Is The White House Bent on Permanently Destroying the Republican Party?
Is President Barack Obama a political genius? Or does he have his own 'Turd Blossom' hidden somewhere in the White House? Could it possibility be the innocuous looking David Alexrod?
Consider the nomination of Chuck Hagel. A Republican, military vet, white male from the Farm Belt whose confirmation hearing has ignited the 'mother of all food fights' in the Republican Party. The internationalist/neocon wing of the party is attacking the character and competence of a fellow Republican. This isn't partisan politics, Democrat versus Republican; this is fratricide. The Republicans are going to emerge from this dog fight divided on their trump card, foreign policy. Their leadership is going to look mean spirited, blood thirsty and petty. Senator McCain, who apparently takes everything personally [he won't talk to his old friend, Jon Stewart], is going to further confirm to the American people that he was not suited for the job of President. Obama could have nominated a Democrat with the same views as Chuck Hagel and created a contrast between the parties, but instead he cleverly picked a Republican so that the Grand Old Party could rip itself to shreds.
Consider gun control. The right-wing faction in Republican Party is siding with the 'patriot movement'; no compromise on gun control, the Second Amendment is sacred doctrine. Accordingly to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are now 1,247 patriot groups in the United States arming themselves against a possible takeover of the Federal Government by a totalitarian comspiracy. These are the people who correctly view the Second Amendment as the right to civil war amendment. One of their leaders is reported to have said, "this ain't about hunting Bambi, this is about violent revolution by the militias against the central powers, just like Jefferson envisioned it.". More thoughtful members of the Republican party, like Mayor Blumberg and nearly every other Republican on either coast, realize that moms want to protect their kids and don't give a hoot about protecting a citizen's right to wage hypothetical wars of secession. But moderate Republican are no longer going to be able to hid behind pheasant and duck hunting . Gun control is going to rip the Republican Party apart as the radical wing of the party shows its true colors and delivers a whole new constituency to the Democrats -- or some new third party.
Consider taxes. President Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts in 2010 for two years [with no fight] so that the fiscal cliff would be the core issue during the 2012 campaign. He knew a full two years ago that the he could win the election by presenting a balanced approach to defict reduction that included increasing tax rates on the 'rich' and spending cuts. At the time, most political commentators viewed the two-year extension as a sign of weakness and appeasement. Only a few, like my brillant father, Joseph R. L. Sterne, former Editorial Editor of the Baltimore Sun from 1972 to 1998, pointed out Obama's strategy in a published letter to editor of the Financial Times. By creating the fiscal cliff, Obama create the context in which he could take 'read my lips, no new taxes', away from the Republicans forever as a litmus test. They have been playing this trump card since Ronald Reagan. But now, post fiscal cliff, their simple and appealing no new taxes mantra is gone, bankrupt. Their honor is besmirked by a broken pledge. Steve Rubio one of the few Senator who voted against the fiscal cliff compromise will now be able to attack Paul Ryan as an apostate in 2016. The fiscal cliff compromise will rip the Republican Party apart in the next election cycle.
When Eric Li wrote on page 38 of this month's issue of Foreign Affairs in The LIfe of Party, "A person with Barack Obama's pre-presidential professional experience would not even be the manager of a small county in China's system" he overlooked the fact that the American system rewards political genius and clearly President Barack Obama is a political genius. Or he hired one in the person of David Alexrod. 'Boy Genius'.
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