Originally posted at American Thinker blog
An ad to raise campaign funds has now made it official: Whatever applies to 300 million Americans does not and will never apply to the once-in-a-millennia exception to any rule that applies to all living entities – Barack Obama.
Based on his behavior, it’s apparent the president views himself as a man so lofty in vision and skill that he’s exempt from the decrees imposed on we the little people. Could it be that Obama perceives legalistic edicts as necessary tools to herd lowlifes? If that were not the case, why would he be mentalizing which pair of golf shoes and what cologne to include in his ditty bag for a weekend at Camp David while chiding Congress for daring to take a break in the midst of a budget crisis?
As witnessed in all he does, Obama’s attitude of exempting some while imposing on others doesn’t only apply to healthcare reform waivers or Fourth of July weekend getaways. When it comes to excusing himself, Barack Obama doesn’t let little things like silly legalities affect his decisions to do whatever he damned well pleases. Following the example of America’s “Let’s Move” creator/healthy-eating first lady who “tucked” into fried fat cakes in Botswana, Obama is relaxed when it comes to personal restrictions.
Recently, the lackadaisical Obama proved that exact point when he flouted a federal law as if it didn’t exist. The following description of Title 18, subsection 607 U.S.C. is so straightforward even a layperson could understand.
It shall be unlawful for an individual who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government, including the President, Vice President, and Members of Congress, to solicit or receive a donation of money or other thing of value in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, while in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties.
In other words, the law says Barack Obama should not solicit reelection money or donations while in any room or building where official duties are carried out – such as hawking a wheel of raffle tickets on White House premises as if it were a church dance sweepstakes for a cheap door prize.
Lest we forget, the guy so anxious to now have dinner guests left Bibi Netanyahu sitting alone in the White House meeting room while he went and had a private dinner with Michelle.
According to election law experts, in flagrant disregard for federal law President Obama filmed a fundraising video offering dinner with himself and Vice President Biden as the grand prize for having a $5 raffle ticket plucked out of a giant spinning drum.
What’s next, a car wash on the South Lawn? How about $100 for 10-minute spin on Marine One? And why stop there? A White House yard sale featuring Michelle’s old clothes could raise enough gas money to fill up the “Hope and Change 2012” campaign bus for its entire tour.
Just as French fries are regularly enjoyed by a lady insistently force-feeding the nation organic kale, Obama released himself from the rules pertaining to the solicitation of money on federal property, which in his mind probably apply exclusively to the lesser 43 men who led prior to his using the Resolute Desk as a footstool.
As for the Dinner Date with Joe and Barry ad, “The White House contends that the video is legal.” A White House spokesperson noted that the “Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued a memo in 1979 explaining that the president can solicit funds in the White House, so long as he does it in the residential portion of the of the mansion, not in a room used for official business.” The White House must have been pretty darn desperate if it went back to the time when a barrel of oil was $24 to dig up that memo.
Regardless of how the White House parses and spins, according to legal election law experts, “If the video was filmed in the Map Room, as it appears to be, then there is no question it violates the law.”
Nevertheless, similar to the way the administration defended bypassing congressional authorization under the War Powers Act before taking action in Libya, the White House is now justifying campaign ads being filmed in the Map Room. To pacify critics, sleight-of-hand could be used to switch out the placard hanging on the door that says, “For Official Activities Only” for one that reads “Home Sweet Home.”
Experts contend that by soliciting funds in the White House to finance a bid for reelection, the President is definitely bending if not outright breaking the federal law. Cleta Mitchell, member of the American Bar Association’s election law committee, spoke more plainly when addressing the fact that Barack Obama filmed his $5 “Come On-A My House” ad in the White House – she said his doing so is a blatant “criminal offense.”
What Ms. Mitchell doesn’t seem to grasp is that whatever criterion causes Obama’s actions to be defined as “criminal” is not a problem for the present occupant of the White House. The President is well aware that people may gripe, but he will never be called into account for the unlawful act of selling “Reelect Me” raffle tickets from the same room where an official visit was held with the Dalai Lama, who after being welcomed into what is now being considered the President’s ‘private residence,’ was escorted out past a pile of garbage.
It could be that President Obama has convinced himself that but once in a nation’s history comes a leader so superior to all others that placing legal boundaries upon such an individual constitutes an injustice that could result in global ramifications. Moreover, Obama could also feel that the urgent need to finish the vital work he started is so pressing that excusing himself from rules surrounding the solicitation of campaign funds on the premises of the White House is supported by that old adage: “By any means necessary.”
In other words, the “ends” of raising money to keep Obama in office justify the “means” of raising the funds illegally. Thus, if it’s necessary for Barack Obama, a man greater than the rules, to acquire reelection money by making an illegal “really big announcement” in order to “get everything done” over the next 5½ years, then so be it.