John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


President Giving Plenty of Fodder to His Critics

Posted on September 22, 2009

President Giving Plenty of Fodder to His Critics


            Democrats and liberal activists love to attack conservative commentators like Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for their crazy conspiracy theories and their wild charges of socialism and communism. 


            And sometimes I do think those guys are over the top in their criticisms of the Obama Administration. 


            But the President and his people seem to have a concerted strategy to give his critics as much material as humanely possible.


            The latest controversy comes with a demand from the Obama team that private companies who have a stake in the health care debate not warn their customers about the possible ramifications of that legislative debate.  For example, companies that participate in the Medicare Advantage program, a health insurance program that is especially popular in underserved rural parts of the country, can’t tell those seniors about the possible devastating impact of the Medicare cuts because of this Obama directive.


            That seems in direct contravention to the spirit and the language of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed that all Americans have a right to freedom of speech.   Beck and company will have a field day with this one.


            The White House has also directed that their liaisons to the arts community get the message to artists everywhere.  Glorify the mission and the man known as Obama, and you shall be granted the treasures of the kingdom, if not the keys.  You heard me right.  Here is a report from ABC News:


“An August 10, 2009 National Endowment for the Arts conference call in which artists were asked to help support President Obama's agenda -- a call that at least one good government group called "inappropriate" -- has prompted the White House to issue new guidelines to prevent such a call from ever happening again.  In the call, Yosi Sergant, then the NEA's communications director, seemed to encourage the listeners to create art to further the president's goals by promoting the United We Serve campaign and create art specific to areas of health care, education and the environment.  "I would encourage you to pick something, whether it’s health care, education, the environment, you know, there’s four key areas that the corporation has identified as the areas of service," Sergant said on the call.  Buffy Wicks, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, was also on the call, and thanked the artists "for being on the call and just a deep deep appreciation for all the work you all put into the campaign for the two-plus years we all worked together.”


            Pretty amazing, huh?  Giving the artists a chance to get federal funding, just as long as their art somehow reflects the political will of the Obama Administration.  Hannity will have some fun with that one, I am certain.


            Then, of course, there is the ACORN story, which is the political gift that keeps on giving.  ACORN was caught repeatedly trying to register voters who weren’t qualified to vote, won’t alive to vote, or won’t actual human beings in the last election.  They were doing that so they could help elect their candidate, and former colleague, B. Obama to be President.  And they were using your tax dollars to help them carry out this fraud.  Well, ACORN has been exposed as the fraudulent organization that it is, and finally the House and Senate have taken votes to defund this criminal enterprise. 


            Rush and his team have had tons of fun with this story, and they will continue to press their advantage. 


            These are just small stories, but they make up a rich mosaic of corruption, hubris and arrogance that has already captured the imagination of the President’s critics.  Some may try to blame the right-wing for manufacturing these stories, but from where I sit, the Obama Administration has done all of this to themselves.

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