RIP Obama's "Enemies List"

Convenient e-mail tips box was a great way to rat out rivals and undesirables

By Sara K. Smith
|  Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009  |  Updated 2:45 PM EDT
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Well, that was fun while it lasted!

For an all-too-brief period of time, you could rat out anybody you wanted to the American Government: the aunt who always brings the bad chicken soup to the family Thanksgiving potluck; your stoner college roommate who spilled bong water all over your brand new Calvin Klein quilt; that suspicious-looking teen who lurks outside the local booze store hoping to entice someone into buying him a four-pack of wine coolers.

All you needed was an email address and you could send in to flag@whitehouse.gov, where top secret functionaries would process your request and dispatch top-secret officials to immediately eliminate the source of your complaint.

Obama's so-called "Enemies List" made America stronger, which was why, naturally enough, he killed it.

This List was allegedly created so that you could report to the government any misinformation or scurrilous rumors being spread about the president's healthcare plan. But people soon saw it for what it was: a quick and easy forum for alerting federal Death Panels to the existence of certain undesirables.

While many people took advantage of this convenient service, others saw it as deeply suspect, even evil:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, wrote a letter to Obama raising privacy concerns about what the senator called an “Obama monitoring program.”
“I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward e-mails critical of his policies to the White House,” Cornyn wrote. “So I urge you to cease this program immediately.”

Well thanks a lot, John Cornyn! Because of you, the Enemies List has been officially killed. And at least one family in America will have to suffer through another disastrous Thanksgiving Day potluck.

Part-time sous chef and frequent e-mailer Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.

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