It is only mid-June, and we have already had many "October Surprises."
First came Contraception/Abortion Edition. Sure, the Catholic bishops and conservatives were upset, but "How many divisions does the Pope have"? Hence, "Feminists, Planned Parenthood, Nutroots, Healthcare Base: Check."
Next came the Gay Marriage Evolution Edition. Sure, many religious blacks were upset, but they won't vote for Romney:
Romney, running against the first black president, has no chance of winning most African-American voters.
Besides, they've got MSNBC, CNN, and the Race Card:
A Politico reporter has suggested that racism was behind Neil Munro's questioning of President Obama at the White House yesterday. Saying "it's very, very difficult to place race outside of this context," the Politico's Joe Williams claimed racially-motivated disrespect of PBO is part of a pattern among conservatives, citing Rep. Joe Wilson, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, and the Tea Party.
Hence, "Gays, Gay Donors, Hollywood, Youths: Check"
Next came the Non-Amnesty Amnesty Edition. Sure, constitutionalists, conservatives, and non-Hispanics were upset, but the president has little fear of cowardly Republican whites:
For Barack Obama doesn't expect to win the 2012 election. He expects the Republican candidate to lose it!
He hopes to face another weak sister, more terrified at the prospect of being labeled racist than of the wholesale destruction a Chicago thug is wreaking on his country.
Three years ago, John McCain's cowardice and pathetically unrelenting deference to the skin color of his opponent drove more conservative voters from the polls than Black Panthers with night sticks.
And it is just that sort of fear Obama is counting on in 2012. A Republican candidate willing to speak plainly of the villainy and malefaction of our Marxist President, represent the will of voters and do battle for the well-being of the nation will win the election, probably by a sizeable margin.
Or of impeachment by Republicans:
Of course, he'll get away with it... if you think the gutless Republicans in the House actually represent the interests of their native born constituents and will introduce articles of impeachment, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you....
Mr. Obama and his team are in a panic and not just a -- headline of the decade -- His-Panic. Rush (members only) spent a lot of time Friday on the subject:
You know what surprises me about this? He's using up his political ammo pretty early here. Now, I know he's gonna go talk to La Raza or some Latino group next week, but I'm telling you what. If you had any doubt that people are paying attention, forget it. They obviously are. The president is in full panic mode. He's not keeping his powder dry until the fall. He's not. Why? Because people are paying attention, and we don't like what we are seeing or what we are getting from Obama.
First the churches, then women, then Bain Capital, then gays, and now this. They're just throwing everything up against the wall, hoping something's gonna stick out there. He's getting killed in the media over this speech yesterday. (We've got the audio sound bites.) I mean, he's being literally reamed over the speech. And I'll tell you what's coming next. Here we go. We just went through the brief overview. First, War on Churches. Second, create (as part of it) a phony Republican War on Women. And then go after Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. Then come out for gay marriage.
And now: Don't deport the young illegals; give 'em work permits.
There is also talk of legalizing marijuana:
This year there's another incumbent president with modest approval ratings who could turn out his base with controversial ballot measures. But this time, the issue features no biblical or scatological imagery. In 2012, voters in swing states will decide whether they'll allow their fellow citizens to bear joints. Unlike the gay marriage votes, there's no indication that Obama's re-election team is behind any of the pot legalization initiatives, but there are Democrats who are hoping that it will boost turnout among weed's biggest fans: young people.
Getting more young people to vote has long been a Democratic fantasy, since they tend to vote so heavily Democratic. But past attempts to bong the vote have been disappointing, in part because stoners aren't the group anyone would most count on to bother filling out a ballot. Ahead of the 2010 midterms, The Wall Street Journal ran the story, "Democrats Look to Cultivate Pot Vote in 2012," noting that California's pot-legalizing Proposition 19 was being studied to see if similar measures "could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election." But exit polls that year showed no spike in young voter turnout, and marijuana legalization was the top issue for just 1 in 10 voters, the Los Angeles Times reported. (Also: Californians ended up voting down Prop. 19.) Still, there were hopeful signs: 64 percent of voters 18-to-24 supported it, and 52 percent of voters 25-to-29 did. In March, the pro-legalization site Just Say Now suggested that the presidential election will draw more young people to the polls, and they'll vote for pot legalization while they're there
So that would be the Youth Edition. Sure, that would upset a lot of the same folks upset at the earlier editions, and the same meek responses and non-consequences would ensue.
And yet, withal, one key Democratic constituency has yet to have its edition, and it is one that Team Obama is having troubles with because of their leader's apparent antipathy towards -- Jews.
Does he really house that antipathy? Who really knows? Any reader still here will have made a judgment on the issue some time ago.
But it is certainly not unreasonable to expect some overture to recapture the support of Jewish voters beyond conferring a high award to Shimon Peres.
Hence, despite denials:
Mr. Peres raised another bit of friction during his White House visit by presenting Mr. Obama with a petition with 75,000 signatures urging the release of Jonathan Pollard, the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst serving a life sentence in federal prison for passing classified secrets to Israel.
Mr. Pollard's health is failing, but a White House spokesman said Wednesday that Mr. Obama was unlikely to grant Pollard clemency.
"Our position has not changed and will not change today," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. (emphasis the author's)
Whether any of these tensions will affect Mr. Obama's re-election effort is difficult to assess. With both camps expecting a close election, even a small swing among Jewish voters could make a difference in battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohi
But it is not unreasonable to anticipate a Pollard Edition, especially given the cover that Peres has offered up with his very public appeal and the rising support of Jewish voters for Romney:
The Republican Jewish Coalition notes the 29% of Jewish voters who support Romney, represents the "highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years." RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said that if the numbers hold in November, they would spell "a disaster" for Obama and his party.
The Pollard case is a difficult one, and few understand it completely since many details are still classified, but the issue is certain to come up before November 6.
Given the recent nimbleness shown by the Romney camp, one can hope that they might steal a page from Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's playbook and beat their enemies to the punch. Jackson was famous for leading his troops on overnight forced marches, and, following his untimely death from friendly fire at Chancellorsville, he was apocryphally said to have made such a march, thereby beating St. Peter to the Pearly Gates.
Romney has once before stated his position on the issue:
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney revealed this week that he would be "open to examining" the case of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard if he is elected president of the United States, the Republican candidate said in a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
He should find an opportunity soon to iterate that position, and then he should reiterate it at every opportunity before his unprincipled opponent does something that goes against his apparent grain.
As Hunter S. Thompson said:
Desperate men do desperate things, and stupid men do stupid things. We are in for a desperately stupid summer.
And there is no question that Mr. Obama is desperate and, some would say, ...
And it's summer.