Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cunning, Extreme, or Desperate?

The question is:  When President Obama slams the Supreme Court, calls Paul Ryan's budget "thinly veiled social Darwinism" and truckles to the race-baiters over the tragic Trayvon Martin death, what is he doing?

It's like the famous line attributed to French diplomat Talleyrand after the death of the Turkish ambassador: "what did he mean by that?"

Is President Obama's divisive rhetoric a exercise in political cunning?  Is he playing a deep game that we don't even understand?

Or maybe the president is precisely the extreme leftist that conservatives have made him out to be.  That's what leftists do, from Marx on down.  They make inflammatory accusations designed to rile up the masses.

OK.  Perhaps the president is desperate and he is flinging accusations around because he sees his presidency slipping away from him.

My guess is "all of the above."  I expect that the president's people think that he has to create a strong Us vs. Them dynamic to keep his base energized.  I think that the president and his people are all pretty committed liberals that approach politics from a strongly left-wing perspective.  And I think that they know that they have a pretty hard row to hoe if they are going to win in November.

But I think the biggest reason for the president's divisive rhetoric is the word from the air-crew trainers after the US Air Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson River.  In an emergency, they said, air-crew do exactly what they are trained to do.   No big surprise there.  That's why the military is big on training: it wants its soldiers and sailors to hold together when the bullets start to fly.

And that's how to understand President Obama.  This reelection fight is the biggest thing that Barack Obama has ever faced.  The stress is unbelievable.  So he is reverting to his training as an Affirmative Action black wafted ever aloft, and as a community organizer and left-wing activist.

That's what left-wing organizers do for a living.  They rile people up and organize them into a movement.

The question is whether this approach will work for a majority of American voters.  Do they want to be organized into a left-wing movement?

For the answer to that you must stay tuned.  But win or lose, I predict that the 2012 election will be a watershed in American politics.

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