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All of the above is having an effect on VanderSloot’s bottom line. In an interview with Fox’s Neil Cavuto, he revealed that a “couple of hundred (customers) we can track” have cancelled their customer membership with Melaleuca, a wellness company run by him. Strassel put the hit piece targeting VanderSloot and the other seven Romney donors in proper perspective. “These are wealthy individuals, to be sure, but private citizens nonetheless. Not one holds elected office. Not one is a criminal. Not one has the barest fraction of the position or the power of the U.S. leader who is publicly assaulting them,” she writes.
She also reminds us that bullying is neither something new, or particularly out of character, for a president who has “targeted insurers, oil firms and Wall Street–letting it be known that those who oppose his policies might face political or legislative retribution,” “lectured the Supreme Court for giving companies more free speech and (falsely) accused the Chamber of Commerce of using foreign money to bankroll U.S. elections,” and “ginned up an executive order (yet to be released) to require companies to list political donations as a condition of bidding for government contracts.”
Strassel’s above reference to the Supreme Court of the United States is well known. After a stunningly bad performance before the Court by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. defending ObamaCare, the president tried to intimidate the Justices with public statements about how “unprecedented” it would be for an “unelected group of people” to overturn a law passed by a “strong majority” in Congress. A month later, the White House upped the ante, claiming Medicare’s payment system would “freeze up” if the Court overturned the law. “Medicare cannot turn on a dime,” claimed former administrator Don Berwick, Obama’s first Medicare chief. “I would not be surprised if there are delays and problems with payment flow.”
Former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) administrator Thomas A. Scully put the lie to that claim. “It is highly unlikely in the short term that any health plan or provider would suffer,” he said. “If you look at the way the law was (financed), it was a combination of higher taxes and lower (Medicare) payments. That’s what you would be rolling back.” What else would be rolled back? The $500 billion in Medicare cuts called for by Obamacare, along with the deep cuts in the Medicare Advantage program many elderly Americans prefer.
So why make such predictions? The payment network handles about 100 million monthly claims, and Medicare caters overwhelmingly to Americans ages 65 and over. Thus, this was nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt to frighten seniors.
If that has a familiar ring, maybe it’s because the president used the exact same bullying tactic during the 2011 budget debate engendered by reaching the debt ceiling. That was when he attempted to scare seniors regarding their Social Security checks. “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved (the debt ceiling) issue,” warned Mr. Obama. “Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
That was an utter lie. Even if an agreement had not been reached by the deadline, there was plenty of money available to continue servicing the debt, and send seniors their Social Security checks.
None of these tactics should surprise anyone. Mr. Obama’s penchant for bullying has been clear since 2008. “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” the president said at a Philadelphia fundraiser during his last presidential run. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” And yet again, before the 2010 election, he urged his Latino supporters to “punish our enemies.”
For perspective’s sake, it is critical to remember that these examples of bullying and intimidation by the president and his surrogates have occurred since 2008. This makes the Washington Post’s effort to portray Mr. Romney as a bully for an incident that occurred in 1965–fully 47 years ago–a comical effort at best, and a transparently partisan one at worst.
Perhaps the Post and other members of the mainstream media, all of whom are determined to allow large swaths of the Mr. Obama’s past to remain unexamined, might want to reconsider what the term “journalistic integrity” really means. That goes double for the LA Times, whose egregious suppression of a 2003 videotape showing Mr. Obama praising terrorist Yasir Arafat’s former spokesman, Rashid Khalidi, is the essence of media malpractice.
Why is it necessary to portray Mitt Romney as a bully? So Barack Obama, the real bully in this presidential election contest, doesn’t look as bad by comparison.
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