To those who have believed, in their heart of hearts, that politics in these United States could not possibly sink any lower...
To those who have hoped that the viciousness of the 2008 campaign might never be repeated...
To those who have yearned for an honest discussion of the most serious issues facing our badly beleaguered nation, rather than a fresh descent into mudslinging and tawdriness...
I give you:
Truly, there are no words...but you know I'm not about to let that stop me!
Since the day he assumed the presidency, Barack Hussein Obama has made the evocation of divisions among Americans -- race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, you name it -- along with the nurturing of a sense of entitlement in various groups, the central tactic of his politicking. Given the degree of destruction his policies have inflicted on the United States, he could not have maintained any degree of popular support with other methods. Setting groups against one another and then pandering to one side -- sometimes, to both -- was his sole hope of keeping adequate public allegiance.
If we go by the evidence of the midterm elections, it didn't work as well as Obama hoped. But Obama, a disciple of Saul Alinsky, is a "one trick pony." Among the more famous of Alinsky's maxims was that "If you don't have an opposition, you don't have an issue." A politician who takes this to heart, as Obama clearly does, must seek out conflicts to be mined for political advantage. His setbacks have been characterized by moments when the opposition to his preferences was essentially overwhelming, as for example in the matter of the Bush-era income tax rates.
As matters have worsened for middle-class Americans, Obama and his strategists have realized that there's little hope of using divisive tactics to nullify the huge advantage that's accrued to his opponents from his economic policies. In a quadrennial year, a presidential candidate must have a majority of the middle class behind him to have a chance at victory; therefore, he cannot pursue a course that will render majority middle-class support adverse. There simply aren't enough non-middle-class special interests, racial, ethnic, or comparable groups to make up for that deficit.
The Obama campaign has compounded its difficulties with its celebrity-centered fundraising approach. This, too, has garnered unfavorable attention from all points on the compass, including some of the entertainment celebrities whom Obama has attempted to use as "his personal ATM." Yet middle-class donations to his campaign have fallen off dramatically from 2008, which has compelled him to seek whatever other sources of funding remain open and ample. An unfavorable positive-feedback loop as regards Obama's public relations has resulted.
The "donate to the campaign in lieu of a gift" notion must have struck someone in Obama's organization as a clever move. After all, Americans are notoriously uneasy about failing to honor special events -- weddings, birthdays, Christmas, etc. -- with gifts to family members and special friends. The money traditionally put to that use must have looked like an untapped vein. Trouble is, you can't insert politics into a custom as personal as gift-giving without evoking derision and contempt...and that's exactly what has eventuated.
The question I've been entertaining is how long it will take for Obama to back away from this extremely unwise tactic -- along with who will be compelled to shoulder the blame for what very well might have been Obama's own idea, given his venality and self-absorption. There will be a sacrificial lamb; Obama won't take responsibility even for knowing about this gambit, much less originating or approving of it. Besides, that bus looks hungry, and it hasn't been fed in quite a while now.