Barack Obama says Republicans "are going to try to make you afraid of me." Well, it's hard to imagine how the GOP could conjure up a more fearsome specter of an Obama presidency than the one created by the tactics of his own campaign.
Responding to those who dare commit blasphemy against The One, Obama's campaign has unleashed lawsuits and urged prosecution by no less than the Justice Department, enlisted elected officials to threaten and intimidate his foes, and deployed its vast internet e-mail list to silence bloggers and radio talk shows.
In Missouri, Obama allies, from a U.S. Senator to a local sheriff, threatened criminal proceedings against television stations that air anti-Obama commercials. Such "police state tactics" prompted Gov. Matt Blunt to charge Obama's campaign with "abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism."
ObamaNation used the same strategy against the National Rifle Association when its political fund released ads to educate gun owners about Obama's hostile record. Bob Bauer, attorney for the Obama campaign, urged cable and television stations in Pennsylvania to "immediately cease" airing the NRA's ads, because the campaign determined they were "false, misleading and deceptive."
Similarly, Bauer pressured the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute the non-profit American Issues Project and one of its donors over an advertising campaign that exposed Obama's alliances with domestic terrorist-turned-university professor William Ayers who has reflected, "I don't regret setting bombs...I feel we didn't do enough."
The Obama campaign also dispatched its thought police to silence the free speech rights of opponents on radio and internet.
First aimed at internet blogs supporting Hillary Clinton, Obama supporters swamp certain unfriendly blogs with "spam" complaints. When those complaints reach a threshold, Google's Blogger platform renders the blog inoperable. Bloggers must then wait for Google to make an individual determination whether or not each accused blog is legitimate.
A more sinister intimidation befell journalists probing Obama's background in Chicago politics, as well as radio stations that provided a platform for those reports. The Chicago Tribune reported that Obama's campaign used its database "listing contact information for millions of people" not only for raising money but "to beat back media messages it does not like."