There is simply no support for that figure. Based on data at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, if you give Dayton credit for the high-water mark for jobs while he has held office (May 2014) and subtract the employment level from before his election (October 2010) you get only 111,626 net jobs created, a far cry from 150,000.
More to the point, if you take today’s figure (July 2014) and subtract the figure prior to his inauguration (December 2010) you get only 96,515, less than 2/3 of the amount claimed by ABM.
Mr. Glahn even created this graphic to quantify his statements:
Glahn’s graphic shows that the 150,000 jobs figure is a myth and that most of those jobs were created before the DFL took total control of state government. In fact, more jobs were created in 2011 than have been created in 2013-2014 combined.
Let’s summarize. First, the 150,000 figure isn’t accurate. It’s off by, at minimum, 35,000 and by 50,000 in the worst case scenario. Next, it’s dishonest for Gov. Dayton to take credit for the jobs created because job creation ground to a screeching halt when the all-DFL government budget went into effect.
I’d give this section a C- because the statistics are off and because it’s misleading.
The ad continues: “Cut taxes while increasing our rainy-day fund and investing in education.”
This is also true. The DFL governor and legislature did cut taxes for middle-income earners. But they also passed a $2 billion tax hike on Minnesota’s highest earners: workers who earn above $250,000 a year.
Actually, that’s misleading, too. Raising taxes and fees by $2,400,000,000, then repealing $508,000,000 worth of the tax hikes they just passed isn’t cutting taxes. It’s reducing the size of the original all-DFL government tax increase.
Finally, I’d add that Gov. Dayton’s job creation figures deserve an asterisk. Minnesota’s economy created almost 60,000 jobs before the Dayton-DFL budget went into effect. The Dayton-DFL budget passed in 2013 is the budget he wanted to pass in 2011. Had Gov. Dayton’s budget gone into effect in 2011, it’s quite possible that Minnesota’s economy would’ve created far fewer jobs. (Yes, I realize that that’s an opinion but it’s worthy of consideration.)
I’d give this section a D+ because it omits the important information that much of the imaginary Dayton-DFL tax cut is the repeal of major portions of the Dayton-DFL tax increase.
John McCormack’s article on Sen. Paul’s change from dove to hawk exposes Sen. Paul’s temper. First, here’s Sen. Paul’s evolution:
On June 19, a week after Mosul fell to ISIS, Paul was very skeptical of airstrikes. On August 11, after Christians were forced to flee Mosul and Yazidis were massacred, Paul was ambivalent about the limited airstrikes the president had just ordered. On August 29, after the beheading of American James Foley but before the beheading of American Steven Sotloff, Paul suggested he still hadn’t made up his mind about bombing ISIS:
I think the strategy has to be that you have an open debate in the country over whether or not ISIS is a threat to our national security. And it’s not enough just to say they are. That’s usually what you hear—you hear a conclusion. People say, “Well, it’s a threat to our national security.” That’s a conclusion. The debate has to be: Are they a threat to our national security?
In a statement to the AP later that same afternoon, Paul said that he would “seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily” if he were president.
Sen. Paul isn’t a hawk. He’s a politician who got caught on the wrong side of an important issue. He’s a politician who made a political decision to be acceptable to presidential primary voters in 2016. We don’t need an unprincipled presidential candidate. We need someone who’s thought things through. Our presidential nominee needs to get national security right. We don’t need someone whose default position is to shrink American influence.
We’re already suffering through that type of administration.
Sen. Paul said that saying ISIL is a threat to our national security is a conclusion, not a discussion. This isn’t a time for a lengthy discussion. It’s time for deciding. Further, deciding that ISIL is a threat to our national security based on the beheading of 2 reporters, however tragic and shocking they were, isn’t sound thinking. It sounds more like the type of thinking that comes from getting caught.
Sen. Paul isn’t liking getting pressed by the press:
I asked Paul twice if he was no longer concerned, as he wrote in June, that bombing ISIS may simply turn the United States into “Iran’s air force.” He didn’t respond to the questions and indicated he wasn’t happy with this reporter as well as a local reporter who repeatedly suggested Paul is an isolationist.
“All right, thanks guys. Work on that objectivity,” Paul said, as he walked away.
What a snotty reply. John McCormack is one of the best reporters out there. He’s objective. His articles are filled with solid logic and verified facts. That Sen. Paul would whine about John McCormack’s objectivity speaks volumes about Sen. Paul’s temperament (temper?), not McCormack’s objectivity.
Bill Burton’s op-ed about President Obama’s frequent golf outings is a nice attempt to distract from Americans’ chief complaint:
I thought that going on vacation with the president would be a real perk of serving as deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.
Don’t get me wrong: Some elements of it are amazing. When you do find some down time, you can find yourself in one of the most beautiful places on Earth enjoying its splendor with the leader of the free world and your buddies.
That is—when you can find some down time.
As Washington chews over yet another presidential “vacation,” and that most Washington of words—“optics”—let me take you behind the scenes of the last time President Obama took flack for supposedly being “disengaged” while world events marched on around him.
First, let’s dispatch with the word optics. It’s mostly used by liberal journalists who then ignore the problem. Yes, the optics are terrible when the supposed leader of the free world talks somberly about the beheading of an American journalist, then is seen joking and fist-pumping an hour later.
When those things happen, it’s natural for people to question President Obama’s sincerity and his commitment to ridding the Middle East of terrorists.
What actions did President Obama put into action from the sand trap on the 9th hole? Did he finally figure it out that ISIL is a real threat to the American homeland while putting on the 15th hole? If he didn’t figure that out on the 15th, did he get word of Gen. Dempsey’s statement that we’d need to take out ISIL’s command-and-control while driving up to the 18th green? By the time he got back to his compound, had he called Gen. Dempsey and told him to stop talking about ISIL as a threat more dangerous than al-Qa’ida?
It was Christmas Day 2009. Osama bin Laden was still at large. A 23-year-old Nigerian man was caught trying to bring down a passenger airliner headed for Detroit—which would have been the most devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. The day of, and the days that followed, the botched bombing saw the president and his staff, in Hawaii, at the White House and scattered across the country on their own family vacations – snap to attention and drop everything else to make sure we were doing all we could to keep Americans safe.
The president was not a passive bystander. He led America’s response to the apparent terrorist attack, soaking up new information as it came in, running meetings and issuing orders. As a regular matter of course, vacation or not, the president is briefed on intelligence every day. In this instance, he was receiving twice-daily updates on the situation in Detroit as well as three-times-daily updates on matters around the world from the Situation Room. As events developed, the president was directing his national security team—cabinet secretaries, intelligence officials and the military. He was awash in reports from the government and from the media.
Thank God for the Obama administration snapping to immediate attention. If only they hadn’t told law enforcement to read the failed bomber his Miranda rights.
While it’s true the optics have stunk all summer, the truth is that President Obama’s policies have been disastrous. That, Mr. Burton, is what Americans are most worried about. Russia annexes Crimea. President Obama proposes limited sanctions on a handful of Russian billionaires. When ISIL captured Fallujah, President Obama called ISIL a jayvee team. When ISIL threatened to capture Baghdad, President Obama talked about the need for Iraq to sing kumbayah.
When Hamas killed Israelis, President Obama criticized Israel for not being gentle enough on terrorists who then hid behind 5-year-old human shields otherwise known as children. When missiles were found in a UN-run school, he dispatched John Kerry to the region, where Kerry’s plan was immediately rejected by the responsible nations of the region.
Just once, it’d be nice if the administration would get a policy decision right.
Unfortunately for America, it’s more likely that President Obama will hit a hole-in-one on his next vacation than he’s likely to make a solid policy decision.
Some amazing things have happened since the Halbig v. Burwell ruling One of those things, according to this transcript, is that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest appears to have developed the ability to read people’s minds:
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: You didn’t answer my question. I said if this decision is upheld, and you were just slapped down by a circuit court, if this decision is upheld, does it effectively gut Obamacare? It means, for instance, that the president can no longer say that people have access to healthcare for the price of a cell-phone bill. This is going to wipe away 4.7 million right now, 4.7 million peoples’ subsidies.
JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE: You and I agree with the fact that there are millions of Americans who currently benefit from those provision of the law. And we are confident that that law has the kind of legal basis to withstand legal scrutiny…
KARL: The letter of the law very clearly states that the subsidies are available to those who enroll in state exchanges. Does the letter of the law matter to the White House on this?
EARNEST: What matters is —
KARL: That is the letter of the law. It’s for state exchanges.
EARNEST: Again, I don’t have the fancy legal degree that I referred to earlier, but what I do think the courts are charged with doing is evaluating the intent of Congress. And the intent of Congress in this case I think is not just clear, it’s transparent. Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to these tax credits that lower their healthcare costs, whether or not the marketplace is run by federal officials or state officials.
It isn’t the Supreme Court’s, nor any other court’s, responsibility to read people’s minds. Their responsibility, in this instance, is to determine whether the statute as written, gives the IRS the authority to send subsidy checks to people who bought health insurance through federal exchanges.
If Congress wanted everyone who made less than 400% of the federal poverty level to receive a subsidy from the IRS, they needed to write that into the ACA. Notice that I said they need to write that into the bill. I didn’t say that they only had to suggest that that’s their intent.
Words have meanings. That’s essentially what the 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court ruled. This administration is playing this game because they don’t want to involve Congress in correcting Max Baucus’s mistake. They don’t want to submit it to Congress because Republicans will push for other changes along with the change that President Obama wants made.
It’s time for Democrats to a) simply admit that they made a major mistake and b) submit the bill to Congress and to take their lumps.
Andrew Napolitano’s op-ed for Fox News is a great history lesson of the Nixon administration’s and the Obama administration’s attempts to suppress political speech. It’s today’s must reading. Here’s Judge Napolitano’s illustration of how the Nixon administration suppressed speech:
Classic examples of “chilling” occurred in the 1970s, when FBI agents and U.S. Army soldiers, in business suits with badges displayed or in full uniform, showed up at anti-war rallies and proceeded to photograph and tape record protesters. When an umbrella group of protesters sued the government, the Supreme Court dismissed the case, ruling that the protesters lacked standing, meaning, because they could not show that they were actually harmed, they could not invoke the federal courts for redress.
Here’s what Judge Napolitano highlighted about the Obama administration’s attempt to suppress political speech:
So, what has the Obama administration done to stifle, or chill, the words of its detractors? For starters, it has subpoenaed the emails and home telephone records of journalists who have either challenged it or exposed its dark secrets. Among those journalists are James Risen of The New York Times and my colleague and friend James Rosen of Fox News. This is more personal than the NSA spying on everyone, because a subpoena is an announcement that a specific person’s words or effects have been targeted by the government, and that person continues to remain in the government’s crosshairs until it decides to let go.
This necessitates hiring legal counsel and paying legal fees. Yet, the targeting of Risen and Rosen was not because the feds alleged that they broke the law, there were no such allegations. Rather, the feds wanted to see their sources and their means of acquiring information. What journalist could perform his work with the feds watching? The reason we have a First Amendment is to assure that no journalist would need to endure that.
To his credit, Rosen hasn’t stopped asking tough questions while reporting on the touchiest of subjects. Though there’s no question that Mr. Rosen and his family have felt pressured by the government, Mr. Rosen has continued doing his job.
I suspect that that’s due in large part to his bosses, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch, have told him that they have his back. Further, I’m certain that his co-workers, people like Bret Baier, Brit Hume, Megyn Kelly, Greta van Susteren, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Fox’s correspondents, have showed him that they’ve got his back, too.
The point is that people can withstand a tyrannical administration’s attempts to chill political speech if a) they’re suppported by their colleagues and b) they’re willing to show that administration that they won’t be intimidated.
That’s the lesson in this tyranny. There’s nothing that’ll send a stronger message to a tyrant than saying that you can’t be intimidated. Admittedly, that’s easier said than done. Still, the rewards can be tremendous and the respect gained from colleagues immense. It’s what’s needed in stopping a bully like this:
Two weeks ago, a notorious pot stirrer in Norfolk, Neb., built a mock outhouse, put it on a truck and drove the truck with permission in a local Fourth of July parade. In front of the outhouse, he placed a mannequin that he claimed looked like himself, and on the outhouse, he posted a sign that stated: “Obama Presidential Library.”
Some thought this was crude, and some thought it was funny; yet it is fully protected speech. It is protected because satire and opinion about public figures are absolutely protected, as well as is all criticism of the government. Yet, the Department of Justice has sent a team to investigate this event because a local official called it racist. Such an allegation by a public official and such a federal investigation are chilling. The reason we have a First Amendment is to ensure that the government stays out of investigating speech.
There’s no question that President Obama and his chief henchman bristled when they saw this. President Obama has the thinnest skin of any American president in my lifetime. It’s one thing to not like it when people poke fun at you. It’s quite another to start a federal investigation when someone pokes fun at the president.
President Obama’s history has been to eliminate his political opponents whenever possible. When that isn’t possible, he’s resorted to Gestapo-like tactic. Threats and intimidation are definitely part of his ‘weaponry.’
The most indespensible tool in fights like this, again, is to show people you’re willing to stand up to their bullying tactics. Another great tool is to get people rallying around you. That’ happened in Rosen’s case. What hasn’t happened, though, is that Democrats haven’t shown they’ve got the integrity required to stand up to a thug in their own party.
The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to permit, encourage and even foment open, wide, robust debate about the policies and personnel of the government. That amendment presumes that individuals, not the government, will decide what language to read and hear. Because of that amendment, the marketplace of ideas, not the government, will determine which criticisms will sink in and sting and which will fall by the wayside and be forgotten.
This is one of those times when the best defense is a great offense. Nothing stops a bully as quickly as giving them a bloody nose or taking out their knee. That’ll send the message that you’re prepared for battle. That, more than anything else, will give a bully pause.