With word that “Barack Obama’s White House has declared war on the largest lobbying organization in the country, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” we have yet another example of a White House determined to demonize those who dare criticize its policies (or to air said criticism on its news network). He’s now added the Chamber to the Obama enemies’ list. According to the Washington Examiner‘s Timothy P. Carney:
Chamber lobbyist Bruce Josten told me that White House is picking a high-profile fight with his group because, given Democratic supermajorities, Obama “needs an enemy” to blame for the difficulty he’s having in getting his policies approved.
But there’s another reason Obama is running low on enemies: He’s already bought off many of the most powerful industries and businesses.
Look at health care, where Obama has brought the name-brand drug makers on board to his reform with promises of subsidies and pledges not to attack the industry’s special favors. Look at cigarettes, where Obama signed a tobacco regulation bill with the firm backing of Philip Morris.
This White House does seem to have a need to make enemies. Administration officials attack insurance companies, FoxNews and now the U.S. Chamber Commerce. Who will be the next target of Obama’s animus?
This animus stands to distinct contrast to candidate Obama’s rhetoric about “disagreeing without being disagreeable,” and “moving beyond bitterness and pettiness and politics of division” (via Jim Geraghty). Indeed, as Michael Barone notes, this contrasts with what the President said back in February:
I don’t always get my most favorable coverage on Fox, but I think that’s part of how democracy is supposed to work. You know, we’re not supposed to all be in lockstep here.
Instead of “moving beyond bitterness and pettiness,” the President, Barone asserts, responds to disagreement “with classic Chicago brass knuckles,” an assertion Charles Krauthammer echoes in this must-watch video:
In short is the difference between Rahm Emanuel’s tactics and candidate Obama’s campaign rhetoric which defines the hypocrisy at the heart of this Administration.