The New York Times claims its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” but when it comes to Conservative strengths or liberal failings, it’s more a case of “We’ll Get Around to it Eventually.” Though not foolproof, (cf. Walter Duranty), the motto does a good job of conveying the editorial staff’s reluctance to print any news that doesn’t fit their particular bias.
Thus, after eight months of doing little but campaigning, the Times in a front page article last Sunday, finally deciphered President Barack O’Bama’s reelection strategy. O’Bama, according to the Times, has taken a look around the Oval Office and concluded, “My work here is finished,” and done lit out for the territories. His message: “I can’t get anything done in Washington because those lousy Republicans won’t cooperate.”
It really is amazing that in three short years the President has transformed himself from a powerful force for hope and change, the avatar of a new era of post-partisan cooperation, the shepherd standing watch over his flocks while they graze cheek by jowl with lions, to an old crank muttering, “I can’t work with these people.”
According to the Times, the President’s chief advisors, having finally been evicted from Zuccotti Park, have concluded that a campaign based on driving a wedge between the wealthy and the middle class is a winning strategy. It might not be good for the country as a whole, it might result in civil unrest, urban violence and class-hatred-fueled murder and mayhem, but what the hell, if it buys this gang four more years, that might be enough. Start enough fires, and maybe you can do away with that whole democracy thing altogether.
Usually those who Occupy the White House use the power of incumbency as a weapon against those who would seek to evict them. The current Occupier plans to run as an outsider, as a grubbing have-not, as the chief defecator at the Occupy Anytown encampment. In the past Presidents who didn’t face a primary challenge remained in the White House, acting like a President, thereby driving home the difference between themselves and the little men who would presume to take their place. They would use the incumbency to distract people from the other candidates.
This is the first time in American history that a sitting President, let alone one who in a fit of modesty allows the possibility that two or three others might have been more impressive, has used the campaign to distract people from the fact that he is the incumbent. He has appropriated the language of the Occupation Class Warriors, and painted his opponents, or “enemies” as he has been known to described those with whom he disagrees, as the Party of the 1%.
This person currently Occupying the White House claims to represent the other 99% when in fact he knows he is the President of perhaps 20% of the population. He was elected to espouse the dreams and further the goals of those who seek the destruction of the American economy and the utter dismantling of American power and influence in the world. These are his true constituents, but by trundling out his Hope and Change wagon he hopes to convince enough of the rest of us that he still is on our side. He doesn’t have to fool all the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time, he just needs too fool enough of the people one more time so he can get back to work and finish the job.