Look, we’ve known all along that Obama was going for the long haul – the brilliance of his campaign was calculating the chess match of “news cycles” all the way to Election Day, with a clear understanding that you have to have a couple bad weeks in order to return triumphant. His team had a clear understanding of “the media narrative” – the emotional yo-yo constructed by the press every 10 days or so.
The media narrative is one of the most reductive, destructive, stupid and dangerous by-products of cable news outlets needing 24 hours of bullshit to fill their schedule, but if you use it the right way, you can find yourself sitting pretty at just the right time. Now the question is: does Obama still know what he’s doing?
Supposing his moral center and long-held wishes haven’t wavered, he has supported a public option for health care since the very beginning. He knew full well that Republicans not only wouldn’t support a public option, but probably wouldn’t support anything coming from him. Of course, well-known asshole Jim DeMint (R-SC) said it best: “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” At that point, anyone with a shred of insight recognized that Republicans cared nothing for the suffering of Americans, and were only in this game to break Obama personally.
That’s when most people – especially those with a plurality in the House and Senate – would have told the G.O.P. to eat shit and die. Instead, Obama and his people continued the bipartisan route, sitting through town meetings attended by wingnuts with assault rifles, even sandbagging the public health care option (which, to some progressives, was the whole point of reform).
Despite these overtures, the Republicans continued their disinformation campaign, courted their crazies, and made sure everyone knew they considered dialogue a sign of weakness. Finally, today, the White House and Rahm Emanuel declared they’d had it and were going it solo. Cue everyone screaming “IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME!”
So the question is this: is Obama’s team still playing for the long haul? Since the Republicans are as predictable as 2nd graders with a box of chocolates, being a step ahead of them is frighteningly easy. It’s a win-win situation: Obama could have predicted their pouty intransigence, and decided to test them on it… if they give in, Obama wins, and if they don’t, Obama does it without them, while saying “I tried bipartisanship, but they wouldn’t meet me halfway.”
In either case, the Republican Party is revealed for what it has become: asinine, backwards, hypocritical enemies of progress who probably wouldn’t mind a lone gunman doing their dirty work for them. As for me, however, I’m long past patience for these miserable fucks.
We wasted valuable time listening to imbeciles like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich talk about “death panels” and “rationing” while another 150,000 Americans lost their health insurance. In the interim, the level of discourse has sunk to early hominid levels, with the Administration having to veer off-message to debunk legends better suited for snopes.com.
Slate says the best way to combat the conservative message is to pretend it doesn’t exist, but I vociferously disagree. The second some bullshit like “death panels” comes down the pike, I would have an ad ready for national television that swings back 14 times as hard, bringing up every rotten thing that particular Republican has ever said, done or fucked.
Newt Gingrich says that Obama’s plan will euthanize your grandparents? Fine. We release an ad on every major network saying “Newt Gingrich is LYING about the health care bill. But what kind of health care analysis can you expect from someone who served his ex-wife divorce papers while she was in her hospital bed suffering from cancer? All the while cheating on her with another woman WHILE IMPEACHING BILL CLINTON?”
But that’s just me. Obama and his staff know what they’re doing. Right?