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    Barack Got Enemy

    Barack Got Enemy

    What is it with this President? Obama has an obsessive need to find enemies against whom to campaign. When Obama’s presidency is over, hopefully in four years (but likely eight years) there will be two sets of psychologists: Those who provide therapy to the American population which has seen its life savings and economic system destroyed, and those who analyze the psychosis of the Demonizer-in-Chief.

    During the presidential campaign, Obama singled out the wealthiest 5% of Americans as the object of his scorn:

    The Obama campaign contended that the overwhelming majority of Americans would not see a tax increase under his plan, only the wealthiest 5% or so.

    Time and again, the wealthiest 5% were singled out in Obama’s campaign as an enemy against whom the rest of America could rally. It was a successful tactic mathematically.

    Attacking the wealthiest 5% was enough to get Obama elected, but not enough to get most Americans to agree to socialize the economy by paying for free health care and education for everyone through college. So Obama needed to refine his attack to an even narrower subset of the population, the top 2%:

    President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it. On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end “tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans,” and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won’t see their taxes increased by “one single dime.”

    But even attacking the top 2% isn’t enough to convince Americans to adopt a command economy, so now Obama has invoked the dreaded lobbyists:

    … I know these steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business, and I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak.

    My message to them is this: So am I.

    Oh, please. Obama’s multi-trillion dollar spending spree is a lobbyist’s wet dream. More money will be made by more lobbyists divvying up this pork than in the collective history of the United States.

    Attacking lobbyists is not the point of Obama’s latest ploy. Rather, painting anyone who opposes him as a “lobbyist” is the point. In attacking the “lobbyists” Obama is doing what he did on the issue of race during the campaign: Anyone who opposes me doesn’t just have a different opinion, they are evil and dangerous to the rest of you. This tactic simultaneously generates support among the majority and silences the minority.

    Other presidents have been accused of using “enemies” as a political rallying point. Almost invariably, however, these enemies have been foreign (the “evil empire” and “axis of evil”). Obama is the first president “in my adult life” to set American against American, to create enemies at home as a political rallying point, to create a climate in which law-abiding American citizens are singled out as being worthy of attack.

    Yep, Barack has met the enemy, and he is us.

    ———————————————————–
    For more on this, check out my prior posts The Revolt of the Kulaks Has Begun, The Last Bull Capitulates and Not Too Early For “I Told You So”.

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    Comments


    Not an issue of sensitivity, hearing, or bad intent. Reality is that Obama needs to create an enemy and a climate of fear to push through a restructuring of the economy that most people don’t want, as Rahmbo recognized in his comments about not letting a good crisis go to waste. Unfortunately, Obama can’t squeeze enough out of that enemy to pay for his plans, and even if he could, we would not be better off as an economy, unless you like the French model of confiscatory taxation, high unemployment, and massive under-employment. Your taxation bias shows through in the comment that “Obama realizes that no tax revenues can be raised from any class except the wealthy without greatly dampening consumption.” History shows that the best way to raise revenue is to lower tax rates so that tax rates do not distort economic activity.

    I don’t know why anyone is surprised by Obama’s use of this tactic. He was a student of Alinsky whose “Rules For Radicals” number twelve reads:

    “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.) “

    “History shows that the best way to raise revenue is to lower tax rates so that tax rates do not distort economic activity.”

    But when you have a largely healthy economy – but a large Federal Debt – doesn’t cutting tax rates distort economic activity? I’ve yet to see a tax cut “raise tax revenues” (as some point out has happened in the past) without a concurrent increase in the deficit. This has always seemed a lot to me like giving someone a dollar, having them give you 50 cents back, and then trumpeting that you’ve made 50 cents more in revenues. Great for hype – not so great for improving your balance sheet.

    RonClark. I assume the Professor is referring to a static or reduced spending model when he makes his claim. I am not sure that has happened in recent history either, hence the lack of the example you seek.

    Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:

    RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

    RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    Questions?


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