The recent showdown in Nevada between federal agents and a cattle rancher and a group of his supporters is a symbol of the kind of abuse of power and executive sleight-of-hand that are becoming the hallmark of the Obama administration. (The federal agents in Nevada even wore brown shirts.) And this is just one of many unnerving examples of increasingly bold government intrusion.
We all know the IRS targeted conservative groups. When we learn of IRS offices covered with pro-Obama campaign paraphernalia, and of the office of a high-ranking Democrat likely coordinating attacks on the witnesses in a congressional investigation, there’s little doubt of what’s going on. Lois Lerner is living proof of a likely cover-up. But a national media riddled with Obama sympathizers continue to cover the matter with tepid interest
The same goes for Benghazi. The administration’s far-fetched claim that a rogue video on YouTube triggered the vicious attack on Americans there has proved to be a blatant lie. No sufficient answer was ever provided as to how soon and how much the president or his top aides knew about this being an organized terrorist attack. This was a pre-re-election cover-up, pure and simple.
And it should frighten us all that soon after the attack on the American embassy, the man responsible for the video that became the scapegoat for Benghazi was dragged off to jail on unrelated charges.
Recently, a CBS News reporter who left the network said that many reporters covering this White House avoid pursuing potentially controversial issues. She attributed this partly to an unacknowledged desire to protect a president who shares with much media a liberal governing philosophy, and partly to a chilling effect on news that is the product of a hardball administration that punishes unfriendly reporters.
A majority of the nation is now wondering just how hard their own government is working to intimidate or bully not just the media but individual Americans as well. A growing percentage of the public believes their government spies on them, tracks their day-to-day activities and could destroy them financially. Many say they are afraid to outwardly express their views about President Obama or the government.
From Obamacare and endless executive orders, to intimidation by federal bureaucrats, this White House has moved quickly and in an unabashed manner to implement its collectivist domestic social policies. It has increased government crackdowns on citizens in the U.S., while deliberately weakening our military and diplomatic strength abroad.
And when anyone challenges the government’s ham-fisted ways, they get threats in return.
Few doubt what Attorney General Eric Holder meant recently when he angrily responded to pointed questions from Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas before the House Judiciary Committee. At one point Holder said, “You don’t want to go there, buddy. You don’t want to go there, OK?” Was this a threat from the nation’s “chief cop”?
Holder reflects an entire administration filled with arrogant bullies who are constantly spoiling for a fight.
Many of us have ignored media stories about various federal or local government agencies recently receiving huge amounts of ammunition or gear that would most likely be used to control large crowds made up of so-called “angry mobs.” Then came the reports about the folks in Nevada who were threatened with brute force by agents seeking to round up a rancher’s cattle they say were trespassing on federal land.
In past years, such stories of procurement of weapons or ammunition by government bureaucracies would be written off as an effort to find conspiracies where none existed. But when even the Postal Service is stocking up on bullets, one has to wonder.
And when Americans learn that powerful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s son might have a vested interest in that very same land at issue in Nevada, it only adds to their belief that their government is one in which the politically elite take what they want and with a newfound blatant use of force.
Sadly, the Obama years are swiftly becoming ones not of promised government transparency and opportunity for all, but instead a time of obfuscation, threats, class warfare and fear of authority. His administration’s actions increasingly have taken on the muted attributes of governments, indeed regimes, from ugly times in post-World War I history.
But we don’t want to go there, do we, buddy?
Matt Towery heads a non-partisan polling company.