According to Kimberly Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago School — of Democratic Party politics, that is — is thriving in the Obama White House:
Here’s what happens when the president of the United States publicly targets a private citizen for the crime of supporting his opponent.
Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca Inc. The 63-year-old has run that wellness-products company for 26 years out of tiny Idaho Falls, Idaho. Last August, Mr. VanderSloot gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney.
Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” the post accused the eight of being “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”
About a week after that post, a man named Michael Wolf contacted the Bonneville County Courthouse in Idaho Falls in search of court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot. Specifically, Mr. Wolf wanted all the documents dealing with Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces, as well as a case involving a dispute with a former Melaleuca employee.
Neil Cavuto of Fox News interviewed Mr. VanderSloot yesterday. According to VanderSloot, the attacks by the Obama campaign are working:
“Those people that I know well weren’t affected by this [attack],” said Vandersloot. “But for people who didn’t know me, who are members of our business or customers, and they were reading this, then we got a barrage of phone calls of people cancelling their customer memberships with us.”
“Really?,” the Fox News host asked. “How many did that?”
“A couple hundred that we can track,” Vandersloot replied.
Again, the host asked, “Really? Do you have any grounds to sue?”
“I suppose we do,” Vandersloot said.
A couple of months ago, the Obama Campaign tried a similar tactic with the Koch brothers, sending out a fund raising email characterizing the Koch brothers as masterminds behind an evil organization “whose business model is to make millions by jacking up prices at the pump, and who have bankrolled Tea Party extremism and committed $200 million to try to destroy President Obama…”
Is this any different than having political operatives persuade county officials to unseal divorce records involving a political opponent? Or taking an opponent to court to challenge the veracity of all the signatures on her ballot nomination petitions?
Obama has mastered the art of Chicago-style politics, hiring front groups who then hire independent operatives to do their dirty work. They’ve “evolved” beyond physical tampering and black bag jobs, but their intent and techniques are absolutely Nixonian.
Koch Industries responded to Obama’s attack with a tersely worded letter:
The implication in that sort of attack is obvious: dare to criticize the President’s policies and you will be singled out and personally maligned by the President and his campaign in an effort to chill free speech and squelch dissent.
It is understandable that the President and his campaign may be ‘tired of hearing’ that many Americans would rather not see the president re-elected. However, the inference is that you would prefer that citizens who disagree with the President and his policies refrain from voicing their own viewpoint. Clearly, that’s not the way a free society should operate.
Thankfully, VanderSloot also remains undeterred:
“I’m going to support [Romney] more than I was originally,” said Vandersloot. “We thought that we were done with our donations,” but he indicated he’s likely to give more money in the future after being attacked by the president’s campaign.