In Roanoke, Virginia recently, the President explained to an enthusiastic crowd that his Republican opponents' "basic theory is, if wealthy investors are doing well then everybody does well. So if we spend trillions of dollars on more tax cuts mostly for the wealthy, that that's somehow going to create jobs, even if we have to pay for it by gutting education and gutting job-training programs and gutting transportation projects, and maybe even seeing middle-class folks have a higher tax burden."
Some call this electoral snake oil an example of Obama's economic illiteracy -- dutifully noting that, historically, lower taxes raise more revenues to cover what Democrats like to call "investments" in education, job training, transportation, etc. Others identify it as proof of Obama's essential hostility to success, economic freedom and the market economy. Some simply call it lies. Regardless -- however ignorant, destructive or mendacious Obama's campaign pronouncements are, at least they are only words. Much worse are the cynical policies he has adopted to discomfit his opponents and aid his re-election.
The Republic has survived, and probably can continue to survive liars, misguided ideologues and incompetents in high office, but Obama does not stop at flawed logic or false assertion. He has shown himself so irresponsible and so heedless of the best interests of our economy, social fabric, and security that he has unleashed recently a wave of destructive policies and administrative practices aimed at manipulating and mobilizing the frightened, the dispirited, the resentful and the ignorant to help return him to office. Overheated campaign rhetoric may vanish after Election Day like noxious fumes, but the corrosive effects of Obama's cynical campaigning through exploiting his executive authority will remain. He is with these measures fostering distrust and hardening divisions among us, and raising the friction levels and political cost that will attend any effort to reverse his policies, thereby making the job of recovery and restoration that much more difficult even if we do finally rid ourselves of him.
Best known, perhaps, is the way the Administration misuses Obama's role as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces to burnish his image at the expense of revealing sources and methods best kept secret. But they are equally heedless of consequences in a number of domestic initiatives aimed at re-election. Obama, Pflouffe, Axelrod & Co. clearly plan to win by making people fear Romney, fear Paul Ryan and his plan, and fear the reform governors leading the way to the renewal of our economy and limited, constitutional government. What better way to drive the message of fear home than, through sometimes questionable means, seeming actually to bestow new largess on the miserable victims of three years of transformative Hope and Change, and reinforce the protected status of presumed supporters from teacher unions to illegal aliens?
Furthermore, the Obama campaign knows that by maneuvering responsible opponents into resisting re-election campaign-based policies like the legally questionable attempt to permit governors to waive the work requirement for Welfare recipients, or continuing shamelessly to posture on voter identification procedures, they provide seeming material proof for the fears that are the foundation of the campaign. Thus, it matters little whether Obama delivers on the welfare gambit, or whether the Feds prevail in the voter ID lawsuits against states: more shiny free stuff and more protected status have been dangled to the targeted suckers, and if it gets snatched away, well that is the Republicans' fault. Likewise, whether governors embrace Medicaid expansion and decide to go ahead with setting up insurance exchanges now, or wait for the election results is irrelevant to the Obama campaign; what matters is that he can use the opposition to misguided and irresponsible initiatives as concrete examples of Republican perfidy -- blocking the access of the uninsured to the nirvana which is ObamaCare, and robbing the poor of sustenance and the right to vote.
Right now the opposition is thrashing around in the net of distraction the Obama campaign has woven. Sure, calling Mitt Romney a felon is like comparing Ward Cleaver to Jerry Sandusky. Sure, logically "You didn't build that" is ridiculous, and it has yet to be proven that the best roads, sewers and other public goods just standing there alone are very productive -- look at beautiful downtown Pyongyang. But when the only game Republicans have besides endless repetition of the claim to be job creation experts interspersed with "ObamaCare delenda est" are commentaries on the latest inane pronunciamento from Obama or Debbie Wasserman Schultz, they are fighting on the ground Obama has chosen -- words-- when it is, of course, Obama's deeds that should be the point of this electoral exercise. A good place to begin is calling Obama out on the most shameless use of presidential authority and prerogatives in support of a re-election campaign in modern memory.