Barack Obama has this to say about those who have the audacity to actively oppose him.
“Now that the government has reopened and this threat to our economy is removed, all of us need to stop focusing on the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists who profit from conflict, and focus on what the majority of Americans sent us here to do, and that’s grow this economy, create good jobs, strengthen the middle class, educate our kids, lay the foundation for broad-based prosperity and get our fiscal house in order for the long haul,” Obama said.
TRANSLATION: Dissent is no longer patriotic, and it is time for Americans to ignore the voices of the treasonous folks who undermine confidence in an ever-expanding government.
Which dovetails with what is happening in Red China.
Police in China have arrested an influential blogger and are holding a cartoonist in a widening crackdown on online "rumour-mongering", friends and a lawyer for one of them said on Thursday.
Hundreds of people have been detained since August, say Chinese media and rights groups, as the government has stepped up its campaign to banish rumours. Most have been released, but some are still being held on criminal charges.
The latest moves targeting the bloggers appear to suggest the new government, led by President Xi Jinping, is expanding its crackdown on dissent, although some critics have warned the move could backfire on Communist Party leaders.
Now tell me that Obama would not be locking up “the lobbyists, and the bloggers, and the talking heads on radio and the professional activists” right this minute if he thought he could get away with it. After all, they “profit from conflict”, just like those bloggers in China do when they criticize the Communist regime in Beijing. And after all, their speech against Obama and the Democrat cabal has been deemed by the president and his administration interfere with the important policy goals that they claim benefit the nation and are allegedly “what the majority of Americans sent us here to do”. Having been declared enemies of the American people (and in the rhetoric of recent weeks, “hostage-takers”, “bomb-throwers”, and “terrorists”), is it really all that unthinkable for the government to begin locking up such folks? After all, shouldn’t such disrupters of the common good be punished?
You may think I’m being overly dramatic in this assessment, but consider the tactics of this administration since it took office in 2009. Opposing ideas and policies have regularly been declared not merely to be wrong, but to be evil. Opposition to this administration and its policies has been declared to be outside of the realm of acceptable political discourse and motivated by the basest of motives. As we saw when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot by a madman with no apparent political motives, words and symbols that have a long and legitimate history of use by both parties as a part of normal political discourse were decreed to be “uncivil” and the underlying cause of that violent act – and specific political opponents were decreed to bear responsibility for the shooting. And now we have seen legitimate, constitutionally sound legislative tactics, ones historically used by Democrats under Republican (and even Democrat) presidents, declared to be acts of violence against the nation and those who use them to be the moral equivalent of those who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon on 9/11).
In other words, the First Amendment is in danger from the President of the United States. Freedom of speech (talk radio), freedom of press (bloggers), freedom of assembly (events organized by professional activists, and the right to petition of a redress of grievances (lobbyists) are being defined as illegitimate and harmful to the nation if they do not support the agenda of the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party. And that is the danger of the pronouncement of Barack Obama – and why I assert again that his words and the actions of the Chinese government differ only in degree, not principle.