Berry: As he governs, so he campaignsWritten by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
President Obama’s re-election campaign has much in common with his style of governing.
Despite his hollow calls for civility, Obama’s campaign has been marked by a degree of incivility unseen in an American presidential campaign in many decades. Even before the campaign officially began (a distinction made necessary by the appearance that he has never stopped campaigning since 2008), the president has repeatedly smeared his opposition with everything from mischaracterizations of their positions to personal attacks to oblique incitements of violence: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” And the more outrageous the words of his backers, the more silent he is about their lack of civility.
Along with incivility comes outright deceit. He has lied repeatedly as president, both about his agenda and his opposition, and now he and his backers continue the lies. The contemptible filth that has already been flung at Mitt Romney is just the beginning. Believe it or not, the Obama campaign will stoop even lower before this is over, and if Romney wins, the viciousness of the Obamacrats will only increase.
Rep. Paul Ryan is a very brave man to step into the progressives’ minefield as Romney’s running mate, as he and Romney are facing as dishonorable a bunch of cutthroats as have ever been involved in a presidential campaign. Am I being uncivil? Compared to such shining examples of civility as Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) knowingly and repeatedly bearing false witness against Romney, a fellow Mormon? As Obama backers reflexively calling everyone who opposes them racists and hatemongers?
The Obama campaign also follows his example of blaming others and shirking responsibility. Just as he still blames his predecessor for problems he either created or worsened while taking no responsibility for his own many failures, he blames Romney for the present situation. One of his ads absurdly calls Romney the problem, not the solution — as if Romney was responsible for Obama’s horrific legacy of massive deficits, eroding freedom, prolonged recession, high unemployment, fuddled foreign policy, civil decay and national decline.
Obama’s classist envy also carries over into his campaign. Certainly no pauper himself, he campaigns by inciting hatred and envy of the wealthy. He doesn’t just use the usual Democrat cliches about the Republicans favoring the rich; he goes a step further by being consumed with envy that Romney dares do better than he by raising more campaign funds.
The campaign also echoes his record of fiscal irresponsibility. Just as he has grossly inflated the national deficit by increasing spending far beyond revenues, his campaign runs deficits by spending more than it takes in.
It also follows his failure of personal charity. His campaign bombards supporters with near-daily pleads for donations, predicated on everything from a raffle for a chance to dine in his exalted presence to giving him a birthday gift in the form of a donation to — I kid you not — asking for money that would otherwise be wasted on wedding gifts to be sent to him instead.
But take heart, he isn’t just begging from others; he ostentatiously gave a whole $5,000 to his own campaign recently, reflecting his own record of miserliness, while he took advantage of a tax loophole he wishes to close to others by giving 20.5 percent of his income to charity last year, the Obamas gave only 6.1 percent in 2006 and a measly .9 percent from 2000 through 2004.
Both his presidency and his campaign are scarred by a seething intolerance for dissent. Not only does he himself smear and demean opponents; his supporters know no limits to the depths to which they will descend to personally destroy those who dare disagree with them. Along with name-calling that is as creative as it is false, the tactics range from slander and harassment to use of the IRS as a means to hamper the activities of Tea Party groups. In the Obamacrats’ minds, anyone who defies their idol must be punished.
There is also the matter of conduct unbecoming a president. From bowing to foreign dignitaries to taking repeated lavish vacations while telling everyone else to cut back to allowing gay rights activists to be photographed flipping off President Reagan’s White House portrait, he has repeatedly demeaned both the dignity of his office and the personal example it demands from those who hold it. His conduct in this campaign reflects this same disregard, if not outright scorn, for the image of the president as a man of honor.
As unfortunate as these truths are, they must be confronted. Their common theme is that Barack Hussein Obama is in danger of losing his precious power, and both he and his political machine react to this prospect with virulent hatred.
Thomas Berry is a member of the Children of Liberty.