Free Markets, Free People


Thugs In The White House?

One of the things I try to do is take a look at stories and decide whether or not there’s enough there to blog about it. And part of that has to do with corroboration. When I first saw the story about the Obama White House allegedly threatening a Chrysler stakeholder during negotiations that eventually broke down, I wondered if perhaps that particular person might have been a little over sensitive or misinterpreted the situation. But it was interesting and something worth watching.

Today comes some corroboration making this a good blog story. Although the story uses anonymous sources, it uses multiple sources, and the reason for the anonymity should be obvious.

Although the focus has so been on allegations that the White House threatened Perella Weinberg, sources familiar with the matter say that other firms felt they were threatened as well. None of the sources would agree to speak except on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of political repercussions.

The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say they were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler. One person described the administration as the most shocking “end justifies the means” group they have ever encountered. Another characterized Obama was “the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger.” Both were voters for Obama in the last election.

One participant in negotiations said that the administration’s tactic was to present what one described as a “madman theory of the presidency” in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.

The White House has denied the allegation that it threatened Perella Weinberg.

Is this true? Well, at this point, it is more true than it was when Perella Weinberg was the only one reporting it.

Is this good? No. If true, this demonstrates an abuse of power that has no place in government at any level. While we all understand politics isn’t bean-bag, threats to use political power (not legal power, but the power of the bully pulpit and vilification) in this manner are simply unacceptable.

If true.

Again, the more I monitor this and the more I read, the more I believe this may have happened. I’d like to see the anonymous sources step up and identify themselves. Yeah, I know it takes a certain level of courage, but this is one of those “nip it in the bud” moments.

And I’d expect the left to be just as loud in its denunciation of this sort of abuse of power as they were the last 8 years when executive power abuse was a focus of their outrage with the Bush administration.

I assume the reason for their outrage was the alleged abuse, not the politics of the abuser.

Right?

~McQ

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26 Responses to Thugs In The White House?

  • What did they think they were actually going to get when they elected a typical Chicago style politician???

  • In order to even discuss outrage, which they will resist to the last man, they are going to have to have evidence. 

    Anecdotal evidence came from the way the TARP funds were alleged to have been dispensed, that is, banks that refused to take them were going to have Federal inspectors climbing up their butts with microscopes if they didn’t take the money (allowing government control).

    This allegation of strong arming on Perella Weinberg isn’t, therefore, new, it’s a simple variation on a theme that’s already floating in the background of this symphony of oncoming disaster.

    Despite years of taking the word of anonymous sources in the Bush administration that  wrongs were being committed, suddenly we’re going to see the need for these anonymous source to be verifiable or the demand that they be ignored as merely more poor sportsmanship and loser griping by right wing nut cases and teabaggers.

    The evidence for Obama being a bit caught up with his power and his personality is already readily available, from his sighs and attempted interrupts through the debates (now forgotten), his constant scheduled appearances on nightly television in one form or another, to his “we won” (read “I won”) admonition and the Alinksy tactic of marginalizing his critics via press briefings.
    We’re to ignore the lack of transparency, the constant reminders that none of this is really his fault and a press that, were he George Bush, would be on him like ugly on an ape for the various criminal appointments to major positions and diplomatic blunders and mis-speaks by him or members of his administration.

    This allegation came as no surprise, and if someone with some balls comes along and tapes one of his cronies playing one of these games, under the bus that crony will go, followed by the destruction of the person who made the tape (odds are 50/50 that said destruction can happen in either order).

    I think the guy is worse than a weasel, I think he’s a wolf.

  • None of the sources would agree to speak except on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of political repercussions.

    In other words, people are afraid to buck their own government.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more succint argument for the 2nd Amendment.

  • Is this the change we were waiting for?

  • It is all in the finest Kennedy tradition;

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-sIYl5C4mY

    Actually, Obama is more restrained than Kennedy was.

  • I’m waiting for a certain college professor to come by and decry the arrogant, my-way-or-the-highway approach to domestic government.


  • One person described the administration as the most shocking “end justifies the means” group they have ever encountered. Another characterized Obama was “the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger.” Both were voters for Obama in the last election.

    You voted for him, you idiots. Now suck it up.

    The Insty, though, has some advice: “Why be afraid? You can tie this bailout up in legal knots if you’re willing to go to court. Obama needs it to succeed more than you do.”

  • I would like to point out that the cult of Thugee was destroyed by the British long ago and I doubt that Barack and Michelle invite people to the White House and garrot them as sacrifices to Kali… so there…. they can’t be thugs.  You right winger whackjobs are all the same.
    How can you question him, he’s so eloquent and smart and has such regal bearing, and his wife, she’s just awesome too!

    This has been your liberal interpretation of the term THUG required by  Reductio ad absurdum

  • What’s the end game here? To keep Chrysler going or to liquidate everything (pensions and other employee benefits?) so the creditors can get their money?

  • Oh geez, this isn’t news.  This happens all the time.  I worked in DC in the 80s and one reason I left is that this kind of thing is par for the course.  They play politics for keeps in DC, neither party is morally superior to the other.   That’s why I decided the game was too dirty for me.  Whether Reagan, Obama, Nixon or Bush, that’s DC politics.  (Allegedly Ford and Carter weren’t so bad…but that might be why they weren’t so effective).

    • Carter went to the Soviets for help in defeating Reagan in the election. That’s as bad as it gets. 

      • Don, it amazes me how you can make outlandish things up like that.  Carter actually started the defense build up and anti-Soviet policies that Reagan would continue.  “Cold War II” started with Carter, and Reagan actually spent less than Carter’s projections.   As an educator, it dismays me that people say such obviously false things in public, but at least I can work to try to make sure people understand reality and are able to discern the BS that comes from all parts of the political spectrum.  For me truth trumps partisanship and ideology.

        • Carter actually started the defense build up and anti-Soviet policies that Reagan would continue.

          Yeah, Don. Didn’t you know that Reagan just followed in Carter’s footsteps regarding the USSR? Carter and Reagan were like peas in a pod when it came with how to deal with the Soviets. Don’t believe all those things you read about detente. Just because Carter didn’t believe the USSR was a legitimate threat until the end of his term, and just because the American people didn’t trust Carter to lead our military for another 4 years after his many foreign policy victories is meaningless.

          Also, Don, you should ignore any documents from the KGB that show the Carter administration had any discussions with the Soviets about helping Carter defeat Reagan. We should only believe KGB documents when they support Erb, not when they make Carter look bad.

      • Don, it amazes me how you can make outlandish things up like that

        He’s not making it up.  This information actually came out from the memoirs of KGB agents after the Soviet Union broke up.  Carter went to the USSR ambassador and asked that the USSR make some concessions to Soviet Jews so that Carter would look better during the 1980 campaign.
        Don’t accuse someone of making stuff up if you don’t know the facts.

    • Erb Logic = If everyone is doing it, don’t complain.

    • Oh, and typical heavy handed politics is applied to other politicians. Pushing congressmen to sign your bill, etc. Obama’s heavy handed approach applies to citizens.

    • You’re a real profile in courage pal

    • LOL.

      “…the game was too dirty for me.”

      And yet you  like this President because he thinks like you.  Please make more comments, I need a few more laughs these days and I think you are getting funnier than Joe.

    • Oh geez, this isn’t news. At least not to we wise leftists who know that wielding power requires strongarming people. This happens all the time. I worked in DC in the 80s and one reason I left is that this kind of thing is par for the course. And it’s not either because I was too cowardly and incompetent to hack it in DC, so stop saying that!

      No, I can’t come up with any examples of other administrations showing such thuggery, but I don’t need to. You must rely on my godlike powers of political science, which allow me to assert anything I like, and you just have to accept it. I decree that (1) other administrations have played hardball politics, and (2) politicians strongarming each other is EXACTLY THE SAME as politicians strongarming executives in the private sector.

      They play politics for keeps in DC, neither party is morally superior to the other. Just like the US wasn’t morally superior to the Soviet Union. See, we wise leftists figured out this whole moral equivalence thing decades ago, and I’m surprised that even you dense righties have not caught up with us by now.

      Yep, both parties are just awful. That’s why I decided the game was too dirty for me. And the fact that I continuously defend leftist Democrats and demonize all Republicans except those with wise leftist tendencies such as Olympia Snowe is completely beside the point!! It’s a rhetorical point I need to make to bolster my faux-moderate credentials. Whether Reagan, Obama, Nixon or Bush, that’s DC politics. I decree it. And stop asking me to provide any evidence or examples, because that’s just not the way it works when you have godlike powers of political science! Just accept that I come here out of the goodness of my heart to lecture you dense righties on the holy writ of leftist truth. And it’s absolutely not true that I do it because of some weird compulsion to lecture to righties as a way to boost my own self-worth!! Why can’t you stop saying that!!!

  • But…But, they took an oath to defend the Constitution.

    At what point will someone actually defend the Constitution or is it just to be rolled up for interesting reading in the nations lavatories?

  • “And I’d expect the left to be just as loud in its denunciation of this sort of abuse of power as they were the last 8 years when executive power abuse was a focus of their outrage with the Bush administration.”

    Pas d’enemis a la gauche.

  • Did anyone else notice that when a Republican does it, Erb decries the arrogance and one-sided approach, but when a Democrat does it, Erb says, “Everyone does it, this is a non-issue”?