I seem to be dragging the Talleyrand quote out a little too much. But it applies to so much of the Obama administration's policies that I just can't help myself. So let's tell it like it is.
The Obama administration's policy on demonizing its enemies, which clearly comes right from the top, is worse than a crime, it's a blunder. And that comes through loud and clear in Krauthammer's Friday column about the Obamites' war on their opponents, particularly FoxNews. He paraphrases Madison:
Madison argued that the safety of a great republic, its defense against tyranny, requires the contest between factions or interests... They would help guarantee liberty by checking and balancing and restraining each other -- and an otherwise imperious government.
Let's sharpen his analysis. To adapt another European thinker, Clausewitz: Politics is civil war by other means. Each side of the partisan divide, deep down, wonders what the other side would do when push comes to shove. Liberals were paranoid about Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. They worried about what Dick Cheney was doing behind the scenes.
That's why it's important for the president to work hard at seeming to be fair with his opponents. It keeps the paranoid fears down to a low rumble. And, liberals, despite what your leaders told you, George W. Bush worked pretty hard at that.
President Obama is working on seeming fair to his opponents. In fact he is clearly targeting his opponents with the full power of the US government. The problem with that, as with any all-out offensive, is what do you do for an encore? Suppose President Obama manages to cow the opposition and the economy still goes south? Suppose that the war in Afghanistan continues to spiral downwards? How do you deal with your opponents when you have already unleashed the full power of the government against them?
With politics as with armies, you only really get one chance, because once you commit your army to battle you use it up. You come out of the battle with an army that is much weaker than what you started out with.
Here we are after nine months of the Obama administration and already the Obama agenda is busted. Americans are divided on health care. They are "green" but not if it means sharply higher energy costs. They stood by when the Obama administration passed a "stimulus" bill that mostly stimulated its supporters, but they didn't like it. The fact is that after a mere nine months, the Obama mandate is busted.
So we go back to the correlation of presential election forces.
|Republican Margin of Victory/Defeat: Selected Demographic Groups -- 1996-2008|
We can already start to imagine what the numbers will look like in 2012. White men will be back to +25, or maybe more. White women will be up to +15. African Americans will be at +90 but theturnout will be way down.
The big question will be Hispanics. I'd guess that Obama will be lucky to get -25.
So why would President Obama and his troops be out there making enemies? I always thought that the #1 priority of a politician was: Don't make enemies. President Obama seems to be awfully careless about this. Maybe it didn't matter in the one-party city of Chicago.
But what do I know? But my guess is that the Obama all-out campaign against its opponents is worse than a crime, it's a blunder.