Will Obama Change His Attitude Toward the Tea Party?
The White House suggestion box must be chock full of advice about the elusive Tea Party. Ever since the "astroturf" "racist" "terrorists " showed up for a 9/12/09 rally in DC, the President's advisers have been thumbing through dog-eared copies of Alinsky's playbook trying to figure out how to neutralize smiling, hearty, determined middle-aged taxpayers carrying lawn chairs.
Last week after the GOP debate, David Axelrod accused the Republican contenders of "pledging allegiance to the tea party." A new DNC video utilizes a "guilt by association" tactic saying "Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates are "embracing extreme tea party policies." Obama's PR people hope to lump all GOP candidates together under the tea party banner in an effort to finally freeze the target.
But now with Obama's base of far-left radicals, blacks, white middle-class independents and millennials deserting him his hopes for a second term are fading. Can he continue to blame innocent taxpayers without seeming like a 'Mr. Nasty' all the time? Is he capable of establishing a congenial rapport with the Tea Party? Mr. Obama's recent encounter with Iowa tea party members suggests he's testing the waters. Who can remember the last time the President met with tea partiers in a face-to-face exchange? Of course the rare conversation ended with the President telling Iowa activist Ryan Rhodes "it doesn't sound like you are listening." No surprise there.
New age guru and Obama friend Deepak Chopra thinks the President should consider all of his options when it comes to the grass roots patriots. In a Huffington Post article he outlines the pros and cons of 'playing nice' with the tea party.
Pro: Intolerance is never defeated by equal intolerance on the other side. Anger at the right wing is just as irrational as the right's hatred of progressivism. Bridging divisions is ultimately the only way forward, and if now isn't the right time to attempt that, then there never will be a right time.
Con: An intolerant faction like the Tea Party cannot be tolerated. They must be stopped with harsh, combative measures. A crazy minority is running rough shod over the executive branch and shows no sign of relenting. .. bad guys should be named in public and opposed with all necessary force. Compromise is a nice word for lack of leadership, and lack of leadership will sink us all.
In his conclusion Chopra suggests Obama should try the first approach and reconcile with American patriots stating the "way out of a burning building isn't to call for more kerosene."
Will team Obama abandon their losing 2-year strategy of demonizing the Tea Party and follow Chopra's bridge-building philosophy?