Civilization is the process of setting man free from men." — Ayn Rand
Most of us live in a community (as I do) where we have something called a neighborhood watch. The purpose of the neighborhood watch is to learn, through periodic meetings, from the local police how to protect the security of you home and watch out for suspicious persons who may have malicious intents against your neighbors. A neighborhood watch is a good program as it allows citizens to watch out for their fellow citizens — something that is truly American.
There have been other neighborhood watches throughout history. There was Woodrow Wilson’s neighborhood watch during the First World War where citizens were asked to turn in people, especially German-Americans, who expressed dissenting views towards the war. This was most prevalent in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois where German-Americans were lynched simply because they spoke German. German language newspapers were required print English translations of their articles next to the German language versions. No one ate sauerkraut; instead it renamed “liberty cabbage”. It was forbidden to speak German on the telephone and Wilson’s justice department would investigate anonymous tips about German-Americans from their envious neighbors. All of this was done under a so called progressive administration.
There have been more malevolent neighborhood watches in the totalitarian regimes Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, East Germany, and Castro. In these regimes person loyal to the government were assigned neighborhoods or apartment blocks with the charge of reporting people who made anti-government remarks regarding the lack of food or other necessities of life. These little snitches were usually people of low character who were given power to turn in those whom they did not like or had a personal grudge against. This is one of the tactics a totalitarian state used to maintain their hold over he populous. They use fear to keep people in line.
Today our First Amendment rights of free speech are being threatened by the Obama administration by something called “Attach Watch.”
Attack Watch, website started by President Obama's campaign organization, was intended to be a repository for supporters to report "attacks" on Obama's record and get the facts. But its rollout has been met with scathing mockery by conservatives, who call it a second-rate version of previous Big Brother sites created by Team Obama.
The onslaught of hilarity was fed first by a brutal parody created by an outfit called Misfit Politics. The mock ad repeats the name "Attack Watch" in a voice mimicking the Budweiser "Whassup" ad of Super Bowl yore and then goes on to offer examples of the types of misinformation readers can report.
Conservative critic Mark Steyn, a native of the U.K., then cheered that he was the only foreigner with a designation on AttackWatch.com.
Both were met with comment after comment from readers offering the type of "attacks" they were going to report to the Obama re-election site. The #attackwatch Twitter page was immediately spammed with tweet after tweet heavy on sarcasm regarding the president's stimulus and jobs creation plans.
"hey #AttackWatch I heard the only good 'Cash For Clunkers' did was get all the obama stickers off the roads, thank you," tweeted @speedyjerry.
"Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM's in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!" wrote @thorninaz.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Katie Hogan told the Washington Post that 100,000 people had signed up for the site in the first 24 hours.
"This site is a tool providing our supporters with the facts they need to fight back against lies and distortions about the president's record," she told the newspaper.
But syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin said this site, the fourth one launched in three years attempting to respond to political attacks, has backfired on the Obama team.
"What this is really about is some sort of campaign against their opponents, and it's not working anymore," she said.
"Back in 2008, the Obama campaign had claimed this mantle as the tech savvy geniuses, and what's happened is that conservatives on Twitter and on YouTube and all the social networks have been able to strike back, and humor is always the best revenge," she said.
In an opinion article published in the International Business Times, Nadine DeNinno argues the site is pointless, saying it is counterproductive and has become a laughingstock.
"The website has become simply an instrument used by opponents to rail the president by conservatives, using it as their personal punching bag," she wrote. "The people who monitor the site will be quite busy, as Attack Watch only warrants more attacking."
She also wondered how many jobs the site created, "or how long it took to conceive, in which case jobs could have been created instead?" She then quoted @BradThor who tweeted, "If only the #Obama administration could create an atmosphere where jobs materialized as quickly as #attackwatch jokes!"
Not only are major papers running headlines about the site becoming a laughingstock, even respected liberals are admitting that they would have flipped out had Bush tried something similar. Place your bets: How much longer can the PR beating go on before someone throws in the towel?
Compare and contrast. We’re more than a year away from election day and it’s already axiomatic that this will be the nastiest campaign in recent memory — and the worse the economy is, the nastier it’ll be on the White House’s end. Why pretend otherwise by adding rainbows and unicorns to AttackWatch.com now? They should keep the site as is and embrace the new scorched-earth vision of “Hope” and “Change.” Or better yet, embellish the motif. How about a grainy photo of Joe Biden in a balaclava to add “atmosphere”?
While the initiative is reminiscent of a similar online effort launched during the 2008 campaign, called Fight the Smears, the intimidating design and language of the new site seems to be what’s causing a bigger ruckus.
Fight the Smears looked and felt far less scary, quoting Obama at the top of its page in a classic hope-change statement: “What you won’t hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon — that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge but enemies to demonize.”
Robert Gelinas writes in American Thinker about Obama’s None-Too-Devine Comedy:
“The decision of who will become the next president of the United States will be made long before November of 2012. After the current president's most recent tour de farce before a joint session of Congress, it is rapidly becoming a foregone conclusion who it's not going to be.
The Obama-adoring New York Times concedes that their manufactured politician may be in deep trouble as his own base begins to abandon him. Independents have already done so. The right was never on his side. Even the Washington Post doesn't flinch from using the word "laughingstock" when referring to the petty political antics of Obama. And then a Catholic Republican wins a pivotal bellwether election against a Jewish Democrat in a liberal, heavily Jewish New York City congressional district, running on the theme of an Obama referendum!
One could reasonably conclude that a toxic Obama is now rapidly becoming, if not already is, "unelectable."
What? How could the great and powerful Obama ever be considered unelectable? Many mistakenly believed that in 2008, but somehow Obama miraculously proved them all wrong (just ask Hillary). But that was then, when he was largely a blank slate and wore the halo of a saint (Google: "Obama halo pics"). Obama even saw himself as a divine being of superlative stature: "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America." (His own words!)
Admittedly, his fall from grace didn't happen overnight, but happen it did, as his profound failures and incompetency have culminated into what will surely be seen by future historians as his seminal "Jobs Bill Speech." This was the moment when the "real" Obama was on grand display -- an all-too-mortal man, showcasing how little substance and value he has to offer.
Obama's political irrelevance has now become so obvious that on the night of his infamous jobs speech the GOP didn't even feel the need to offer a rebuttal to his political theater masquerading as a major policy speech. Even the scheduling of his all-important imperial oration had to take a backseat to a football game and a GOP primary debate on MSNBC.
But far worse than enduring those indignities, during his grand pontification, a unique sound was heard in abundance. Even the Washington Post's Dana Milbank heard it: laughter.”
I can’t recall any presidential campaign in our history where people have been requested to report so called lies and disparaging remarks about the president to the White House. This is just another example of his radical ideas of class warfare — turning Americans against Americans.
I heard an interview with Doug Schoen today on the Sean Hannity radio show where Schoen said Obama was losing it. Schoen, a Democrat pollster and member of the Clinton White House, said Obama was no longer competent to be president. He has made so many bad decisions based on his socialist ideology that have gone wrong he no longer knows what to do and it is showing in his last two speeches. He is becoming a laughing stock ala Jimmy Carter.
While Attack Watch may be viewed as a laughing stock and not as sinister as Wilson’s anti-German-American policies it still must be viewed as a potential violation of our liberties. It is not so much the program as it is an indictment of the people in the White House who are advising the president and Obama himself.
It is a step along a slippery slope of government becoming more powerful and onerous in our lives.