Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rile up the Base for 2014

OK.  I get it.  The president's strategy for the next two years is to rile up his base for the 2014 mid-term elections.  So that's why his State of the Union speech was all about the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the minimum wage, more crony climatism, and more government planning, as in "manufacturing hubs."

Oh, and maybe some minor tweaks on Medicare, paid for by the wealthiest seniors.

If you wanted to enrage the rank-and-file opposition you couldn't do better than President Obama last night.  Just about everything he said goes against every sentiment that throbs in the heart of a conservative.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. President, what about your anti-science policies on climate change and wages?  We know, and the science is in on this, that the crude notion of carbon dioxide as the main driver of runaway climate change is questionable.  And we also know that the minimum wage creates unemployment.  I'm shocked, shocked at the blithe way in which you ignore settled science.

I listened to Thomas Hayes-Morrison on the radio yesterday.  He teaches business at his local college in Gainesville, Florida, and said simply that the folks he teaches, who are all trying to better their lives, voted for Obama because they wanted to keep their benefits.  Really, you can't blame them.  The economic outlook is cloudy and there is a big storm over the horizon.  Who wouldn't want a bit of insurance with a government benefit?

So when will those good folks be ready to say that it is time for a change?   that is the great political question.  And the answer is simple: When they are even more afraid.  When that government benefit doesn't seem like insurance at all, but a bus shelter about to be carried away by hurricane-force winds.

The president seems to be betting all his cards on getting his base out in 2014.  Really, that seems like a long shot, because in second midterms the incumbent president's party almost always loses seats.  I'd say that the best strategy would be to try to limit losses.

But what do I know.  Maybe the president in a genius and Nancy Pelosi will storm to victory in the House in 2014.

But the lesson from military history is that when you make a big gamble--like the Germans on the Western Front in early 1918--then the cost of failure in incalculable.

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