Do Republicans Really Have Only One Reason to Criticize the President?
Democrats and their fellow travelers (that would be Progressives for those of you taking notes) are reportedly unnerved by the performance of the Romney election machine in terms of its rapid and effective response to each Obama election gambit, from the question of who really is cruel to animals to whether Governor Romney's experience at Bain Capital qualifies him to be president.
As the campaign grinds on over the next five months, Team Obama will offer other rationalizations to paint Romney as unqualified, or a religious cultist, or perhaps another variation of vulture capitalist. As we know, politics is not for the weak of heart.
Naturally, Team Romney will assault Obama's record during his three and a half years in office, and the Obama campaign and the Obama surrogates will be hard pressed to defend that record. Guantánamo was not closed. The Fast and Furious scandal. The Solyndra debacle. His apparent ability to view his life as one extended vacation interrupted occasionally by the work he was hired to do. His duplicity in his dealings with Israel. His claims of personal courage for risking his political standing by authorizing the killing/assassination/execution of Osama bin Laden. His courageous (for the same reason) use of drone strikes in Afghanistan/Pakistan against reputed terrorists, as well as anyone else who lived in the neighborhood. He has leaked the fact that he bravely selects, as the Valkyries of Norse myth, who shall live and who shall die.
Mr. Obama, or his staff, has implied that this personal selection process is not only courageous, but unusual.
Well, it actually is unusual, at least for him. He actually had to, in effect, sign a death warrant for each of these terrorists, like every governor of every state still imposing the death penalty for certain crimes. He had to accept responsibility for the fact that these people died. He also has to accept the responsibility for the deaths caused by "collateral damage," or more accurately the deaths of civilians who were not actually guilty of any crime other than perhaps being married to the target on his hit list, or being fathered by the target, or were servants of the target. Or maybe they just lived next door.
Now any and all of these examples are fair game for Romney and his people to use against the president. Right? They are all examples of poor choices, examples of failed policies, examples of crony capitalism, examples of the hollowness of claims that Obama is not ideological, but merely pragmatic, looking for what "works."
Does anyone think that Obama, his campaign staff or his surrogates will rebut any of these points with logic, truth, supporting data or a reasoned argument? Anyone? Anyone?
Alternatively, does anyone think that charges of racism will be flying fast and furious (sorry, I just couldn't resist) at anyone that even raises these issues?
Apparently Team Obama, perhaps even Barack Obama himself, feel so strongly that they are the anointed they will inevitably believe that any criticism can only spring from a single source. Obama could never have made a mistake. He could never have had an "Oops!" moment. He never could have listened to an advisor who got it wrong. No, there is no chance that anything like that could ever happen.
So if the outcomes of all the decisions that have been made in the White House over the past three and a half years are seen as complete failures, Team Obama will undoubtedly explain that those who not only see them as failures, but have the temerity to voice their criticisms of those very failures simply fail to see the brilliance of the man.
They will also note that the failure to see Obama's brilliance could only be caused by one things and one thing only ̶ unregenerate racism. They will try the racial guilt gambit by implying that anyone who even listens to such attacks on their leader is equally guilty of racial insensitivity. Does that make sense? No, but when did sense and reason enter into a political campaign.
It might be a good thing for the electorate to expect this sort of nonsense, steel ourselves for it, and follow Saul Alinsky's playbook and ridicule it. Ridicule is a powerful tool -- especially if the object itself is ridiculous.
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for a variety of manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran, and an independent voter. Jim blogs at jimyardley.wordpress.com, or he can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.