Friday, October 23, 2009

When Strawmen Attack: Obama's Rhetorical Enemies List

There has been plenty of speculation over the last week regarding a White House "Enemies List". But Barack Obama doesn't need enemies.

He requires scapegoats to advance his agenda. To distract public attention from the real goings-on in Washington. To deflect criticism from his supporters on the Left.

And Barack Obama never fails to manufacture scapegoats -- obstructionists who willfully oppose his policies -- whether they exist or not. Consider the straw-men that he marshals in speech after speech after speech, never referencing individuals or direct quotes. Instead --- using divisive agitation -- the masterful community organizer creates rhetorical enemies from whole cloth.

On Opposition to Statism (9-21-2009): "...Now, after so many years of failing to act, there are those who suggest that nothing government can do will make a difference..."

On Health Care Reform (9-9-2009): "...On the right, there are those who argue that we should end employer-based systems and leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own..."

On Fox News (7-23-2009): "...there are those who like to report on the back and forth in Washington, but, you know, my only concern is the people who sent us to Washington: the families feeling the pain of this recession; the folks I've met across this country who have lost jobs and savings and health insurance..."

On Citizens Who Oppose Socialized Medicine (7-23-2009): "...we have never been closer to achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans. But at the same time, there are those who would seek to delay and defeat reform..."

On Doctors Who Oppose Socialized Medicine (6-19-2009): "...We know the moment is right for health care reform. We know this is an historic opportunity we've never seen before and may not see again. But we also know that there are those who will try and scuttle this opportunity no matter what – who will use the same scare tactics and fear-mongering that's worked in the past. They'll give dire warnings about socialized medicine and government takeovers; long lines and rationed care; decisions made by bureaucrats and not doctors..."

On Middle East Peace (06-04-2009): "...There are those who would continue and intensify this failed status quo, ignoring eight years of accumulated evidence that our foreign policy is dangerously flawed..."

On Intolerance (06-03-2009): " this day, there are those who perpetuate every form of intolerance — racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more..."

On Terrorism (05-21-2009): "On one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism, and who would almost never put national security over transparency. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: "anything goes." Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means..."

On Notre Dame's Graduates (05-17-2009): "...Your generation must decide how to save God's creation from a changing climate that threatens to destroy it. Your generation must seek peace at a time when there are those who will stop at nothing to do us harm..."

On Science (04-27-2009): "...there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science, that support for research is somehow a luxury at moments defined by necessities..."

On Cap-and-Trade Taxes (04-14-2009): "...Now, the only though that we can truly spark the transformation that's need is through a gradual, market-based cap on carbon pollution, so that clean energy is the profitable kind of energy. There are those who've argued that we shouldn't attempt, we shouldn't even be thinking, we shouldn't even be talking about such a transition until the economy recovers..."

On Turkey (04-06-2009): "...I know there are those who like to debate Turkey’s future. They see your country at the crossroads of continents, and touched by the currents of history..."

On the G8 and Financial Regulation (04-01-2009): "...this notion that somehow there are those who are pushing for regulation and those who are resisting regulation is belied by the facts. Tim Geithner, who's sitting here today, went before Congress and proposed as aggressive a set of regulatory measures as any that have emerged..."

On the Iranian People (03-20-2009): "...There are those who insist that we be defined by our differences. But let us remember the words that were written by the poet Saadi, so many years ago..."

On Taxes (3-18-2009): "...Here's what the budget does not do. It does not raise the taxes of any family making less than $250,000 a year by a single dime... In fact, 95 percent of all working families will receive a tax cut as a result of our recovery plan. Now, there are those who say these plans are too ambitious; we should be trying to do less, not more..."

On the Stimulus Package (03-06-2009): "...There are those who believe that all we can do is repeat the very same policies that led us here in the first place..."

On Health Care (03-05-2009): ", there are those who say we should defer health care reform once again, that at a time of economic crisis, we simply can't afford to fix our health care system as well..."

On Taxes (09-26-2008): "...we all would love to lower taxes on everybody. But here's the problem: If we are giving them to oil companies, then that means that there are those who are not going to be getting them..."

On Abortion: (09-01-2008): "...Choice is about how we lead our lives. It’s about our families and about our communities. It’s about our daughters and whether they’re going to have the same opportunities as our sons. There are those who want us to believe otherwise..."

On Statism (08-28-2008): "...I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values..."

On Accepting the Nomination (06-03-2008): "...There are those who say that this primary has somehow left us weaker and more divided. Well, I say that, because of this primary, there are millions of Americans who have cast their ballot for the very first time..."

On Good Governance (02-18-2008): "...There are those who would say that you have to be wary about inspiration because you might be disappointed, who say that Obama may make a good speech, but what is really going to make a difference is how you work our government..."

On Allowing Illegal Immigrants to Get In-State Tuition (DREAM Act) (01-31-2008): "...There are those who were opposed to this issue, and there have been those who have flipped on the issue and have run away from the issue. This wasn't directed particularly at Senator Clinton. But the fact of the matter is I have stood up consistently on this issue..."

On John Kerry's Candidacy (07-27-2004): "... there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America..."

I'll be candid. I'm sick of his use of Alinsky's tactics: always dividing, always creating straw-men, always creating scapegoats. Never once appreciating the wonder of individualism, of liberty, of our founders, of American history. It is time to turn back the drones and stop the march to authoritarianism and a government by, for and of central planners.

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