Why such a poor script for the administration’s re-election campaign?


Solicitor General Donald Verrilli…is now blamed for the defenestration in oral argument of Obama’s challenge to the Arizona immigration law. The law allows police to check the immigration status of someone stopped for other reasons. Verrilli claimed that constitutes an intrusion on the federal monopoly on immigration enforcement. He was pummeled. Why shouldn’t a state help the federal government enforce the law? “You can see it’s not selling very well,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

But Verrilli never had a chance. This was never a serious legal challenge in the first place. It was confected (and timed) purely for political effect, to highlight immigration as a campaign issue with which to portray Republicans as anti-Hispanic.

Hispanics, however, are just the beginning. The entire Obama campaign is a slice-and-dice operation, pandering to one group after another, particularly those that elected Obama in 2008 — blacks, Hispanics, women, young people — and for whom the thrill is now gone. What to do? Try fear. Create division, stir resentment, by whatever means necessary — bogus court challenges, dead-end Senate bills and a forest of straw men.

Why else would the Justice Department challenge the photo ID law in Texas? To charge Republicans with seeking to disenfranchise Hispanics and blacks, of course. But in 2008 the Supreme Court upheld a similar law from Indiana. And it wasn’t close: 6 to 3, the majority including the venerated liberal John Paul Stevens. Moreover, photo IDs were recommended by the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter. And you surely can’t get into the attorney general’s building without one.

Krauthammer goes on to discuss the WOW and other matters. Our question is: why such a poor script for a re-election campaign? There are at least two answers. The easiest thing to do would be for the administration to change course on the economy, which goes against their ideology, so all there is is attack and divide.

The second issue is very interesting. The experienced ad and campaign men in Chicago must have thought their foolish narratives, constructed and executed with the active collusion of the media, would work much better than they have. We think they are probably surprised that so many of their chosen narratives have become the object of ridicule and parody, often virtually overnight courtesy of new media outlets.

In effect, they appear to have expected that this campaign would be something of a replay of 2008, or if not that, one in which their opponents could be cowed into meekness with the assistance of the legacy media. That explains doggiegate, which resulted from the failure to do even the most rudimentary opposition research on themselves. So the script is not working well at all if you can judge by the unhinged performances on some of the cable channels. What’s next? They’ve got to up their game if they want to win this.

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