Oppo research is part of the political game. But Team Obama is pulling on the latex gloves and waders to pick through the lives of private citizens whose greatest transgression is donating to the Mitt Romney campaign.

Here’s what happens when the president of the United States publicly targets a private citizen for the crime of supporting his opponent.

Frank VanderSloot is the CEO of Melaleuca Inc. The 63-year-old has run that wellness-products company for 26 years out of tiny Idaho Falls, Idaho. Last August, Mr. VanderSloot gave $1 million to Restore Our Future, the Super PAC that supports Mitt Romney.

Three weeks ago, an Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” took the extraordinary step of publicly naming and assailing eight private citizens backing Mr. Romney. Titled “Behind the curtain: a brief history of Romney’s donors,” the post accused the eight of being “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” Mr. VanderSloot was one of the eight, smeared particularly as being “litigious, combative and a bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

Think that’s bad? It gets much worse. Be sure to read the full article to get the rest of the appalling story. Friendly advice: you might want to remove all sharp objects from your immediate vicinity; this will make your blood boil.

https://twitter.com/#!/EyeDoc11/status/200906200861257728

https://twitter.com/#!/TCLowman/status/200906829797142529

https://twitter.com/#!/EJCII/status/200906939897622530

https://twitter.com/#!/tomselliott/status/200919512273526787

https://twitter.com/#!/adsteely/status/200953565022400512

https://twitter.com/#!/CuffyMeh/status/200906368188825600

Blogger and ace Twitterer Melissa Clouthier took Obama’s minions to the woodshed over this:

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200943662698471424

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200943735125704706

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200945295574581250

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200945553205506048

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200946380980752385

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200946551688929280

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200946730685038594

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200951050608443392

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200951166627094531

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200951499491258368

https://twitter.com/#!/MelissaTweets/status/200952623719915521

Melissa is absolutely right: this is governmental blackmail. And it has no place in a free society.

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