The creation of Open for Questions, a new White House website allowing the "public" to vote on questions they want to hear asked is yet another step by the Obama Administration away from the press and toward keeping Obama in his own bubble of celebrity coverage and rigged social networking.
by an employee of a firm working on Obama's campaign as a "viral video" and featuring a tyrannical Hillary Clinton confronted by an Obama supporter, in a remake of a famous Apple TV commercial. Obama denied having anything to do with the attack ad, and the lapdog media eagerly lapped up his absurd claim that he lacked the resources to produce the ad.
This was to be a pattern for the campaign. Obama adeptly exploited social networking, but it was a rigged shell game. Back in July of last year I noted that Obama's online support was stacked with phony names, multiple identities and foreigners posing as Americans while claiming at once to be Catholics, Jews, Asian-Americans, Iowa Latinos and DC Lawyers.
It is now clear that Obama's campaign tactics are becoming a permanent part of his administration. And though the press has eagerly supported him, with support growing shaky during the economic downturn, Obama is sidelining the press, avoiding open questions and pushing more of his rigged social networking shell game.
Obama has lately begun talking about needing to address the public without the "filter" of the press corps. Naturally what that really means is he wants one way communication with the public, without getting any actual questions in return. It's behind his constant TV appearances, pre-empting prime time programming and going on Leno. However America isn't quite ready for a celebrity version of Castro or Kim Jong Il.
Social networking efforts such as Open for Questions give Obama the illusion of discarding the press in favor of a populist social media approach to the public. Why put up with the stuffy old press when anyone can ask and vote on questions that Obama himself 'may' answer? The answer of course is that a shell game is rigged so that the house always wins. Obama's social networking is a shell game, and the White House trying to displace the press with questions from a website that they control, selected through a rigged process by Obama's own supporters is not democracy or transparency. Instead it's a digital version of Chavezocracy.
Because as Obama has demonstrated time and time again, the only people allowed to ask him questions in "open forums", are his own supporters. So too the Washington Post identified the five named people who asked Obama questions as the "White House Town Hall" as being Obama supporters and donors... one even served as an advisor on Obama's platform committee That is Obama's idea of an "open forum", one in which his supporters ask him tough questions such as "I want to know more about health care". This of course is nothing but a charade masquerading as the democracy of a town hall meeting. But it's typical of Obama's people to use the language of democracy to disguise their carefully controlled echo chamber.
Obama has repeatedly demonstrated his paranoia when it comes to the press, kicking reporters from newspapers that did not endorse him off his campaign plane, turning press conferences into a charade favoring representatives of far left wing publications such as the Huffington Post and even locking the press out of an event in which he received an award from a newspaper association. Behind those actions is a control freak, who despite the media's adoration for him, cannot trust what he does not completely control.
Obama's campaign succeeded by playing one of many shell games with democracy, substituting manufactured populism for authentic debate. And as the campaign goes, so goes the administration, except that the administration is taking the campaign's tactics and multiplying them several times over. If Obama succeeds, America will have traded in open government for the rule of a mob of supporters at the gates of government in a charade reminiscent of the dying days of the Roman Empire.