Forced into Visibility

As we’ve seen from the sequester to the shutdown to various other situations, the Obama administration has taken active steps to cause grief for two groups: conservatives and the military.

In the case of the World War II veterans attending the WWII Memorial, President Obama had a “two-fer”; they are certainly military, likely conservative, and revered by conservatives elsewhere. Merely allowing these veterans, who are in their 80s and 90s, to visit the open unguarded memorial would cost the government nothing. But President Obama refused a request to allow this, and spent extra money and used extra people to attempt to prevent the vets from paying homage to their fallen brothers.

That hasn’t worked for him, so far, despite media and Democrat spins that this is all the Republicans’ fault.  (In fact, part of it is — but that’s a separate topic.) I’ve heard today that the people guarding the monument have decided to defy the administration an allow the veterans in, on the basis of them “exercising their First Amendment rights.” Good for them.

What About the Rest of the Time?

There’s another aspect of this to think about. Only rarely, as with the sequester and the current shutdown drama, do we actually get a glimpse of what appears to be petty, vindictive and spiteful behavior from the current administration. We saw this months ago, in the email that instructed an agency to make sure that their choices of what to shut down were consistent with the president’s statements that it was going to be very painful.

Most of the time, the public has little exposure to this attitude. But if that attitude is really as bad as it appears on those occasions, then the hostile-to-conservatives attitude remains even when we don’t see it pushed into the light.

The Benghazi fiasco was supposedly motivated by Obama’s desire not to show al Qaeda as still potent. We don’t know what he was thinking, though the story that it was to be blamed on the video was evidently cooked up between Obama and Hillary Clinton in their 10PM phone call that night. But could some part of this have been motivated by his disdain for the military? It doesn’t seem completely likely to me, since there was little true “military” presence there. And the CIA gun-runners operating there were working for him, so it would certainly be interesting to learn more of his thinking. we may never find out.

But the other “gun-running” operation, Fast and Furious, seems pretty straightforward: Tell US gun dealers to allow Mexican cartel bagmen to buy guns, then let those guns loose to kill hundreds. The hope was evidently to blame those deaths on the “90% of Mexico’s guns that come from the US,” something that the Obama administration has been speaking falsely about since he took office. Being motivated to shut down guns because of his long-visible disdain for conservatives and their interest in gun rights seems a clear motivation. We know that Obama and Holder communicated about this plan in advance; they refused to disclose these communications (citing executive privilege) rather than simply stating that no such communications existed.

The same attitude we see today was in place then. Remember that the remarks about the “bitter” people who “cling to guns and religion” was made even before he became elected, and Obama was working to eliminate gun rights in the US (as part of the Joyce Foundation) for years before becoming president.

As an aside, his remarks as a candidate show his own thinking about religion: It is not something important that one should “cling” to. Since he noted in The Audacity of Hope that he became a Christian because it was politically convenient and they didn’t ask much of him, this makes sense.

A Tax on Conservatives

With the attitude that President Obama has continually displayed, can you imagine that while the head of the IRS visited the White House nearly 160 times, they never discussed what the IRS could do to attack the Tea Party that was causing Obama so much grief?

We now know that the IRS explicitly set out to attack conservatives, from the top down, despite denial for months. Remember that Lois Lerner’s original statement, volunteered at a conference and crafted to try to stem the impact of the inspector-general’s report, admitted that it was conservatives being attacked — but placed the blame lower down:

“Instead of referring to the cases as advocacy cases, they actually used case names on this list,” Lerner said, according to a transcript of the meeting. “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate — that’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review.”

This senior IRS official who says that she is “not good at math” has now admitted that this conservative targeting came from above her, and that she was involved in implementing it. She has finally quit, but will apparently retain her pension rather than going to jail — after all, she was working for the benefit of the Obama administration. She lied, saying that she did not previously know that the Tea Party groups were being targeted until she read it in the newspaper. Later, it turned out that she was directing this attack, calling the Tea Party “very dangerous,” and writing that she hoped that influential conservative groups would by shut down by the Federal Election Commission to “save the day.”

No wonder the Obama administration would let her retire with full benefits rather than being prosecuted. Since that administration’s feelings about conservative Americans are so abundantly communicated to everyone else, can we truly believe that they were never communicated to the IRS in private meetings?

If President Obama actually reveres the US Constitution, believes in American exceptionalism, respects the US armed forces, supports the rule of law, cherishes the free enterprise system that made this country prosperous, and values diversity in opinion, it is very bad public relations for him to do and say the things he does and says constantly. And it is certainly not the simplest hypothesis.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle