Obama’s Nativist Scare Tactics May Backfire on Him

President Obama has made the baseless claim that the Chamber of Commerce is spending foreign money on political campaigns. This claim was widely disseminated to the general public through a hysterical ad campaign by the Democratic National Committee accusing the Chamber of Commerce of “stealing our democracy” and featuring an “ominous shot of Chinese currency,” suggesting that Chinese people are trying to take over America. Not only was this claim this untrue, but stoking nativism may backfire on Obama politically, since liberal interest groups that back Obama, like unions, receive large amounts of foreign money, and Obama himself has used regulations and subsidies to ship American jobs overseas.

As one writer notes in The Washington Post, “Labor unions are spending millions to tar Republican candidates — and they take in far more foreign cash than the Chamber.” “The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is spending lavishly to elect Democrats. . . takes in nearly $9.2 million per year from foreign nationals, compared to the mere “$100,000,” none of it used for political campaigns, that the Chamber “receives from its affiliates abroad” — less than 1/20th of 1 percent of the Chamber’s budget. Moreover, most foreign PAC money is going to Democrats, not Republicans.

And Obama’s policies have shipped American jobs overseas. Of the green-jobs funding contained in the $800 billion stimulus package, 79 percent went to foreign firms, aggravating the nation’s trade deficit. Meanwhile, the administration has paid $150 million a year to Brazilian cotton farmers, and supported a cap-and-trade global warming bill that would drive hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas.  (Although Obama and other backers of this “cap-and-trade” concept claim it will cut greenhouse gas emissions, it may perversely increase them by driving industry abroad to countries with fewer environmental regulations, resulting in dirtier air, and damage to forests and water supplies.)  Stoking anti-foreign sentiment may further increase public outrage over administration policies that help foreigners at the expense of Americans — like its backdoor bailouts of foreign banks, and the $6 billion Obama spent bailing out socialist Greece.

Obama’s attacks on foreign money may also remind Americans of Obama’s own 2008 receipt of foreign campaign contributions, which resulted from his campaign’s deliberate disabling of computer software that would have thwarted such contributions, as The Wall Street Journal‘s John Fund and others have pointed out: “As the Washington Post reported, the Obama campaign had turned off its Address Verification System, or AVS, at its Web site. That program should have stopped contributions coming in from citizens of foreign countries — a violation of federal law. Clearly, the Obama campaign’s decision to abandon filters had consequences — the campaign was forced to refund $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip.”