The Obama Thugocracy - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Obama Thugocracy

“Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”
—George C. Scott as General George S. Patton in the Academy Award-winning film Patton

“We’re playing with water guns, they’re playing with Scuds…. These people are terrorists…. There is a war. If we treat it as less than a war we will lose it.”
—MSCO CEO Mark Stevens to Heritage Foundation on fighting the Left

Mark Stevens and Frank VanderSloot.

Stevens is the Rush Limbaugh sponsor whose company and personal safety were threatened because he refused to buckle to the far-left haters in the Sandra Fluke affair. He is speaking out again. And he pulls no punches.

But before we get to Mark Stevens and the enthusiastically received, sensational talk he gave at the Heritage Foundation’s 35th Annual Resource Bank conference in Colorado, let’s talk about Frank VanderSloot.


Because what Mark Stevens is discussing — the rise of “domestic terrorism” associated with the Obama left — and the recent investigation of Romney contributor VanderSloot by a company called Fusion GPS are most assuredly part and parcel of the same issue.

Here is Mr. VanderSloot just last night on The O’Reilly Factor discussing what has been happening to him — correction — is happening to him.

Who paid Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS to investigate Romney contributor Frank VanderSloot?

Now there’s a question for congressional investigators.

Or bloggers.

While the dirt sought on VanderSloot by Fusion investigator Michael Wolf was public — as revealed in this superb reporting by the Wall Street Journal‘s Kim Strassel — (divorce records, a case involving a dispute with an ex-employee) Strassel has it exactly right when she terms this “trolling for dirt.”

Excepting the fact that divorce records are public, as was whatever paperwork was involved in the case with VanderSloot’s ex-employee, this “trolling for dirt” business — right down to the mystery of who paid the tab for Fusion to do this — reminds of one very disturbing historical precedent.

That would be the Nixon White House authorizing the break-in to the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist by the so-called “Plumbers” — the Nixon “White House Special Investigations Unit.”

Ellsberg, recall, was the onetime Defense Department employee discovered in 1971 to be the leaker of the top secret Pentagon Papers, an act that understandably infuriated Nixon. With the obvious distinction that Fusion GPS went after public information, while the Plumbers were after private information on Ellsberg and committed burglary to try and achieve their objective, the driving motivation appears to be identical.

Frank VanderSloot is today’s Daniel Ellsberg.

The intent in both instances was exactly the same: troll for dirt (to use Strassel’s term) to discredit Ellsberg and VanderSloot with presumably embarrassing personal records. Thus intimidating the respective opponents of Richard Nixon and Barack Obama, while at the same time casting the opposition to the president involved as either a nutcase (Nixon’s critic Ellsberg) or a slimy homophobe (Obama’s critic, the Romney supporter VanderSloot). Making sure each critic was not only effectively silenced, but personally ruined in the bargain.

And, in fact, while the liberal media of the day made Ellsberg a hero, as VanderSloot tells Fox’s Neil Cavuto, he has in fact lost a “couple hundred customers” as a result of being falsely labeled — or is that libeled? — by an official Obama web site (laughably titled “Keeping the GOP Honest”) as “a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

So the questions:

Follow the money: Who was the Obama supporter who supplied the bucks to pay Fusion GPS to burrow into files in the presumed bowels of an Idaho Falls county clerk’s office? With the goal of wrecking the reputation and business of a Romney contributor named Frank VanderSloot?

And why isn’t there a demand to the Obama campaign for an internal investigation and the necessary five minutes to supply this name? After all, this whole incident originated with that official Obama site “Keeping the GOP Honest,” on which VanderSloot’s name was published along with several other Romney SuperPAC donors.

What did Obama campaign officials David Axelrod and Jim Messina know — and when did they know it? The Watergate scandal not only famously brought Nixon’s resignation and the imprisonment of his senior White House staff, it also sent to jail or indicted officials of Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign, including his campaign manager — Nixon’s version of Axelrod and Messina — former Attorney General John Mitchell. Mitchell was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. At one point, as memorably recorded by Watergate’s reporter-heroes Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Mitchell threatened the Washington Post‘s publisher by saying, “Katie Graham’s gonna get her t** caught in a big fat wringer if that’s published.”

The left howled in fury at the idea of threatening the Washington Post. But liberals have no problem with threatening Rush Limbaugh.


Does any of this VanderSloot business sound familiar? Yes, it does.

Before Frank VanderSloot, the target was Rush Limbaugh advertiser Mark Stevens.

Before Mr. Stevens the target was Rush Limbaugh.

Before that it was Pat Buchanan.

Before that it was Glenn Beck.

Before that it was Lou Dobbs.

And let’s not forget the just-successfully targeted Naomi Schaefer Riley, recently fired by the leftist-thugs running the laughably but accurately titled Chronicle of Higher Education.

What are we really seeing here? What to do?

Mark Stevens is blunt.

In an enthusiastically received talk he gave at the Heritage Foundation’s 35th Annual Resource Bank conference in Colorado, the man who was bullied by leftists for refusing to withdraw his company’s sponsorship of The Rush Limbaugh Show spoke plainly.

(Note to readers: Here’s the video. Warning: That’s a 450 megabyte file, so it might be best to save it to your desktop, instead of trying to view in a browser. Mark’s talk — following a great presentation by the ACORN-busting Hannah Giles — begins at about 16:40 into the tape.)

Remember. This talk of Mark Stevens’ was delivered before the discovery that some unknown Obama supporter had launched a Fusion GPS investigation of Frank VanderSloot. It was delivered before the firing of Naomi Schaefer Riley

Said Stevens:

We have to stop using euphemisms. Us. We have to stop saying that there’s a national debate. We have to stop saying that there’s a great divide. We have to stop saying that we’re having a national conversation. None of that is happening. What there is, is a war. There is a war.

There is a war. If we treat it as less than a war we will not win…. This Rush issue and others like it that are happening right now are not boycotts. These are not boycotts. That’s a very sweet term for what it really is: which is, internal American terrorism.

These people are terrorists. You do not have to put on a suicide bomber’s belt to engage in terrorism. Terrorism is the act of invoking fear in people. And when you do that and you do that successfully, you get people to change their behavior and you cave to them and they win.

And as long as we keep playing by the rules of anything but war and not recognize that we are (being) engaged in a terrorist activity, we will lose our country. So we have to change the rules of the game.

Now, think of what Mark Stevens is saying here.

Remember that for the simple act of advertising on Rush’s radio show in the New York area, Mark Stevens was deluged with phone calls and emails threatening his personal safety, threatening his staff, threatening to shut down his company, threatening his clients, telling him his new enemies knew where he lived.

Remember what has happened — is happening — to Mr. VanderSloot. And remember the others.

What we are witnessing here is the iron-fisted use of raw political power to suppress political dissent. To intimidate, to instill fear, to ruin — and yes, to terrorize — those who have the temerity and guts to speak truth to power.

This, as I pointed out in The Plot to Get Rush, is standard operating procedure for the Left.

The late Austrian free-market economist Ludwig von Mises described the leftist method of operation as “fanatical and intolerant.” It works, he said, this way: “Socialism… works on the emotions…to stifle the voice of reason by awakening primitive instincts.”

In other words, what is going on here with these savage attacks is an attempt to instill the primitive emotion of fear in American citizens like Mark Stevens and Frank VanderSloot. This, as we also mentioned in the above article on Rush, is nothing more than the 21st century version of the threat of the guillotine used by leftists during the French Revolution. Or the Soviet version of labeling citizens “enemies of the state” and dragging them away to the Gulag, or to be shot outright. Or the “Chinese Roulette” favored by Mao’s Red Guards, herding dissidents to be executed…then selectively shooting a few, instilling a “bullet of fear” in their minds so they would be terrified of ever dissenting again.

The Stevens and VanderSloot episodes are nothing less than an Obama Thugocracy at work with an enemies list.

It isn’t working.

But that doesn’t mean that because the Obama Thugocracy has failed with gutsy Americans like Stevens or VanderSloot, or that because it failed to intimidate Rush Limbaugh, there should not be a direct response to the bullies behind all of this.

Such as?

• Let’s pick up on a favorite point of our friend Mark Levin, the need to constantly “educate, educate, educate.”

• Let’s begin with a congressional investigation: A demand to House Republicans for a congressional investigation to educate about the First Amendment and explore the threats to free speech from the American Left.

• Let’s call Mark Stevens and Frank VanderSloot to have them detail exactly what was done to them in their roles as private citizens exercising their respective rights to advertise on a radio show (Stevens) or donate to a candidate (VanderSloot).

• Let’s have a congressional investigating committee do the drill the Left loves to pull with business executives. Let’s see them call David Brock of Media Matters to discuss the group’s tax status and MM’s role in targeting Rush Limbaugh. Let’s call and the Color of Change and Van Jones and all the others who have tried to intimidate companies into “boycotting” — the “sweet word” Stevens says has now become code for domestic terrorism. Let’s get to the bottom of their intimidation tactics — their attempts to bully talk show hosts, television hosts, and private citizens.

• Let’s have Congress turn the tables and investigate Glenn Simpson and Michael Wolf, the men at Fusion GPS whom Kim Strassel has positively identified as the agents of investigation in the terror directed at Frank VanderSloot.

• Let’s have this congressional investigation find out who exactly paid Fusion GPS to go after Frank VanderSloot, and exactly what that person’s connection is to the Obama campaign.

• Let’s call the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and see who specifically in the Obama camp was offering him $150,000 to forfeit his First Amendment rights to say what he wished to say in his own sermons. As per the blockbuster revelations by author Edward Klein in his new book on Obama called The Amateur. (Those allegations from Wright are discussed here.)

It’s time to stand up to the bullies of the Obama Thugocracy. It’s time to pay attention to Mark Stevens’ message. To, as Stevens says, “boycott the boycotters.” Or maybe, as we are suggesting here, turn Congressman Darrell Issa and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee loose to see what’s really going on here.

If you agree, you could even contact Congressman Issa, who has a “Blow the Whistle” section on his website at that link. It says:

Blow The Whistle
Please use the form below to alert the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to fraud and abuse in your agency or other organization. Any personal information you provide us will be kept in strict confidence.

The First Amendment, the Constitution’s guaranteed freedom of speech — the right to speak without fear of losing one’s business, job, radio show, television show — is now at stake. The issue could not be more important.

So, if you are of a mind, fill out Mr. Issa’s form and let him know what you think. And ask him to investigate who paid to terrorize Frank VanderSloot and Mark Stevens and all the rest.

Ask Congressman Issa to investigate the Obama Thugocracy and its world of enemy-lists and secret investigations, just as the Senate Watergate Committee did some 48 summers ago

Let’s ask Darryl Issa and his colleagues to turn the tables on the Obama Thugocracy.

But let’s end on a more optimistic note. If you will, a Reaganesque note.

On his blog, Mark Stevens tells this remarkable story of flying back from that Heritage conference in Colorado. Sitting next to him on the plane was a young woman.

Here’s part of what Stevens writes:

I sat next to a wonderful young woman, an Air Force Academy cadet, less than a month away from graduation and her status as a second lieutenant. She was bright, poised, attractive, driven, ambitious. She will have a degree in engineering, focused on astrophysics. She plays on the Academy’s tennis team and is nationally ranked. She can land a job any place she chooses at an excellent starting salary, buy herself a hot car and settle into a cool apartment.

Instead, she chooses to protect her country, fly for the greatest Air Force in the world, hopefully taking command as a fighter pilot. She is from heartland America, was referred to the Academy by John McCain, has a loving and down to earth family. And is all about sacrifice in the name of red, white and blue.

When I asked her how much money she would earn as a young officer, she told me she had no idea. It doesn’t matter to her one iota. She is all in for America.

I knew her only for minutes, but I will never forget her. I told her she made me proud and more confident about America’s future. And I asked her for a favor that I had no right to ask:

…”Please don’t let anyone in your personal life, anyone smaller than you in vision and spirit, hold you back. Please go for it with everything you have.”

She said she had struggled with that but she promised me she would. And I believe her. I am counting on her. As we all should. She comes from a place in the soul of the U.S. where people still serve, where they are proud to defend, where they never apologize for the land of the free, where the hot car and the cool apartment don’t compare to the star spangled banner.


Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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