One of Dr. J.’s biggest complaints about President Obama and his administration is the willingness to call out private citizens who disagree with his worldview or handle a situation in a different manner than he would. Specific examples include Joe the Plumber, Officer Crowley, the Koch Brothers, the SCOTUS and now donors to the Romney campaign. Generic examples include doctors, oil companies and Wall Street. His favorite enemy is Some May, is a recent chinese immigrant who is his most vociferous opponent, and he even makes fun of her grammar when he calls her out (Some May say…).
Kim Strassel, political columnist for the Wall Street Journal takes the president to task today on this very issue.
Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”
These are people like Paul Schorr and Sam and Jeffrey Fox, investors who the site outed for the crime of having “outsourced” jobs. T. Martin Fiorentino is scored for his work for a firm that forecloses on homes. Louis Bacon (a hedge-fund manager), Kent Burton (a “lobbyist”) and Thomas O’Malley (an energy CEO) stand accused of profiting from oil. Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of a home-products firm, is slimed as a “bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”
The President of the United States is the most powerful office in America, really, it is. The President’s most powerful tool is the Bully Pulpit. Historically the Bully Pulpit has been used to persuade Congress, and if not them, to persuade the American People of the President’s policies. And even then, it has been more of a colloquial term than a pedestal from which true bullying is going in.
Sadly, as the 2012 race heats up, the office of the presidency and the campaign for re-election appear more blurred than ever.
Given that the Democrats are unable to revoke the First Amendment through the legislative process, despite the best efforts of former Speaker Pelosi, Dr. J. expects the Bully Pulpit to be used, as Mayor Daley would say, early and often.