Obama Plays Chess...and the Republican Candidates Play Checkers

The “controversy” over President Obama’s mandate that Catholic institutions provide contraceptive services to their employees would be laughable if it weren’t such a diabolically clever ploy. Because Obama knows that the minor backlash by Catholics will fade into distant memory by the time election day rolls around.

But what will not fade (thanks to Obama’s cooperative media toadies) is the utterly false, but soon-to-be indelible impression that “Republicans want to ban contraception” and that only President Obama will “stand for women” in this imaginary battle. You can already hear the water cooler conversations among the legions of politically illiterate Americans.

During the January debates in New Hampshire, ABC anchor (and steadfast Democrat shill) George Stephanopoulos was strangely attempting to get Mitt Romney to say that states had the right to ban contraception:


During Saturday’s Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, hosted by ABC, co-moderator George Stephanopoulos bizarrely repeatedly pressed candidate Mitt Romney on whether the former Massachusetts governor believes the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn a 1965 ruling that a constitutional right to privacy bars states from banning contraception.

Romney, befuddled by the off the wall nature of the question on such an issue that is not on any state’s legislative agenda, eventually observed that it was a “silly thing” for the ABC co-moderator to ask such an irrelevant question. Stephanopoulos’s odd persistence, which dragged on the discussion with Romney for more than three and a half minutes, inspired a number of boos from the audience before Ron Paul and Rick Santorum were then allowed to weigh in.

It is now clear what Stepanopoulos was doing – he was setting the stage to make contraception an “issue” in the presidential election. Since abortion is pretty much “settled law” and off the table, Democrats need something to shore up Obama’s falling support among women, and what better way than to paint Republicans as “anti-women” – a tried and true tactic of Democrats since the 1960s.

Yet no matter how many times Democrats make a crafty chess move, Republicans blindly bumble along playing checkers, and falling into one trap after another. They did it by first opposing, and then capitulating on the extension of unemployment insurance, when doing so was guaranteed to do nothing other than cement the impression that “Democrats care about the unemployed.” And they’re likely to do it again.

Then there is the debate over extending the “Payroll Tax Cuts.” Instead of fighting it right from the start, and sticking to their guns, by pointing out what it really is – a disastrous looting of the Social Security fund – Republicans will end up giving in anyway, yet gaining nothing, as they will be castigated for “not caring about the poor” if they don’t.

Meanwhile, Obama took another chess piece that previously belonged to the Republicans,  the “Bush Tax Cuts” – after demonizing them over and over as “tax cuts for the rich” Obama now cleverly warns that unless renewed, “millions of Americans will face a tax increase.” Brilliant – Obama is now the “tax cutter” and Republicans are those opposed to cuts. That’s more than great chess – it’s downright political jujitsu.

Republicans persist in denying that most of the public are not political junkies – they hear little more than smatterings of what’s going on, and most of it from overtly Obama-friendly news organizations. Ask your not-so-politically-involved friends a few simple questions:

Who is Van Jones, and what does he espouse?

What is “Fast and Furious” and who is involved in it?

Who is George Soros, and what does he support?

What is “Media Matters” and what do they actually do?

Who is Milton Friedman?

Who was Saul Alinsky, and whom did he influence?

I guarantee you that they will be unlikely to answer more than one, if any. Because while new media outlets like FOX News, talk radio, and other Internet based groups have grown dramatically, most Americans are locked into the same old habits. They sit down every night to watch their favorite mainstream media “news” program, then maybe watch “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning. And they actually think that they know what’s going on.

So, if Republicans want to have any hope of retaining their majority in the House, let alone taking the Senate and the Presidency, they had better learn to play chess, and quickly. Or the country will be facing a crisis that will make the riots in Greece seem like a schoolyard tiff.