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Works and Days

The New American Enemies List

June 17th, 2013 - 12:14 am

Then there are the clingers, whom the president long ago blasted as religious zealots and gun-toting xenophobes. These are the sorts whom the attorney general calls “cowards”  (not “my people”) — the “enemies” whom the president advises Latino activists to “punish” at the polls, the sorts that the president apologizes for abroad as guilty of sundry sorts of past class, race, and gender oppression.

In contrast, who is not so worried about government surveillance or audit? The New Black Panthers who turned up at a polling station in Philadelphia to intimidate voters; the “farmers” who, according to the New York Times, filed bogus claims to cash in on the government’s ill-advised and poorly administered Pigford settlement; the Secret Service agents who routinely visited prostitutes while on duty protecting high government officials abroad; and the assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who used her office to enhance her private consulting business.

Americans wonder whom would the immigration services more likely wish to deport: the German Romeike family that was “guilty” of homeschooling their children; Obama’s aunt Zeituni, who lied about her immigration status to illegally obtain state and federal subsidies; or Onyango Obama, who likewise is here illegally (for 21 years) and was recently charged with ramming a police car while driving intoxicated? Is the U.S. so short of DUI offenders and frauds that we must deport homeschoolers to make room for them?

There is currently a climate of fear growing throughout the United States. Millions of Americans are terrified of the IRS, the Department of Justice, the EPA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and even perhaps the FBI, CIA, and State Department.

Why?

These government agencies have never been bigger, more powerful, and more ideologically driven. Citizens fear them for understandable reasons: those who do nothing wrong, whether in filing tax forms or trying to buy a rifle, are considered suspect and deserving to be the target of either federal scrutiny or presidential slurs.  But those who do a great deal of wrong, either by illegally entering the country, disrupting polling, trafficking in weapons in Mexico, eavesdropping on American citizens, pulling tax information for partisan purposes, subverting a government agency, or lying to the public about government activity, seem exempt from punishment — and, more chillingly, sense that they are so exempt.

Ask who now is sitting in prison — a shyster video-maker who had nothing to do with the deaths of four Americans, or their five known terrorist killers lounging about in North Africa? Apparently, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, like EPA director Lisa Jackson, was guilty of creating a fake persona. Like Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, he had a lien on his business. Like former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, he had some unpaid taxes. Like Tamerlan Tsarnaev, he had been visited by government investigators. Like Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, he lied to federal authorities — although they were not quite as high as those in the U.S. Congress. And unlike all of the above, he was therefore jailed.

Of all the legacies of Barack Obama, the most pernicious will be the creation of a rogue government that has cut off and terrified half the population — and for no other reason than that they seem to represent things that Mr. Obama simply does not seem to understand.

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