Barack Obama poses as a champion of true American values. He sees himself as "a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."
In reality, though, Barack Obama is just another in a long line of Chicago-style, free speech-squelching political thugs springing from the festering pit of Democratic machine politics.
His rhetoric quashes debate. For all his talk about Americans uniting, he's not afraid to attribute opposition to his candidacy to xenophobia -- people who think he has a "funny name" or that he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills."
His supporters run roughshod over legitimate criticisms of Obama. "I want you to argue with them and get in their face," Obama tells his backers. They listen. In August, Obama encouraged his followers to shut down the WGN Chicago radio appearance of National Review reporter Stanley Kurtz. Obama's supporters were issued talking points and told to call into the station in order to plug the lines. They dutifully did so. Obama's minions duplicated the feat with David Freddoso, author of "The Case Against Barack Obama." Spurred to action by a mass e-mail from the Obama campaign -- an e-mail labeling Freddoso a "vicious" slanderer specializing in "hate-mongering" -- the Obama supporters jammed the WGN phone lines, forcing the show to a standstill.
Most importantly, though, his legal team threatens anyone who doesn't support the One with lawsuits and prosecution.
This week, two state prosecutors in Missouri proclaimed that they were joining an Obama "truth squad." Jennifer Joyce and Bob McCulloch, the top prosecutors in St. Louis, city and county, respectively, announced that they would "respond immediately to any misleading advertisements and statements that might violate Missouri ethics law." The Obama camp claimed that Joyce and McCulloch were not threatening prosecution -- but the invocation of Missouri ethics law says otherwise. Use of such law to prosecute political opponents would be blatantly unconstitutional.
This is hardly the first time the Obama campaign has attempted to trample the First Amendment by unleashing the subpoena squad.
In August, the American Issues Project released an ad tying Obama to American terrorist Bill Ayers. Obama's team responded by calling on the Justice Department to begin "an investigation of the American Issues Project; its officers and directors; and its anonymous donors, whoever they may be." The next day, Obama's legal advisors sent another letter to the Justice Department, this time demanding that Harold Simmons, the chief funder of the AIP, be prosecuted for "knowing and willful violation of the individual aggregate contribution limits."
In September, the National Rifle Association aired an ad targeting Obama for his opposition to the Second Amendment. Obama's legal team sent letters to stations airing the ad, stating, "For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement."
Obama says he opposes the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which would force radio stations to air both liberal and conservative viewpoints, essentially shutting down talk radio, or turning it into NPR. But should the American public believe he won't reverse himself on the Fairness Doctrine to shut down his political critics? Obama has been known to "reconsider" positions in his time: offshore drilling, Israel's undivided capital in Jerusalem, public financing, meeting dictators without preconditions, branding Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, illegal immigration, decriminalization of marijuana, running for president in 2008, NAFTA, clean coal and Jeremiah Wright, to name just a few. In fact, it is difficult to name a single position Obama has not parsed.
Except for one position, that is: Barack Obama fervently believes that Barack Obama must never be attacked for any reason. All criticism is illegitimate. Furthermore, it should be illegal.
Liberals have told us for eight years that President Bush is a Hitlerian tyrant intent on stopping political debate. For eight long, unceasingly acrimonious years, liberals have called Bush a murderer and a traitor. They have that right -- and the fact that Bush has not sought to undermine that right demonstrates his commitment to the First Amendment.
Obama's commitment to the First Amendment, by contrast, extends only to those who agree with him. He'll use any means at his disposal to stop his opponents. If Barack Obama has his way, all criticism of his presidency will end on January 20, 2009. The Messiah must not be questioned.