There are plenty of voices from both the right and the left chiming in with nothing short of dismay concerning the Obama administration’s increasingly apparent willingness to use their muscle to try and intimidate and/or punish any supposed threats to their oh-so-cozy bureaucratic outfit — and while some of those voices are certainly more vociferous than others, hem hem, there’s just no denying that this is some dangerously shady stuff coming down from the White House. As Chuck Todd put it on MSNBC this morning, via Mediaite:
What’s funny is, I think, Candidate Obama, if George Bush and Dick Cheney were doing this, imagine what Candidate Obama would say. Candidate Obama would be unloading. There’d be a lot of Democrats that would be unloading on the administration if they were trying to do this, if they were trying to crack down on things. You can’t look at this and see it as anything other than an attempt to basically scare anybody from ever leaking anything every again. So, they want to criminalize journalism, and that’s what it’s coming down to. If you end up essentially criminalizing journalism when it comes to reporting on the federal government, particularly on national security, and the only place they think they technically can do that is on the issue of national security, what it’s going to do is the impact that we’ve heard the council say this over the weekend: It is going to make whistleblowers and people that might leak and regular sources. You know, I’ve had different conversations with people over the last week who are sitting there not quite comfortable having certain conversations on the phone. I mean, it just completely — and maybe that’s the intent. I can’t think of any other intent of why they’re going about this in such a broad, harassing sort of way.
Preach. Even if you’re only looking between the Obama administration’s completely over-the-top snooping and maltreatment of multiple journalists and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups of late, there is far too much delegitimizing of what Americans can normally agree is a very healthy type of dissent going on here for comfort. As Jim Geraghty put it at NRO, there is a clear pattern running through all of these scandals: It looks an awful lot like the administration is willing to go to frighteningly extreme lengths for the sake of information control.