Peter Roff at the Fox Forum reports on the White House strategy to silence critics, most notably at the moment, Rush Limbaugh:
“Top Democrats believe they have struck political gold by depicting Rush Limbaugh as the new face of the Republican Party,” Politico’s Jonathan Martin wrote Wednesday, “a full-scale effort first hatched by some of the most familiar names in politics and now being guided in part from inside the White House.”
According to Martin, an unidentified “senior White House aide” has been given the responsibility of “helping to guide the Limbaugh strategy,” a very scary thing indeed.
A political operative, based inside the White House, employed by the president of the United States and receiving a salary from the American taxpayer, goes to work every day to help direct a strategy against a broadcaster whose opinions are supposed to be covered by every protection the First Amendment can provide. To quote Shakespeare, “Something is rotten.”
Something is indeed rotten, as The American Spectator reported last month:
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.
Jon Ward for Washington Times reported that it was unusual for someone with Daly’s background to be working in the White House counsel’s office:
A number of conservative and liberal lawyers and operatives confirmed that it is unusual for someone with Miss Daly’s background to be working in the White House counsel’s office, though some Clinton-era lawyers said that administration had non-lawyers working in the office.
The White House insists Miss Daly’s work will be limited to legal research, like that of a paralegal, and won’t stray into political muckraking.
Outside The Beltway is skeptical of the White House’s claim:
But she doesn’t have paralegal training? LinkedIn has her as Deputy Research Director at Obama for America and previously as Deputy Research Director at Democratic National Committee; Research Director at Gifford Miller for Mayor. Ward adds, “Miss Daly has been doing opposition research for Democratic politicians since just after graduation in 2001 from Smith College. She began in 2002 as a researcher for Sen. Tim Johnson’s re-election campaign in South Dakota, and in 2004 she was research director for Betty Castor’s unsuccessful run at a Florida seat in the U.S. Senate.” So, she’s got research skills. Legal skills? Not so much.
I quipped in my post, Obama Poised To Silence Critics, that “Obviously, she’s there for one reason, and one reason only…to dig up dirt on Obama’s critics”….. Or perhaps to strategize against them? So now I’m wondering if this “Senior White House Aide” is none other than Shauna Daly, or Patrick Gaspard?
I’m with Peter Roff, who says:
The American people have a right to know who this person is, what their duties are and how much they are paid. And the White House press corps has the responsibility to ask the questions that will get us the answers to these questions. This is not a matter of idle curiosity; it is a question of power, and tax dollars, being abused.
Calling Jake Tapper. The people have a right to know why their tax dollars are going to pay for the White House “Limbaugh Strategy”.
More about the Limbaugh Strategy from FrontPageMagazine :
The wisdom of this political strategy is very much in doubt. More Americans listen to Rush Limbaugh in any given week than watch an episode of “Survivor.” His audience is more than twice as large as the readership of The Washington Post, larger by several million than the readership of The New York Times, and about four million larger than the audience of the NBC Nightly News, America’s most-watched network news program. Why in the world would President Obama decide that it’s a great idea to attack America’s most popular broadcaster and his millions of listeners?
The answer is that he has written off conservative America. It seems that the stirring appeals to bipartisanship were never sincere. If they were, the president would have offered the Republicans some substantial concessions to get their votes on the stimulus and budget bills. He did not. He got the stimulus bill anyway, and clearly thinks he will get the budget, too. He now believes that he can pass his entire agenda, from a $3.6 trillion budget that is $1.75 trillion in the red to cap-and-trade to universal health care, with a few moderate Republican votes. President Obama has concluded that he does not need conservatives to govern. So, they are free to be attacked as the enemies of progress and economic recovery.
But President Obama does need to prevent conservatives from turning moderate and liberal Republicans against him. Thus, the attempt to marginalize Limbaugh. Portraying Limbaugh as a pariah is Obama’s way of giving moderate Republicans the cover they need to vote for his agenda.
Good stuff – read the whole thing.