Putting the bully into the bully pulpit?

posted at 12:01 pm on May 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Allahpundit e-mailed me this today, calling it “a perfect end to Bully Week.”  While the media ties itself in knots over an alleged incident of bullying in 1965 involving Mitt Romney, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel reports on how ending up on Barack Obama’s enemies list brings out the bullies on the Left.  Frank VanderSloot donated $1 million to the super-PAC supporting Mitt Romney, Restore our Future, for which the Obama campaign explicitly and personally attacked VanderSloot.  Now, oppo researchers are trying to troll through VanderSloot’s divorce records:

Here’s what happens when the president of the United States publicly targets a private citizen for the crime of supporting his opponent.

Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca Inc. The 63-year-old has run that wellness-products company for 26 years out of tiny Idaho Falls, Idaho. Last August, Mr. VanderSloot gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney.

Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” the post accused the eight of being “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

Within days, an attorney for an oppo-research outfit began sending requests for court records in cases involving VanderSloot’s company and his four divorces.  The attorney, Michael Wolf, had until recently worked for the Democratic majority on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.  It doesn’t take much to put two and two together, especially after Rachel Maddow and others on the Left began attacking VanderSloot as a “gay bashing thug.”

What does this tell us?  It tells us that the Obama campaign wants to go after donors that support Mitt Romney in a very personal way.  In the words of now-former EPA administrator Al Armendariz, their general philosophy is to find a few offenders and crucify them as an example to the rest.  It’s the kind of bare-knuckled bullying that should worry voters if a candidate for President engaged in it.  It’s breathtaking and Orwellian when this kind of activity takes place on behalf of a sitting President.

So what’s more relevant to this election — an alleged cruel prank from 1965 by Romney, or the kind of bullying taking place by Obama’s supporters against his opponents in 2012?

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