April 28, 2009
Obama's Good Cop-Bad Cop ScamBy Lee Cary
President Obama may deplore enhanced interrogation techniques, but he's learned a few things from cops and criminals.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer's article entitled "The Sting, in Four Parts" may have missed one part. The good cop bad cop scam.
Krauthammer listed four parts to "The Sting":
All four parts of "The Sting" pertain to government spending and rely on the bait-and-switch move. Obama preaches fiscal responsibility and then proposes a cosmic-sized budget. For packaging purposes, people focus on his words (the bait) and miss the switch to real numbers. He uses words as a divine-like, self-actualizing language event. (Let there be light.)
The Fifth Sting is about marketing and selling. The good cop bad cop routine is an effective enhanced persuasion technique, even now being used in the torture debate. It works this way.
President Obama's flip-flopping on investigating Bush administration officials who allegedly sanctioned torture-based interrogations is subject to multiple interpretations. They include,
Or, some combination of two or more of the above, plus unnamed others.
There's another explanation of the sting underway that advances Krauthammer's article. It's this: We're witnessing the political version of the good cop bad cop scam. That explains why trying to make sense of Obama's flip-flopping based on its face is an exercise in futility.
The bad cop is the accuser, the aggressor, the mean one -- nearly out of control. The good cop is open-minded, understanding, sympathetic -- a counter force for good. In the end, the good cop controls the suspect and breaks the case.
Think back. The Obama administration began with Nancy Pelosi playing the bad cop. When the omnibus appropriations for fiscal years 2009 was stuffed full of earmarks, it was the fault of the House of Representatives. The good cop, Obama, was powerless to do anything about (sure, except veto it).
With regard to the CIA memos, the bad cops are at it again. This time it's Representative John Conyers and Senator Patrick Leahy leading the charge for hearings and investigations. The President is the good cop, feigning reluctance at being bad.
First, he leans toward going along with the bad cops. Then he makes noises like a good cop, but then shifts decision-making responsibility to the D.A. (played by Attorney General Eric Holder). Next, he says there's not much he can do except go along with the bad cops. The law's on their side, after all. It's hard to keep up! Meanwhile, the suspect twists in the wind.
In the soft interrogation style of law enforcement, the good cop bad cop goal is information or confession. So what's its purpose here?
Remember when the old media began counting the days U.S. Embassy personnel were being held hostage by "students" in Iran? Day One was November 5, 1979. For several weeks before that day, the nightly news had highlighted the plight of Cambodians fleeing from the killing fields of Pol Pot. By the tens of thousands, they huddled in huge refugee camps just across the border inside Thailand.
On November 5, the Cambodian refugees disappeared from the news cycle, never to resurface. They went from lead story, to no story, presto.
The CIA memos, soon to be accompanied by photos (swell), are sucking the oxygen out of the daily news cycle. Meanwhile, the MSM, which still steers public political attention, is ignoring critical legislative actions underway.
When we no longer need to focus on alleged CIA torture, the issue will disappear like the Cambodians. Here's how that could happen.
When opposition to pursuing prosecution reaches a tipping point, more "moderate" Congressional Democrats will go on the record against a prolonged witch hunt. They'll package it as being in the nation's best interests.
Soon thereafter, Obama will declare, with passion and finality this time, that the government must get on with doing the nation's business in these difficult economic times. Case closed. (When Nixon was pardoned a similar explanation hurt President Ford, but Obama will be the hero in an opera his administration choreographed.)
For a day or two, the bad cops will huff-and-puff, for appearances sake. The old media will proclaim Obama to be the Uniter, just as they packaged him during the campaign.
Meanwhile, as the dust is still settling, Congress will pass some sweeping legislation that advances Obama's agenda.
The Fifth Sting is the good cop bad cop scam that President Obama and the Democrat- controlled Congress are running. And, it's working.