Democrats and Liberal activists love to accuse Republicans of being fascists or Nazis or using McCarthyite rhetoric while at the same time threatening their political opponents with IRS and Justice Department investigations:
If at first you don’t succeed, get some friends in high places to shut your opponents up. That’s the latest Washington power play, as Democrats and liberals attack the Chamber of Commerce and independent spending groups in an attempt to stop businesses from participating in politics.
Since the Supreme Court’s January decision in Citizens United v. FEC, Democrats in Congress have been trying to pass legislation to repeal the First Amendment for business, though not for unions. Having failed on that score, they’re now turning to legal and political threats. Funny how all of this outrage never surfaced when the likes of Peter Lewis of Progressive insurance and George Soros helped to make Democrats financially dominant in 2006 and 2008.
Chairman Max Baucus of the powerful Senate Finance Committee got the threats going last month when he asked Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Douglas Shulman to investigate if certain tax exempt 501(c) groups had violated the law by engaging in too much political campaign activity. Lest there be any confusion about his targets, the Montana Democrat flagged articles focused on GOP-leaning groups, including Americans for Job Security and American Crossroads.
Mr. Baucus was seconded last week by the ostensibly nonpartisan campaign reform groups Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center, which asked the IRS to investigate whether Crossroads is spending too much money on campaigns. Those two outfits swallowed their referee whistle in the last two campaign cycles, but they’re all worked up now that Republicans might win more seats. Crossroads GPS, a 501(c)(4) affiliate of American Crossroads supported by Karl Rove, is a target because it has spent millions already in this election cycle.
Where were Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center in the last election cycle Barack Obama’s campaign was accepting millions of dollars in untraceable contributions? As the Journal notes they apparently swallowed their referee whistle while that was going on, but now that Republicans and conservatives appear to be on verge of retaking Congress in November they show up and start demanding investigations of conservative groups?
Regardless, when you combine these investigative requests with President Obama’s recent (and apparently baseless) attack on the Chamber of Commerce we appear to have reached a new low in American political discourse. Never mind that such attacks are beneath a sitting president, they smack of of same sort transparent McCarthyite tactics that Democrats love to accuse Republicans of using. It’s impossible to ignore the unprecedented level of hypocrisy here… never mind that Democrats are using the exact tactics they regularly attribute to Republicans. Barack Obama ran on the explicit central promise of uniting and healing the nation, instead his administration done nothing but divide us by resorting to the same tired class warfare rhetoric that Democrats have always used. If the President wishes to blame someone for the predicament Democrats now find themselves in he needs look no further than his own failed leadership.
It’s a sad testament to the character of the President and the Democratic Party that they’ve sunk to using the basest of political tactics — leveling baseless charges with the intention of damaging their opponents in the final weeks of a campaign to try and blunt what appears a coming Republican landslide… It’s beyond despicable. It smacks of desperation… and worse yet it only serves to deepen divides this administration has already created.
Update (October 12, 2010 @ 11:30 a.m.): Ed Morrissey hits the nail precisely on the head over at Hot Air this morning:
It’s not just “Democrats” who are demanding that the Chamber of Commerce prove itself innocent. It’s the executive branch of the American government demanding it, including its two top officers, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. They have publicly accused the Chamber of illegal operations without a shred of evidence, basing their official actions on an unsubstantiated allegation from John Podesta at the Center for American Progress. That is nothing short of an attempt by this administration to intimidate its political opponents into silence.
That is an unconscionable affront to the rule of law, and it reeks of the McCarthyism that the Left supposedly reviles. Without a public price paid for this attack on dissent from the highest offices in the government, this will become the norm and we will be less free as a result.
Ed’s right, the Democrats have been trying to criminalize political differences for years… And this is the result. If we don’t back push back it’s only matter time before they succeed and we find our liberties gone.
- Rove, Gillespie Slam Obama for Spreading ‘Baseless Lie’ Over Foreign Contributions – Foxnews.com
- White House staff exodus exposes Obama to charges of disarray – The Guardian
- Why Obama Is Losing the Political War – Mark Halperin, Time.com
- Some Democrats uneasy with attacks on Chamber of Commerce – Los Angeles Times