Very early in Obama’s presidency, on February 19, 2009 to be exact, I wrote a post about how this thin skinned president was poised to silence critics of his regime.
We already knew about Obama’s history of intimidation, and character assassination. We knew how he had tried to destroy his political enemies – at least regular readers of this site know, because I covered it while it was happening, here, and here, and here. While projecting an outward appearance of near messianic magnanimity, his underlings, lawyers, and political allies were always working feverishly to steamroll over critics, (and plaintiffs).
Mark Hyman of The American Spectator wrote about Obama’s Chicago brand of hardball politics, recently in an article entitled, Obama’s Enemies List. As many of us feared, the “Chicago way” has found a home in The White House:
In only his third full day as the 44th president Obama personally went on the offensive against a media personality. On January 23rd, Obama warned Congressional Republicans against listening to Rush Limbaugh. The man who offered to sit down with Holocaust denier and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without any preconditions whatsoever views an American radio talk show host as a dangerous threat.
In precedent-setting action, Obama moved his director of political affairs, a highly partisan post, from the Old Executive Office Building into the West Wing. Political operative Patrick Gaspard was given White House access not experienced by his predecessors. Obama official Shauna Daly, a non-lawyer and career opposition researcher described as a “partisan dirt-digger,” was assigned to the White House counsel office. The move signals not only a new low in partisan activities, but suggests the office assignment may be intended to hide Daly’s political activities under the guise of the counsel’s attorney-client privileges.
Fast forward over two years later, and nobody even bats an eye at White House enemies lists, lies, threats, intimidation, bullying, corruption, and opposition research of anyone who looks like a threat to His Highness.
This is the new normal.
So, nothing weird about this report from The Daily Caller, at all:
HuffPo’s Sam Stein writes that Jesse Lee, a member of the Obama administration’s new media department, will take on a new role in replying — at times aggressively — to stories that paint the administration in a bad light.
“This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response,” said Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer in an internal memo obtained by the Huffington Post.
Director of “Progressive” Media. Wonderful.
Bryan Preston calls him, “The Pushback Czar”.
I call him the “Shut-up Czar”, a government paid hack whose job it is to silence critics.
This comment at the Daily Caller said it all:
When are we going to hear something – better yet, see something – from Obama about jobs??? Today he’s Irish. Last week he was lighting the fuse in Israel. He’s diddling around with his image on twitter and the net. Moats with alligators. Yammering about oil company profits. IT’S THE ECONOMY STOOOPID! This country will remain constipated until we squeeze this disgraceful @#$% from our White House.
This will be a government sanctioned White House version of Obama’s farcical campaign propaganda website, “Fight the Smears” which corrected supposed “smears” and “misinformation”, (often just inconvenient truths), with half truths, misinformation, and flat out lies of its own.
I plan to hit back twice as hard.
Members of Congress beware. If you misbehave, you could be getting visit from Barack Obama and his new hurling stick.
After meeting with Ireland’s prime minister yesterday and receiving the stick as a gift, Obama immediately suggested one use unrelated to its place in the native Irish sport of hurling.
He bounced the flat-paddled, wooden club in his hands like a Louisville Slugger and suggested it might make a good weapon for spanking uncooperative representatives and senators.
“If Congress doesn’t behave,” he said, taking a playful swing with his new toy. “I’m going to give them a little paddle, a little hurl.”
With any other President that would be a cute joke. But with this bully in the pulpit, it has ominous implications.
Lee is married to Nita Chaudary. Here is a CSPAN transcriptfrom Sep. 10, 2007, wherein Chaudary represents — and ardently defends — MoveOn.org for publishing the Petraeus smear ad prior to Petraeus speaking a word before Congress.Says Chaudary:
We want to make sure the truth gets out there in advance of this testimony.
I found the following bio for Chaudary from 2008:
Nita Chaudhary, Campaign Director at MoveOn.org Political Action: Nita leads MoveOn’s campaigns on the Iraq War, Constitutional Liberties as well as running the fundraising program for MoveOn’s 2008 electoral effort. In the past she was the Director of Online organizing for the DNC. She’s also held several positions at People for the American Way, including Media Research Analyst, Web Editor, and Online Organizer.
I think it fairly safe to hypothesize that Chaudary may own that ad: as the leader of MoveOn’s campaigns regarding the Iraq war, the ad as conceived may be her work.