The Progressive Movement is desperate. The 2008 election was supposed to be the dawn of a new liberal era. An enlightened bureaucratic elite in Washington was supposed to enact a broad and transformative agenda that would save the economy, return the nation to prosperity, and legitimize big government for a generation.
But only the enactment of the agenda occurred, without any of the promised benefits. President Obama's trillion-dollar stimulus and trillion-dollar health care entitlement are now law. The leftist bureaucrats have been empowered ... but their policies have failed. Health insurance premiums are rising, poverty is up, and the nation's unemployment rate hovers near 10%.
Faced with the obvious failure of their policies, the left is now desperately seeking to avoid accountability by blaming others. So President Barack Obama told a crowd in Philadelphia this weekend that "special interest groups" like the Chamber of Commerce are "spending unlimited amounts of money on attack ads." The President continued: "It could be the oil industry. It could be the insurance industry. It could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose. ... Now, that’s not just a threat to Democrats - that’s a threat to our democracy."
The President may say he is only interested in disclosure, but his policy prescription does not accomplish that. When Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced the DISCLOSE Act to the Senate he gave away the real aim of the bill. "The deterrent effect should not be underestimated," Schumer said. And just what does the left want to deter Americans from doing? At the House committee DISCLOSE Act markup, Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) said: "I have no problem whatsoever keeping everybody out [of elections]. If I could keep all outside entities out, I would."
The President is not interested in educating the American people by making everyone disclose their donations. He is only interested in silencing his opponents. That is why unions were specifically exempted from the DISCLOSE Act as were a slew of other interest groups.
On Face the Nation this Sunday, CBS host Bob Schieffer confronted White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod about a New York Times article showing that White House charges of "secret foreign money" "stealing our democracy" were completely baseless. Schieffer asked: "If the only charge, three weeks into the election that the Democrats can make is that there’s somehow this may or may not be foreign money coming into the campaign, is that the best you can do?"
Axelrod went on to contend that it is the responsibility of those the White House accuses to prove they aren't breaking the law. This morning, NBC's Chuck Todd described Axelrod's answer as "McCarthy-esque" on Daily Rundown.
Yes. Baseless charges about foreigners stealing democracy is the best the left can do. Their policies have completely failed and they are afraid of being held accountable. The President's response is to try and use the power of the federal government to deter all dissent. If there is a threat to our democracy in this election, it is not coming from the Chamber of Commerce.