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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Why Are Liberals So Shocked By the Obama Abuses?

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Posted at RightWisconsin....

 

Peter Wehner has officially won the right to say, 'I told you so." As early as 2009, the former White House speech writer was warning about the Nixonian tendencies of Team Obama. His counsel was, of course, ignored by the left, which was too busy celebrating the ascension of The One and cheering on his serial demonization of opponents.
 
But now, Wehner notes, the same left professes to be gobsmacked. They are shocked, shocked to find that an arrogant, entitled statist is acting like, well, an arrogant, entitled, statist.
 

 
  
Now that the Obama administration has conducted an unprecedented intrusion into newsgathering activities, it’s dawning on liberals–four years and four months into the Obama presidency–that something is slightly amiss.
 
Even though belated, their reaction is probably a good thing. But, Wehner notes, "it would have been helpful if liberals had expressed some alarm years ago when top Obama White House aides like David Axelrod and Anita Dunn were targeting Fox News in an effort to de-legitimize it. "
 
Some of us warned at the time that "The White House’s effort to target a news organization like Fox is vaguely Nixonian." Yet very few members of the elite media shared those concerns. In fact, they seemed to be sympathetic to what the White House was attempting to do. 
 
Here is what Wehner wrote (presciently) back in October 2009: 
 
We have seen from this White House Nixonian tendencies and, it would appear, a burning anger and resentment toward its critics. Whether it’s Fox News, the Chamber of Commerce, or companies that sponsor reports that take issue with the administration’s assessments, there seems to be a cast of mind that views critics as enemies, as individuals and institutions that need to be ridiculed, delegitimized, or ruined… there are lines that ought not to be crossed, temptations that need to be resisted, and people in the White House who need to say "no" to tactics that begin to drag an administration, and a country, down.
The Obama White House is showing a fondness for intimidation tactics that might work well in the wards of Chicago but that don’t have a place in the most important and revered political institution in America. To see these impulses manifest themselves so early in Obama’s presidency, and given all that he has said to the contrary, is rather startling. The danger is that as the pressures mount and the battles accrue and the political heat intensifies, these impulses will grow stronger, the constraints on them will grow weaker, and the voices of caution and reason will continue to be ignored. If that should come to pass — if what we are seeing now is only a preview of coming attractions — then the Obama administration, and this nation, will pay a very high price. Mark my words.
 

 

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