Obama framing the election narrative
Desperate to avoid responsibility for the economy wrought by Stimulus-based Obamanomics, the Obama re-election organization is framing the GOP as responsible for preventing him from fixing things. Helped along by Mitch ("The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president") McConnell, the media are helping pin the tail on the elephant.
This is an entirely false impression, as demonstrated by Matt Mackowiak in the New York Post:
President Obama last week blasted Congress for refusing to "act." He's right; it won't. But Obama ought to focus the blame where it really belongs: on his own party. Because it's the Democrats in Congress who are causing gridlock -- intentionally -- especially those in the Senate, which has been in Democratic hands for nearly five years now. (snip)
The only significant legislation the Senate has passed this year is so-called "must pass" bills (debt-ceiling hike, continuing resolutions to prevent a government shutdown, etc.). No legislation has passed to counter the unemployment crisis. None.
Fact is, Reid has singlehandedly made 2011 the least productive year in the Senate since before 1989, the earliest year for which statistics are available. (snip)
The House Majority Leader's Office reports that it has taken 800 roll-call votes through Oct. 14. Under Democratic leadership, it took just 565 by that date last year.
The GOP needs to hit back. Unfortunately, all eyes are on the GOP primary race, and the record of Congress has not been an issue so far.
A fascinating historical perspective on the practice of blaming one's leadership failures on one's predecessor is provided by Ion Mihel Pacepa in PJ Media, the former head of Romania's Secret Police under Ceausescu, and the highest ranking defector from the old Soviet bloc. I lived through the leaking of Khrushchev's criticisms of Stalin, and was fascinated by the inside story, and Pacepa's personal role in laundering the memo via the Mossad and CIA, on its way to the New York Times, which broke the story.
In the sanctum sanctorum of the former Soviet empire, to which I once belonged, finding a scapegoat for the mistakes of a country's leader was called "political necrophagy." Although Marxism proclaimed the deciding role in history to be played by "the people," the Marxists sitting on the Kremlin throne believed that only the leader counted. From the lips of Khrushchev himself, I used to hear over and over: "Change the public image of the leader, and you change history."
Hat tip: Ed Lasky
Update -- Richard Baehr writes:
Obama has very successfully changed the narrative in two months from deficits/ debt reduction to inequality, an issue that resonates and on which he can pull studies off the shelf to demonstrate the "problem." What he has done with GOP is target the party as defenders of the richest Americans. This is a much bigger deal than attacking them as the party that will do nothing. And based on some poll numbers I have looked at, it is working. His approval is up, approval for GOP is down. The OWS crows may be a bunch of leftist losers and hanger ones, and they may be wearing out their welcome, but the issue they raised, the 1% versus 99%, seems to be resonating.