We all remember the hot mic quote from Obama when speaking to the Russian number-two Medvedev: “Please tell Vladimir I can be more flexible after the election.” It looks to me like our Dear Leader is being more than flexible; he is mirroring Putin’s tactics to control the political opposition.
Putin is well known for sending his political opponents to the far corners of Siberia in order to punish them for standing in his way, and to frighten any potential adversaries into thinking twice about confronting him. The most famous case is Mikhail Khordorkovsky, who upon challenging Putin on corruption (and on the way the rule-of-law was routinely trampled upon by those in power in Russia) found himself in prison for almost ten years in Siberia. The Kremlin has shut down opposition political websites, placed opposition leaders under house arrest, and is now openly talking about shutting down popular social media sites used to spread opposition information–such as Twitter. A popular tactic by the powers-that-be in Moscow is to use the tax police to raid the headquarters of opposition figures and charge them with fraud. These tactics have been highly successful in Russia, as the political opposition to Putin has been greatly diminished since these aggressive measures have been implemented.
Has Obama learned from Putin’s success in destroying the democratic principles laid out in the Russian constitution? Let’s look at the evidence. The most obvious example of this is the IRS scandal, where Obama used our federal tax authority to harass and silence voices of the conservative movement arrayed against him prior to his reelection. This corrupt effort included multiple visits by armed personnel in some cases, and delays in granting tax-exempt status–which prevented them from being active in spreading their message. In any case, it was an abuse of governmental authority from the highest levels–and a tactic that would have made Stalin proud. Now, as we see email evidence mysteriously disappearing from IRS hard drives and accused bureaucrats taking the fifth amendment, the plot is only thickening.
Advertisement – story continues below
Although less immediately detrimental to those involved, let’s discuss the recent revocation of the trademark status of the Washington Redskins. Although no one is being threatened or having their opinion silenced, the case nonetheless is frightening in its own right. The fact that the United States government, with all of its power, can unilaterally get what it wants via executive fiat when people do not follow its politically correct commands is truly disturbing and should frighten all Americans. The Redskins issue is not one of political activity, but an issue of opinion. So now we have the U.S. government dictating what opinions are acceptable in today’s society. This is straight out of a novel by George Orwell.
In addition, we all know how Obama has, on his own, decided not to enforce laws passed by Congress. He has also changed laws, selectively not enforced certain provisions, or enforced his agenda illegally by executive order when Congress would not go along with his wishes. This is also straight from Putin. Judges and law enforcement authorities in Russia routinely wait to hear what Putin has to say about a subject before deciding which way to rule in a court case or other judicial proceeding.
These things are not supposed to be happening in America, but they are. And, they are happening routinely with no serious push-back. This is not acceptable. We are not the former Soviet Union that was used to corruption and expected this from their politicians and leaders. We are the country that defeated that style of governance in its push to conquer the world. Now it seems the Cold War was just something in the history books and not a victory of freedom over evil. This is not the America I grew up with.
I can only hope that in the upcoming midterm elections in November, America decides to install members of Congress who have the courage to stand up to this corruption emanating from our White House and associated executive agencies. We all know what is happening; when are we going to decide to do something about it?
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.