Many commentators have expressed outrage over the president criticizing Paul Ryan and demagoguing the Supreme Court. Personally, I can’t muster outrage. I think it’s just a sorry spectacle.
Somewhere along the line, Obama decided that his best path to reelection was through bare-knuckled partisan brawling. Undoubtedly, he flirted with the alternative of working with the opposition, for instance, by making William Daley chief of staff last year. But Daley is gone now, as is any pretense of collaboration.
Purely from the standpoint of reelection, this strategy makes some sense. Check out the right-track/wrong-track numbers from RealClearPolitics.
If Obama is reelected with such terrible feelings about the national condition, it will be unprecedented in the history of public opinion polling. Obviously, that would be no little feat, so what this president is doing is a classic case of misdirection.
The country needs a bad guy to blame for its problems, so day in and day out Obama is providing them with a smorgasbord of villains from which to choose: Wall Street, Big Oil, the Tea Party, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, the Supreme Court, the Catholic Church, and so on. In fact, virtually everything that comes out of this president’s mouth is about redirecting blame onto some straw man.
So were you outraged by Obama’s smarmy remarks about the Supreme Court? Too bad, he does not care. He is not after your vote. He is after the vote of the fellow in the middle of the electorate, who may never have even heard of Marbury v. Madison, but certainly knows about $4 gas. If Obama can get that guy to direct his anger at somebody else for the next seven months, then he wins reelection. This week the fall guy was the Supreme Court. Next week it will be John Boehner or Big Oil or whomever. Really, it does not matter so long as it is not the president.
This runs contrary to the very premise of the Obama candidacy from 2008….
Cost absolutely nails the Obama scenario and what it portends for our future in this terrific column.
UPDATE: Robert Stacy McCain comments here.