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Shades of Nixon? Obama uses “enemies list” to target, harass private citizens

By Capitol Hill Blue
June 2, 2012

Richard Nixon and Barack Obama: Cut from the same cloth?

The Obama White House is targeting Republicans with a Nixon-style “enemies list” by using a “truth squad” that releases inaccurate information about donors to presumptive GOP Presidential nominee.

The practice has many prominent Democrats concerned that the Obama campaign — as it is doing with the attacks on Romney’s record while head of Bain Capital — is going too far in an all-out effort to win re-election in November.

“The Obama campaign appears to have taken a page from Nixon’s reelection campaign playbook,” says prominent Democratic pollster Doug Schoen.  “They are now mounting attacks on private individuals.”

Says FactCheck.Org about the practices of the White House:

The Obama “Truth Team” blames GOP donor Thomas O’Malley’s refinery company for helping to “drive gas prices up this year by curtailing gas production.” But the facts are the exact opposite. The Energy Information Administration credits PBF Energy for preventing a price spike in the Northeast this year by opening a refinery in Delaware — partially offsetting the loss of production from two other Philadelphia-area refineries that have closed.

The “truth team” also claimed that one event — a March fire at the company’s Delaware refinery — “directly contributed to a spike in gas prices.” But that fire was under control in about an hour and had a “minimal impact” on production — despite published speculation that it might hurt production and affect gasoline prices.

FactCheck characterizes tactics by the “truth team” as “bogus claims” and adds that “the Obama campaign got it wrong.”

But Obama is not backing down on his scorched earth policy even as pressure from within his own party mounts.

Democrat Schoen calls Obama’s truth team a “misuse of government power.”

Writing for Forbes.Com, Schoen says the White House, in pure Nixononian fashion, is marshaling all of its resources against private citizens.

Writes Schoen:

Among those targeted was Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot – a Romney donor who has contributed $1 million to the Romney campaign – who was smeared as being a “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

VanderSloot has since been subjected to what Kimberly Strassel refers to as “slimy trolling into a citizen’s private life.”

The misuse of government power to vilify private donors is  not only bad politics, but it also diminishes the prestige of the Oval Office and damages our social consensus.

Copyright © 2012 Capitol Hill Blue

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11 Responses to Shades of Nixon? Obama uses “enemies list” to target, harass private citizens

  1. Lillibet Hunt

    June 2, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Facts are elusive, slippery things during political campaigns. With almost unlimited money, this will be the most viscous campaign in history. Negative increases in proportion to funding. Why use true facts when convenient facts are so much more effective in the minds of the political class?

    The thing is, most American voters are not members of the political nattering mob that populate endless panels on talk shows. By the end, voters will be left choosing an impression based upon advertisements better suited to selling laundry soap than leadership, although some laundry soap is now tantamount to currency, holding value better than the dollar has done under either side’s leadership.

    Impressions are thought to solidify prior to Labor Day, or thereabouts, leaving one to question the piling on of negative, poorly vetted facts increasing exponentially between September and Election Day. But not to worry.

    This year, our honorables will keep to the high road, right? Only true facts will be part of political adverts. They’ll avoid the electorate collapsing under a growing sense of disgust with both parties. The parties will spare us ever increasing fear our system is broken beyond repair. They will do this. I am certain of it.

    Not.

  2. Keith

    June 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Desperate politicians do desperate things.

    Clearly, Mr.Obama’s “star” is fading…fast. I also think he’s met his match in Mr. Romney.

    And that desperation is now starting to show.

    For example, Mr. Obama’s repeated attacks on Mr.Romney about Mr. Romney’s work at Bain Capital is full of half-truths and lies.

    Indeed, the story the Obama camp DON’T want you to know about is that many of those companies Mr. Romney’s company supposedly “gutted” were ALREADY well on their way to outright closure and would have failed anyway.

    Such closures would have thrown EVERYONE at the company out of work, not just a few that needed to go out the door to make the company profitable again.

    And, like it or not, corporate profitability is the grease that makes the economic engine of the USA go. The only way we are going to put people back to work over the long haul is for companies to start seeing where and how they can become \9or remain) profitable.

    Or, to put it another way, I think we’ve already seen that profligate government borrowing and spending in a myopic attempt to “spend our way out of the recession” simply doesn’t work.

    Unless and until we can stem the flight of capital to other countries that are often far more financially welcoming to businesses large and small, the USA will continue to be mired in “recession”

    Clearly, Mr. Obama is pulling many of the same half-truths from the same playbook that Ted Kennedy (successfully) used against Mr. Romney when he ran against Kennedy for his US Senate seat in Massachusetts.

    I doubt Mr. Romney will allow Mr.Obama to get away with such nonsene again this time.

  3. Sandy Price

    June 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

    This morning on MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes” the subject of these targeted killings was discussed. One of my favorite commentators Col. Jack Jacobs puts much of the blame of these secret killings is because our Congress refuses to fund any counter actions of terrorists in the Middle East. Many around the table agree with him. Jeremy Scahill was also on tje panel and has been a writer of many books discussed right here on CHB’s home page.

    Both Houses of our Congress have shown a terribly inefficient attitude and are far more interested in getting reelected than watching over our actions at home and abroad.

    Any action taken by President Obama has to be done secretly as the Republican House just waits to search for a reason to Impeach him. Again the weakness within the House’s majority of Republican Reps and a lack of balls, has caused them to sit and do nothing for the American voters.

    The House rants on and on about their fight for jobs whereas it has been focused on women’s rights with 10 bills waiting to be passed to ban abortions. The obsession to downgrade women’s issues is second only to find a reason to Impeach our President.

    Sadly this movement financed by the Koch Brothers is working. With the fiasco presented to the voters during the Primary debates, the American voters are probably as ill-informed as we were before television covered our government actions.

    If Gov. Romnney should win the election, our democracy will be forever lost to all of us and the Corporations will run the House and Senate along with how we elect our President.

    America has more citizens than jobs. We cannot continue to fund Social Security and Medicare at the current growth of people. The discussion of banning birth control and abortions will take us over the top and the only possible way to support Americans will be to declare another war where defense corporations will once again pay our living expenses.

    Our American families are not breeding and developing leaders. We are breeding obedient followers of our government. Orwell lives!

    Personally my greatest hope at the end of WW2 was to see the American voters stand up for their independent rights but, we were not allowed to when Korea and Vietnam took over our peace plans. Something was planted in the minds of our government and voters that we would only survive with a war going on somewhere. Mark my words, if our unemployment numbers go higher we will declare war somewhere….anywhere there are terrorists hating our guts. No matter who is in the White House, we will continue to piss off other nations. How many other areas of holy land will we leave a pile of burned Korans or worse, Islamaic citizens?

    • Keith

      June 2, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Both Houses of our Congress have shown a terribly inefficient attitude and are far more interested in getting reelected than watching over our actions at home and abroad.

      So what’s new, Sandy?

      This has been the attitude of the Congress for at least the last few decades.

      Clearly, we are now suffering from “too much democracy” in the USA in that it takes a “super majority” of the Congress (and 5 of 9 Judges on the Supreme Court) to effect any kind of lasting systemic change in the laws of our land. The fiasco surrounding raising the debt ceiling and enacting “Obamacare” come immediately to mind. Sequestration when another supermajority fail to agree on where (or who) to cut in the 2013 budget is going to be yet another circus.

      If Gov. Romnney should win the election, our democracy will be forever lost to all of us and the Corporations will run the House and Senate along with how we elect our President.

      They already do.

      By now, it should be painfully evident to all that it makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE who sits in the White House or who controls the Congress. ALL of these sleazy bums are forever beholden to whomever underwrites their campaigns.

      I also find it laughable that the Senate was quick to “investigate” the so-called “misconduct” of a handful of Secret Service employees for a “romp in the hay” with some Colombian prostitutes.

      But when it comes to investigating THEIR OWN financial, ethical, immoral and illegal behavior…THAT always seems be another story entirely.

      Talk about hypocrisy!

    • griff

      June 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      “If Gov. Romnney should win the election, our democracy will be forever lost to all of us and the Corporations will run the House and Senate along with how we elect our President.”

      This is already the case, Sandy, no matter who wins.

      The idea that there is any difference between the two parties has come and gone. Elections are nothing more than an study in mass hysteria and mindless following.

  4. egc52556

    June 2, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Remember that Nixon and Swift-Boater-Bush won their dirty politics elections.

    It works.

  5. Sandy Price

    June 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I see only one action for many of us who can detect the corruption and greed that is fed from the Republican organized investors. We must replace our current Congress members who have not a single vote or even discussion at this time to get off the social issues and let loose of the minorities that make up the American voters.

    We cannot blame Congress as a whole as we voted them into office and we should be willing to take them out. We may not be able to remove all the bad members but we should at least even up the score.

    We will never be able to make any change until we get over our bigotry and racism from our voters. It is a shame that we actually voted for an African American without fully recognizing the truth in the American base. I’m 3rd generation California resident but lived in Arizona for the 2008 election. It was not a happy experience living in that awful place.

    Seeing the RNC go after Obama, made many of us sick. It has been 3 and half years of having to admit that America has no intention of representing equality in any level of government.

    Gays, people of color, Latinos, Muslims and even women have become targets for the white religious right and I’m damned tired of it.

    It may be time to recognize two Americas. We would not be able to do it physically so we will have to live with it politically.

    • Bill Cravener

      June 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Sandy stated: “Gays, people of color, Latinos, Muslims and even women have become targets for the white religious right and I’m damned tired of it.”

      Sandy, it must drive the whities on the right crazy with the fact that for the first time in America’s history racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the US. 2011 census estimates highlight a historic shift underway in the nation’s racial makeup. The time is soon to come when America is no longer dominated by whites and as a whitie myself I say the sooner the better. ;)

  6. Sandy Price

    June 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Bill, I absolutely agree. Skin color has nothing to do with ethics and morals. The whole American conquest was based on equal rights for all citizens. When I discuss this with my neighbors here, they usually fly back at the newbies moving here are not citizens therefore need to equal rights. I do not agree. All humans in America are to be treated equally. If people move here, they want to be citizens and treated with respect. Most of us have families who migrated before the Constitution was written and many fought for the new world.

    Do we really want to end up like Israel and Palistine? We could not stop immigration if we wanted to. The equality of our diversity is what America is based on. It was easier to explain to others before the GOP when with the religious right as it added yet another division among Americans. There have been a majority of white Christians since the day they showed up from other nations. It was when they entered into the leadership of our government and tried to change the American people into believing this was a Christian nation.

    We should have maintained the separation of church and state but the Christians wanted a war on American soil and they had to wait until Islam stuck back at America. We now have many Republicans who believe that Obama is a Muslim and should be impeached. This is pure ignorance found in the American Citizens who want Obama and all foreigh-looking people kept out of office.

    This does not stop with people. I have had a series of black cats over the years when I would get a call from some branch of the pound that a litter of black cats were just fished out of the dump because many people know they are the spawn of Satan. I had a Welcome Wagon lady refuse to enter my home after spotting my Emma and Zasu sitting on the couch. They were throw aways and I brought them with me. I’ve had Emma for 22 years and Zasu is just 3 years old.

    Gosh the whole experiment with freedoms seems to have failed. The last free nation has fallen into a white Christian nation based on color over reason. I think dying is looking better and better the older I get. People don’t seem to get smarter the longer they live so what’s the point?

    All oeople like us can do is train our children to stop the bigotry around them and speak out for individual freedoms. I’ve got my kids and grandkids working on the concept of individual rights. It’s all I can do.

  7. woody188

    June 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Those with the most “free speech” to throw around have lost their right to anonymously and quietly buy government. We should point out the people with the “loudest mouths” working behind closed doors because they obviously are involved in politics or they wouldn’t have so much to “say”. But it should be done without dishonesty, and it probably shouldn’t be the White House leading the attacks.

  8. woody188

    June 13, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Have to add, how long until this “enemies list” is merged with Obama’s drone “kill list” :?: