Politico: "The left aims for critics' jugular"
Liberal allies of President Barack Obama aren’t just getting mad at conservative attacks on his agenda. They are getting even in a way calculated to hit conservatives where it counts: their pockets.
Former GOP House leader Dick Armey, former New York lt. gov. and conservative activist Betsy McCaughey and even Fox News’s Glenn Beck have all seen their financial livelihoods threatened by political activists — who in several cases managed to make good on the threats.
The latest prominent figure in liberal cross hairs is U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue. Environmental activists, citing alleged conflicts of interest, have begun a campaign to pressure him to resign from the board of Union Pacific Railroad or from his longtime post as head of the nation’s top business lobby.
“We’re losing our self-government with these Chicago-style arm-twisting tactics,” complained McCaughey, who resigned from the board of Cantel Medical Group after the firm was connected — unfairly, according to it and McCaughey — to her claims that Obama’s health care reform would lead to death panels and other calamities. “Clearly, it’s an effort to silence critics,” she added.
McCaughey and other Obama critics are falling victim to tactics honed as much by the right as by the left: Bloggers research the opposition and post material that is picked up by allies on cable talk shows, who push it into the broader media.
But the new twist is that private firms, some with little connection to the policy debate and little warning, are being hauled into the public courtyard because of their association with an advocate-employee.
Several progressive groups are employing versions of the tactic, not as part of a coordinated effort but often enough to seem more than coincidence. . . . .