The WSJ suggests that President Obama put in a word with the perps who are attempting to criminalize political opponents in Mongolia and Ukraine.
All this strongly suggests an effort by Mr. Elbegdorj to use raw government coercion to head off a legitimate political challenger—in other words, to criminalize democratic differences. A similar drama is also unfolding in the Ukraine, where former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has been jailed on dubious corruption charges by the government of Viktor Yanukovych, who will also be showing up in Chicago this weekend.
President Obama is an unlikely ambassador for a healthy two-party system with minority rights and a loyal opposition, though. His own use of power to bully political opponents has kept Kimberly Strassel busy writing about little else lately:
- Trolling for Dirt on the President’s List : First a Romney supporter was named on an Obama campaign website. That was followed by the slimy trolling into a citizen’s private life. (May 10)
- The ‘Crucify Them’ Presidency : Al Armendariz, the EPA official who resigned in disgrace this week, was no outlier among the Obama administration’s regulators (May 3)
- The President Has a List : Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign. (April 26)
On the other hand, maybe President Obama would be just the person to explain things to Elbegdorj and Yanukovych, given that the three could easily see themselves as brothers engaged in a common struggle to consolidate power and oppress the people. Maybe Elbegdorj and Yaukovych would be more likely to listen to one of their own who hasn’t gone quite as far as they have, than to a person such as Václav Havel (if such a person could even be found anymore).