The rule of law and liberal democracy…are crumbling under the leadership of [the] president... [He] has subverted the fundamental institutions of government, converting them into tools for maintaining and consolidating personal power. His government and its supporters harass those who do not align themselves politically and ideologically with [him]. They use various means to persecute their political opponents, including (among other things) assaults in the media, violence, censorship and false criminal charges. (From a white paper by Robert Amsterdam, Gonzalo Santomé, and Antonio Rosich.)
When I learned that Joe Biden would be crashing the Republicans' party at the now weather-shortened GOP convention in Tampa this week, my first reaction was "How typical for such a classless, in-the-gutter, desperate campaign." The fact that nature has thwarted the Democrats' politically vulgar behavior, with Biden announcing on Sunday that he has canceled his trip into "the belly of the beast," does not lessen their puerile intent.
The behavior of Obama's henchmen, and even more so his henchwomen, is to politics what the nouveau riche are to high society: they have come into power without having any understanding of how to behave once they have it.
To be sure, politics ain't beanbag. The Marquess of Queensberry never prescribed rules for campaigning. But even if he had, it's unlikely that the Obama administration and Democrat leaders in Congress would heed them given their disdain for our prescribed rules for governing, also known as the Constitution.
After all, this is the political party that told us we have to pass a bill regulating more of American life than any other piece of legislation in our history in order to find out what's in it. The party that, when asked whether that legislation was constitutional, responded that it was not a serious question.
This is the party whose supporter, Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa Jr., offered Michigan union workers to Obama as "your army" in his "war" against his political opponents, saying "Let's take these son of a bitches out." (At least he's a Democrat thug rather than an English teacher.)
This is the party whose henchwoman suggested that Mitt Romney had committed a felony by taking a leave of absence from Bain while still being reported to the SEC as its CEO. Then President Obama in his first press conference in months -- so much for being the most transparent administration ever -- said "nobody accused Romney of being a felon," yet was not challenged on that falsehood by a single reporter in the room.
And now, this is the party that wanted to send its white-hair-transplanted Howdy Doody vice president to try to draw media attention from what will likely be the most important event, including the most important speech, of Mitt Romney's political career.
Following Biden's spineless cancelation -- after all, shouldn't someone going to attack a beast be willing to brave a stiff breeze? -- Republicans may be reminded of the 16th century English proverb that it's an ill wind that blows nobody (any) good.
Breaching precedent and decorum, Obama will also campaign this week, mostly going to college campuses, where even the perpetually idealist and naïve youth of America are showing up in smaller numbers than four years ago as they consider the dim job prospects offered by the Obama economy and the unpleasant vision of having to move back in with their parents.
And Michelle Obama, perhaps wearing high-dollar couture purchased on one of her several expensive (at least for taxpayers) vacations, will be a guest on the David Letterman show where she may nag the nation's parents about our children's diets. (Is she known to have thoughts on any other subject?)
Low class, nouveau puissant, to be sure. But it's more than that. This is not just about our clownish veep, narcissistic president, or supercilious first shopper cum dietician. It is about the character of our government, and by extension our country. The behavior of today's Democrats is undemocratic, better fitting a petty dictatorship than history's greatest and once-freest nation.
Few things speak as profoundly to the corrosive effect of the Obama administration on our republic, to the extent to which Barack Hussein Obama is realizing his dream of "fundamentally transforming" the nation, than the realization that the paragraph leading this article, written about Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez's "Rule of Lawlessness," could fairly describe the current situation in the United States.
To be sure Barack Obama, icy-cool character that he is, does not come across -- at least not on a daily basis -- as thuggish as Chávez does. But the radical mindset is the same: An anti-colonialist motivation for "social justice" (despite being generations away from colonialism). An anti-capitalist instinct against entrepreneurship and success (despite decades of evidence of the failure of socialism). And a willingness to do or say anything to further anti-democratic goals while lounging in the aid and comfort offered by a compliant media which, despite rare pangs of conscience, exists literally or figuratively as a propaganda arm of the regime, sitting silently as the national fabric is shredded.
Hugo Chávez often wears a military uniform as he sends supporters to disrupt his challenger's campaign events. Barack Obama wears a suit as he sends employees and supporters to disrupt, or at least distract from, the Republican event that is likely to do more than any other to introduce Mitt Romney to the nation. (In other similarities, Obama and Chávez both oppose, through their bureaucracies, removing dead people from the voter rolls and they both consistently side with the enemies of Israel, though Obama claims to support America's ally while Chávez is at least honest about his hatred of Jews and their homeland.)
If Barack Obama weren't so well politically camouflaged, if his true nature weren't so skillfully kept from the average voter, would he garner the Electoral College votes of more than a handful of states? After all, Barack Obama's competence, results, and appreciation of his own country are near perfect mirrors of Jimmy Carter's -- speaking of another president with a deep-seated antipathy for the Middle East's only democracy. Carter's reelection bid in 1980 achieved victory in six states (plus the District of Columbia), garnering Carter 49 electoral votes to Reagan's 489.
Yet today's polls show the coming election to be a dead heat, despite the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, despite Obama's low job approval ratings, and despite his failing on multiple and substantial campaign promises on everything from the economy to transparency. In this, the media have much to answer for.
Chávez and other thugs (such as Iranian Madman-in-Chief Ahmadinejad) send in busloads of paid agitators to interrupt challengers' speeches and make their own support look more substantial than it is. Barack Obama thought only to send Joe Biden, knowing that the throngs of supporters -- made up largely of reporters, anchormen, and their entourages -- would be provided for him by an all-in-for-Obama media aiming similarly to create a false impression of unflagging popularity. And they surely would have, had a little wind not sapped the brief courage of Delaware's big-talking Cowardly Lion.
Whether the press corps ignores Barack Obama's political bullying because our version of El Libertador is wearing civvies, because of politically correct reticence to criticize the first black president (with apologies to Bill Clinton), or simply because they share Obama's leftist views, they are utterly failing the nation. To borrow the wisdom of Robert Novak: God put reporters on earth to keep politicians honest. If they don't do that, they have no useful function. (Novak's original quip was about the Republican Party and cutting taxes.)
It is no wonder, as the media fail so spectacularly in their only useful function, that the public's belief in news organizations' credibility continues to plummet or that according to a 2011 Pew Research poll "record numbers of Americans consider the news media to be 'immoral,' 'inaccurate,' and 'biased.'" Instead of reinforcing Barack Obama's camouflage, it is beyond time for at least a few intrepid reporters from major news outlets to proclaim that the emperor has no clothes.
The media's soul-selling investment in the Obama administration and its reelection is hastening their own irrelevance -- and thus the losses of their own jobs, to get down to something you'd expect reporters to care about even if they don't care about actually doing those jobs well. The Fourth Estate has become just another part of the established order -- as long as that order shares its left-leaning political views. Its abdication of responsibility sanctions the Obama-intended drift toward tyranny, or at least toward a citizenry that tolerates behavior that one would expect in a tin-pot dictatorship rather than in history's greatest example of political liberty.
The conduct of the Obama campaign during the upcoming Republican convention isn't just low-class. It is the sort of political thuggery which one would expect in Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution (or a Chicago Alinskyite revolution) and it should not be tolerated, much less encouraged and rewarded, by the American people or our news media.