Robert Knight
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It’s obviously high time for Barack Obama to appoint a Rodeo Clown Czar.

He’s got more than 40 “czars” to govern everything else. Why not create a new authority devoted to punishing people who think they live in a free country where you can make fun of the president?

Last week, a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair donned an Obama mask and stood like a straw man while another clown taunted him and then let a bull loose to chase him. The crowd roared its approval of this crude stunt.

Predictably, officials went ballistic, barring the clown for life. But they weren’t done. They also ordered all rodeo clowns at the state fair to undergo Mao-style sensitivity training. The horses are next, beginning with the geldings.

Meanwhile, the local NAACP called for federal investigations into this insult to Dear Leader. NAACP activists once fought for civil rights. Now they’re vying to become an American version of the silly British fascists of the 1930s lampooned in P.G. Wodehouse’s novels about Wooster and Jeeves. All they need are armbands and spats.

We could laugh, except that the NAACP’s demand reveals deeper, institutionalized problems.

The other day, before an eye exam, I was given a questionnaire with a list of racial and ethnic categories.

“What does this have to do with my eyes?” I asked the receptionist. “I see a box saying that I can refuse to answer, so I’m going to check it.”

“That’s okay,” she said. “We have to give these to everybody, and, no, you don’t have to fill it in if you don’t want to.”

Yet.

But Obamacare hasn’t really kicked in. I doubt that patients will have the option to refuse next year.

It’s not just doctors’ offices feeling the heavy hand of government. Executive agencies of all kinds under Obama are flexing bureaucratic muscle over the public, which, in most cases, has no choice but to submit.

The federal Department of Housing (HUD) has issued an Orwellian proposal, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.” You could not draft a better script of totalitarian rhetoric masquerading as “equal rights.”

The plan calls for federal study of all neighborhoods in the United States to secure statistically diverse populations. And you do this— how? By forcing people to move? Fining them for living in certain neighborhoods? Well, they’ll figure out a way.

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Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.