Posted By Steve | February 26, 2013 | 1 Comment
All the modern-day presidents had their own style of governing.
Reagan used his charm, personality, and relentless optimism to win over the so-called “Reagan Democrats.” He even managed to get some things done with his adversary Tip O’Neill, who once called Reagan “the most ignorant man who had ever occupied the White House.” (And you think today’s Republicans hate Obama!)
Clinton made his famous “move to the middle” and by doing so, was able to work with people who hated him enough to try and impeach him to accomplish things like welfare reform and balance the budget.
And, alas, George W. hitched his wagon to the neo-conservatives, and governed with a fierce loyalty to their beliefs, despite what the polls showed or popular opinion. Which, while it didn’t turn out that well for us, is admirable in its own way.
And now we have President Obama. After five years, we can finally start to get a sense of his governing style. Now that he has settled into the day-to-day governing in his second term, you can start to see a definite pattern, a strategy for governing. I call it the “Obama Five Step Shuffle.”
Here’s how it works.
Step One: He either creates a crisis (Draconian sequester spending cuts) or takes advantage of one (fiscal cliff) to try and get what he wants. Peggy Noonan calls this Step “Politics by Freakout,” and Obama has it mastered.
Step Two: Obama then rides in on a white horse and outlines his plan for digging America out of this crisis, and saving “Main Street, U.S.A.” That plan, of course, is raising taxes on evil rich people. While outlining that plan, he is sure to let everyone know that his plan is all about Main Street, and any plan offered by the Republicans, even plans he hasn’t seen yet because the hasn’t actually talked to them in months, is all about bailing out “Wall Street.”
Step Three: This is the step where most Presidents roll up their sleeves and, after having set the public relations strategy, they get to the governing strategy, and actually sit down and negotiate with the other party to get something done.
But Obama hates negotiating. He hates that part of politics, which unfortunately for him is 90 percent of what politics is. So he skips that phase and sticks with the public relations strategy. He leaves Washington, and goes on a campaign-style whistle-stop tour to drum up public support for his idea (singular), hoping that will sway the polls and the Republicans will cave in to his demands.
Obama is very good at Step Three. He ha mastered the little things, like using human props. At one recent speech, he surrounded himself with firemen. At another, he surrounded himself with defense workers who might lose their job if the spending cuts go through.
Throughout the “campaign,” in every speech, he uses scare tactics, class warfare tactics, and smear tactics to make people believe that he is for the “little guy” while Republicans want to give everybody’s money to billionaires, eat small children, burn the elderly alive, and destroy the Earth.
Step Four: Obama returns to Washington, still refuses to sit down with Republicans, and starts complaining about how everything bad that has happened to this country has happened because House Republicans refuse to work with him. He pisses and moans and cries and complains and does everything short of trying to actually negotiate with the enemy.
Step Five: He sits back and hopes America is dumb enough to believe his bullshit.
So far, the Obama Five Step Shuffle seems to be working. In fact, he won reelection using it.
But let’s see if he can keep it going. I mean, it’s easy to fool people for four years. It gets a little trickier after six, seven years, when nothing seems to ever change.