Is Obama A Thug Or A Wuss?

by Michelle Cottle | August 7, 2009

So this little jewel from the Libertarians landed in my inbox, contending that, when the White House reassured Democratic lawmakers headed home for the break that, if they got "hit" on the health care issue by the increasingly exercised Right, "We will punch back twice as hard," they meant it literally--and are now going so far as to bus in union goons for that express purpose. 

Libertarians to Democrats: Call off the thugs
White House orders Dems to ‘punch back’ as union organizers attack citizens

 

WASHINGTON -- America’s third largest party Friday called on Democrats to end what appears to be a budding campaign of union violence targeted at citizens who differ with the White House at town hall meetings across the country.  Libertarians oppose not only the White House’s plans for government-run medicine, but the use of violence to achieve political or social goals.

A Tampa Bay Tribune story and a video posted to the Drudge Report both report physical assaults on dissenting citizens by union organizers brought to meetings by Democrats.  In Tampa, union organizers blocked citizens who differed with the White House from entering a public town hall with Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL,) and allegedly scuffled with some of them.  A video posted to YouTube appears to show union organizers physically attacking citizens who disagreed with the White House.

“The Libertarian Party is founded on one principle.  We do not support the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals,” said Donny Ferguson, Libertarian National Committee Communications Director.  “Democrats seem to think differently.  When the Obama administration ordered Democrats to ‘punch back twice as hard’ against citizens who question them, Democrats responded.  This Chicago-trained White House has brought Chicago-style union violence to small towns across America.”
“The White House told Democrat leaders Thursday to ‘punch back twice as hard’ when citizens express disapproval.  That kind of irresponsible rhetoric is never proper when discussing popular dissent.  The also made it clear they will bend Senate rules and force through government-run health care whether or not America supports it.  That is a frightening departure from the traditional American practice of governing though popular will,” said Ferguson.
“If bringing in union thugs is an attempt by Democrats to scare citizens into not questioning them, it won’t work.  Union violence may be how communities are organized in Chicago, but the American people won’t stand for people who think violence is the proper response to the fact they no longer have majority support.”...

This whiny reference to Chicago-style thuggery is not original. Conservatives ranging from the nutjob Citizens for the Republic to Charles Krauthammer apparently all received this month's memo urging them to tar the Obama administration as skull-cracking, knee-capping bullies from the uncivilized, rough-and-tumble Windy City.  

But here's my question: Doesn't painting the president as a violence-minded bruiser undercut the more widespread caricature of him as a wimpy, effete, pointy-headed, bowing, cowering, appeasing, pacifistic girly man too weak-kneed to stand up for America? 

I appreciate the cathartic value of an inflammatory rant as much as the next gal. But if Obama's opponents are serious about destroying his credibility, they really should pick a line of character assassination and stick with it--or at the very least not peddle conflicting lines. 

--Michelle Cottle

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/obama-thug-or-wuss