The problem with Obama’s divide-and-conquer strategy

April 6, 2012

Jay Cost explains:

The country needs a bad guy to blame for its problems, so day in and day out Obama is providing them with a smorgasbord of villains from which to choose: Wall Street, Big Oil, the Tea Party, Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh, the Supreme Court, the Catholic Church, and so on. In fact, virtually everything that comes out of this president’s mouth is about redirecting blame onto some straw man.

This is why Obama does not care if his attacks are unfair, untrue, unoriginal, unseemly, or whatever. He has only one goal: The state of the union stinks right now, and I must keep that stench off me.


This strategy might get him reelected, but for what greater purpose? Barack Obama intends to break the country into fragments by shamelessly playing one group off another, in the hope that by November his share of the pieces will be just a touch larger than the opposition’s. But how can he possibly put those pieces back together again, should he be victorious?

Our system is designed to prevent big changes absent a broad consensus, which Obama has little hope of achieving with this approach. He will not get enough Democrats in Congress to replay 2009-2010, meaning that he will have to work with Republicans, the very people he is now villainizing. Does he think the sore feelings he has created will simply disappear? They won’t. When you lose somebody’s trust, you almost never get it back.

Harry Truman employed the same, rotten strategy to win reelection in 1948; he succeeded at the ballot box, but his Fair Deal largely stalled in the Congress in 1949. Unsurprisingly, after months of dividing the people with class warfare rhetoric, Truman was unable to bring them back together to govern.

Barack Obama should expect nothing more, and I cannot help but marvel at how diminished he is now relative to the heights of just 3 years ago.

9 Responses to The problem with Obama’s divide-and-conquer strategy

  1. John on April 6, 2012 at 7:21 am

    He doesn’t think he needs to “put the pieces back together again.” He has spent three plus years dividing the country into segments and still implimenting his socialist agenda, so why would four more years be any different. Hint…he will have “more flexibility” after the election because then he will be unfettered from any electoral accountability.

  2. MikeN on April 6, 2012 at 7:31 am

    It’s a strategy that has worked well for Mitt Romney, who is supported by maybe a third of the Republican electorate.

  3. Aaron on April 6, 2012 at 7:40 am

    When you lose somebody’s trust, you almost never get it back.

    That’s why Obama and the Democrat Party, as a whole, is on a direct path to repeat the horrific defeat that they took in 2010. Only this time, it’s becoming ever more likely that the Dims will lose both congress and the whitehouse.

    Hopefully, there will be enough Tea Party conservatives elected to wag the dog and force Mittens into a Clinton-like roll where he’s forced to deal with actual conservatives and pass their legislation even though he doesn’t agree with it.

  4. anonymous un-RINO on April 6, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Yeah, you can substitute “Willard” for “Obama” in Cost’s column, and you’d be describing the exact primary campaign Willard’s been running. It’s a constant negative, smearing blowtorch, fully-funded by Goldman Sachs.

    Willard = Obambi… in other words. They’re doing the exact same things, and are funded by the exact same people.

    In the general, I’d expect Obambi to piggy back onto Willard’s blowtorch strategy, as that would allow him to leverage Willard’s blowtorched fragmentation. You allow Willard’s previous divisiveness to feed directly into your own strategy, in other words. You help Willard depress his OWN voters’ enthusiasm, by extending the Willardian stupidity right on into the general election. It’s brilliant.

    Layer on a bit of hopey changey reprise, and Obambi’s home free. You can almost picture Obambi on election night, sorta like Bush in 2004, thanking everybody who helped him get reelected. “I’d like to thank all the dumbass RINOs for sending up this lying progressive crapweasel Willard. We were all worried down at Obambi HQ, but you idiots came through for us, and sent up a Kerry clone. Thank you all…we couldn’t have done it without you.”

  5. enquiring minds on April 6, 2012 at 8:16 am

    So can we then conclude that you will be voting for Obama?

    One thing we know for sure–you will be complaining and babbling endlessly and incoherently.

    Poli is lucky to have you burrowed into his blog like a tick.

  6. anonymous un-RINO on April 6, 2012 at 8:30 am

    …sorta like you butthurt RINO sockpuppets then, eh?

  7. SteveP on April 6, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Cost assumes that Obama wants to put the pieces back together. He doesn’t. His goal is the annihilation of America.
    I don’t understand why people refuse to see what’s right in front of them. Obama told us what he wanted to do repeatedly during his first election campaign, and even before, and he’s been working diligently and openly to accomplish it the whole time. He’s getting away with treason because the people are too blind or too cowed to do anything about it.

  8. MikeN on April 6, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Romney has said that Augusta should admit women members. He is going to agree with Obama on everything except a few points where he knows polls are strongly in his favor. Make him spend it all Rick!

  9. ATTILA on April 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Rome is burning, and all these dumb ass politicos can do is distract us with this superfluous bullshit. Romney is dumb enough to fall for it. He isn’t even smart enough to turn it around on the reporters.

    The average female couldn’t care less,but romney is afraid of the anti woman lable. Obammer will beat him like a red headed step child on this kind of crap unless he wises up. He should know that the kenyan fraud will use every distraction to cover up the glaring crap about to befall the country.