The Obama reelection team has publicly accused eight private citizens who donated to the Mitt Romney campaign of “betting against America” and of having “less-than-reputable” records.
“This past week, one of [the president’s] campaign websites posted an item entitled ‘Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors,’” Kimberly A. Strassel writes in the Wall Street Journal.
President Obama’s reelection campaign “names and shames” eight private citizens and describes them as having “less-than-reputable records.” In fact, the site goes so far as to say that “quite a few” of the donors have been “on the wrong side of the law” and that they have profited at “the expense of so many Americans.”
“The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money,” Strassel reports.
We cannot stress enough that these donors are private citizens.
“These are people like Paul Schorr and Sam and Jeffrey Fox, investors who the site outed for the crime of having ‘outsourced’ jobs,” Strassel writes.
“T. Martin Fiorentino is scored for his work for a firm that forecloses on homes. Louis Bacon (a hedge-fund manager), Kent Burton (a ‘lobbyist’) and Thomas O’Malley (an energy CEO) stand accused of profiting from oil. Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of a home-products firm, is slimed as a ‘bitter foe of the gay rights movement,'” she adds.
Not on of the donors is an elected official and none of them have been charged with a crime. Therefore, it would seem that they are only “on the wrong side of the law” because a) they are wealthy and b) they donated to a Republican.
“We don’t tolerate presidents or people of high power to do these things,” says Theodore Olson, the former U.S. solicitor general.
“When you have the power of the presidency — the power of the IRS, the INS, the Justice Department, the DEA, the SEC — what you have effectively done is put these guys’ names up on ‘Wanted’ posters in government offices,” he adds.
But maybe the president and his election team have nothing to do with singling out these private citizens —
How does the White House plan on explaining this one?
“The White House has couched its attacks in the language of ‘disclosure’ and the argument that corporations should not have the same speech rights as individuals,” Strassel explains.
However, the president is “doing the same at the individual level, for anyone who opposes his policies,” says Rory Cooper of the Heritage Foundation.
And it’s probably only going to get worse from here. Why? Because, as Strasell points out, the money game is not going so well for “Team Obama.”
“Super PACs are helping the GOP to level the playing field against Democratic super-spenders. Prominent financial players are backing Mr. Romney,” Strassel writes. “The White House’s new strategy is thus to delegitimize Mr. Romney (by attacking his donors) as it seeks to frighten others out of giving.”
During the 2008 election cycle, many Americans voted for President Obama in the hopes that, if anything, he would take the U.S. back to the days of Bill Clinton.
But, as Strassel notes, with President Obama stepping up the pressure on his political opponents and their supporters, it seems more like he has taken us back to the days of Richard “Enemies List” Nixon.
The story has been updated.