In 1971, America was introduced to President Richard Nixon’s “Enemies List.” The President had instructed staff to keep a list of political opponents, and as then-White House Counsel John Dean described it, they would “use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”

On the list were notable figures such as Paul Newman (actor), Charles Dyson (businessman), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), NPR newsman Daniel Schorr, Morton Halperin, a foreign policy expert and father to political journalist Mark Halperin, and others. This secret list was the subject of justifiable scorn in the midst of the Watergate scandal.

In 2012, President Obama’s campaign has managed to make Nixon’s list look quaint, legitimate and even routine. This week, on the president’s ominous “Truth Team“ campaign website, his staff listed the names of eight of his likely opponent’s donors.

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