Monday, October 20, 2008

The Politics of Citizen Destruction

Bill Clinton was the master of what in the 1990s came to be called "the politics of personal destruction." But unless you were one of the several woman who accused him of rape or of unwanted sexual advances, his targets were always public political figures. (Am I forgetting something?)

Barack Obama, or perhaps just the sort of people who follow him (is there a connection?), has turned this practice on ordinary citizens. We are already seeing the rise of what Michael Barone has called the Obama thugocracy.

When I recently saw a story on Joe the Plumber that revealed various unflattering features of his private life, I immediately made the connection ("Unlicensed? Say It Aint't So, Joe!," New York Post, October 17, 2008). It wasn't difficult. This poor guy had the audacity to confront the One on his proposed tax policies and then permit the One's audacious political opponent to use his story in the presidential debate.

(The "spread the wealth" line comes at about 4 minutes and 42 seconds on this full length video of Joe's audience with His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer [a Steynism].)

In addition to Barone's "The Coming Obama Thugocracy," you can read Lee Cary's "Thugocracy Attacks Joe the Plumber's Audacity" over at American Thinker.

In "Bring Me the Head of Joe the Plumber," Power Line gives you a number of links to news and opinion coverage, including "First They Came For Joe the Plumber..." by Claudia Rosett at Pajamas Media.

Mark Steyn tries to awaken the liberal conscience with brilliant mockery. He ends with:

I’m with Joe the Plumber, not Joe the Hair-Plugger. He’s articulated the animating principles of America better than anyone on either side in this campaign. Which is why the O-Bots need to destroy him. As Obama’s catchphrase goes: “Joe the Plumber! Can we fix him? Joe the Plumber! Yes, we can!” For the record, I am not a government-licensed pundit. But I expect they’ll fix that, too.

The message to the rest of us is clear. Do not criticize Master Obama or the same thing might happen to you. Treatment like this, not only by the Obama people but also by his glassy eyed followers in the press, is intended to have a chilling effect on the freedom of political speech in this country. And it's indirect, so you can't sue.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann explain why Obama and his loyal worshipers are going after this ordinary citizen with such deadly force in "A Whole New Game: Plumber's Gift to McCain." Imagine how much worse it will be when he has the power of the federal government at his disposal.

Once again, this is very dangerous indeed. We still have time. We haven't elected him yet.

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