After my comments the other day, friend and commenter Jana seemed concerned about my conservative heart and health (although, I might point out, she didn’t say I was wrong!), but I have to post this because even the most ardent supporter of President Obama’s “Hope and Change” message ought to be concerned at the administration’s confusion over what to do about North Korea, and recent comments and actions involving his Department of Justice threatening to silence critics and make policy based solely on politics. In just the past few days, consider the following:
1. The DoJ’s dropping of charges against Black Panther members accused of intimidating poll workers and voters at a Philadephia voting station last election day:
The three black panthers, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Malik Zulu Shabazz and Jerry Jackson were charged in a civil complaint in the last days of the Bush administration with violating the voter rights act by using coercion, threats and intimidation. Shabazz allegedly held a nightstick or baton that prosecutors said he pointed at people and menacingly taped it. Prosecutors also say he “supports racially motivated violence against non-blacks and Jews.”
The complaint says they hurled racial slurs at both blacks and whites.
A poll watcher who provided an affidavit to prosecutors in the case noted Democrat Bartle Bull, who worked as a civil rights lawyer in the south in the 1960′s and is a former campaign manager for Robert Kennedy, said it was the most blatant form of voter intimidation he had ever seen.
In this case, the DoJ actually won the case initially, but then appears to have been pressured by the administration (hmmm…I wonder who) to drop the charges against those indicted.
2. North Korea has been, to put it mildly, exhibiting rather belligerant behavior recently since successfully testing a nuclear device – firing missiles, terminating the Korean War armistice agreement, and generally threatening war on anyone who they believe ‘disses them. In the face of such aggressive actions, what has the administration done? Let’s make this a multiple-choice question:
a) condemn NK and call them a threat
b) downplay NK’s recent actions and say there’s no real crisis
c) ask the UN to look into it
d) admit NK’s actions are, in fact, a threat after all
e) all of the above
If you answered e) you are, of course, correct. Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey is keeping score. The Obama administration has been all over the map on the NK thing and has yet to put forth a cohesive message, but I’m sure they’ll get it right one of these days. We can only hope – you can bet Russia, Iran, Al-Qaeda, and other aggressors around the world are enjoying President Spineless and his incessant America-bashing, “let’s talk this out” drone while America’s perceived interest and willingness to combat aggression around the world declines on a daily basis. I guess Joe Biden was right after all.
3. Thanks also to Captain Ed for calling attention to something that you would think the mainstream media would consider somewhat notable: the Obama administration’s plans to silence critics of how his so-called “stimulus” money is being spent. The captain has it exactly right:
Remember when the Left took to the streets to declare dissent â€œpatrioticâ€ during wartime? I didnâ€™t have a problem with dissent then, but apparently the Left has a curious definition of â€œpatriotismâ€. Now, suddenly, the federal government can silence their critics at will, not to protect critical national-security programs or keep from undermining a war effort, but to protect a Democratic president intent on seizing control of private industry across a wide swath of the nation. Suddenly, that kind of dissent threatens America.
You can bet that if this were a message coming from a McCain administration the Democrats, the ACLU, and their kiss-a$$es in the mainstream media would be squealing like pigs But because this is, after all, the Anointed One, not a peep…
4. Finally, one shouldn’t be surprised that this new administration – one that sees everything in terms of politics and gaining and consolidating power, would go after Maricopa County (AZ) sheriff Joe Arpaio (our sheriff, BTW) for his tactics to combat crime and illegal immigration. Once again, the administration’s DoJ has been assigned the role of pit bull:
The lawyers representing a controversial Arizona sheriff who is under investigation for his treatment of Latino residents accused officials in the Justice and Homeland Security departments yesterday of political motivations in pursuing probes against their client.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio and his office, which have drawn widespread attention for an unorthodox approach to crime and punishment, are the focus of three federal investigations into whether they violated federal rules or civil rights laws in pursuing illegal immigrants.
The fact that DHS is also involved should be of no surprise here, since its head honcho, Janet Napolitano, was previously the governor of AZ and by no means a supporter of Sheriff Joe. (He has, however, a great deal of popularity around here, I’ll tell you.) Given Napolitano’s recent missteps and misstatements, one would think DHS would have more important things to worry about.
See a troubling pattern emerging here? Morrissey is right on target when he observes, re: the Arpaio investigation):
Oh, sure, we understand. They will make those decisions based on the law, just as they did when they unilaterally reversed themselves in the [Black Panther] case after theyâ€™d won it. Because that was based on the law â€¦. which found in the governmentâ€™s favor â€¦ and which they then ignored.
Keep this in mind when the DoJ helps Norman Eisen determine who falls under the qualification of â€œanyone exerting influence on the [stimulus] processâ€ in order to shut up its critics.
Robert Samuelson is right: the Obama infatuation by the media is the great unreported story of our time, and, going forward, an incredibly dangerous one for America. If this President truly believes he and his administration are above any form of criticism and immune from any scrutiny by the media or Congress (and it’s clear just months into his administration that this is exactly what they think, and why shouldn’t they?) one can only imagine how far they’ll want to take this.
Taken together, this administration’s actions recall those of a former president, though not necessarily the one the Anointed One loves to compare himself to. Rather than FDR, however, these actions appear to be downright Nixonian – a term I believe youâ€™re going to be hearing a lot more of as this president becomes increasingly power-drunk and more full of himself.