Kevin McCullough

When did "hope and change" get traded in for "brass knuckles?"

According to some--the same day President Obama was sworn in as the leader of the free world. This correspondent has difficulty disagreeing with that conclusion.

This past week, the presumptive GOP nominee, Governor Mitt Romney, kept getting his hand slapped by syndicated media maven Michelle Malkin. 

Her continual beef with Governor Romney? "Stop saying President Obama's a nice guy."

At the time I believed that Gov. Romney's attempt to stay above the normal pettiness of the election snark was well intended. I defended the strategy saying the Romney camp would gain little from insisting that a "like-able" man who happens to be President is a big meanie was going to do much in the way of explaining why his policies are so bad. I still largely feel this way, and for the most part I think Gov. Romney is on the right track to bring every question he is asked, every time he is asked one, back to the point of saying, "This economy is on the wrong track, President Obama can't fix it, but I promise you I will."

However... I feel that Malkin's point is all-too-valid and that for us to see with our own eyes what another four years of President Obama would mean to the nation's future is something that the average voter--especially those who are not political addicts--should have spelled out for them clearly.

Governor Romney's attempt not to be distracted into discussions that President Obama wants to have is actually a very smart move, but by purposefully giving the President a rather sizable "benefit of the doubt" on a good many things, he may appear to be going soft.

Hence Malkin's observation is well heeded.

For instance, in the Friday edition of the Wall Street Journal, writer Kim Strassel details--with painful precision--a campaign that is underway by the Obama campaign to identify and publicly intimidate high-dollar donors to the Romney campaign. Strassel points out that once Obama's subversives identify you, they then seek to publicly "shame you for 'betting against America'." Strassel also points out that Obama controls the Justice Department, the Securities Exchange Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service which combined can indict, fine, and audit you into oblivion.

The intended outcome for Team Obama is to prevent people from giving money to Romney.

She points out that all Presidents since Richard Nixon have avoided the practice of creating an "enemies list." Strassel argues that Presidents hold a unique trust and that their unique power to ruin lives is an area where great restraint should be showed.

Yet the Obama administration and specifically his executive branch, and even more specifically his justice department have done nothing but show a lack of restraint, upon most opportunities presented.

The scandals that have rocked this White House have been numerous, but when their ranks "merely" include ones such as an Attorney General facing contempt charges for not cooperating with Congress--we're breaking new territory.

Obama's team has multiple web-sites, grass roots groups, and constituencies that are collaborating against and outing people because of they're lack of support for President Obama and his policies. The sites throw around terms like "criminal" when the only crime any of them commit is not believing that the sun rises and sets with the current administration.

Long a tactic of the politically elite left, outing big donors Team Obama appears to be dedicated to stop the flow of cash going to the only reputable challenger left in the race. How very cold-war socialist of him.

It's no surprise, we saw him lecture the Supreme Court justices openly to their face in the State of the Union address to the nation. 

This week it was also reported that campaign personnel have been shadowing the movements of Fla. Senator Marco Rubio, as the first term Senator is attempting to gain positive ground on the very tough issue of illegal immigration. The Obama operatives even calling activists in the Latino communities to attempt to smear the Senator's efforts and to debunk his motives for desiring to find a solution.

Funny... I thought that's what President Obama had promised us--solutions. Solutions that would return unemployment to under 8%, when in reality it is closer to 12% (when the shrinkage of the pool of workers eliminated from the numbers for giving up finding work is taken into consideration).

The White House is in a heap of trouble. Their Attorney General may be charged with contempt of Congress at any moment. Their biggest legislative success would be repealed in a heartbeat if 53% of the nation had its way. Their attempts at correcting a bad economy have made it insufferably worse. And now they are making threats, some of them veiled less and less, to anyone who opposes them in their path to re-election. 

The shine is off, the luster has faded, the White House knows it and is desperate to do anything it can to stop the bleeding.

It might be the makings of good drama to imagine a White House using government branches, campaign operatives, and manipulable pressures of every kind to wiggle their way back into power. But this is no movie and we the people must realize this.

Obama has channeled the inaction of Jimmy Carter while governing, but in this campaign his new approach begs comparison to Richard M. Nixon--and I'm not sure, but in my lifetime, that's never been a good thing!