Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Will Citizen's United Backfire?

We have this:

The guy who owns TDAmeritrade and the Chicago Cubs - you know a reg'lar Murican - is going to unleash a bevy of Jeremiah Wright ads right before the election.

Jeremiah Wright was not relevant in and of himself, but rather how would Obama respond to the revelation that his minister said some controversial and perhaps offensive stuff.  Obama responded with a remarkable speech on race in America that will probably wind up in primary source readers for US History students before too long.  It was among his most impressive speeches, for a guy known for giving good ones.

(Contrast this with Mitt R-Money's flubbed handling of the allegations of his high school bullying.  Again, the bullying is a non-issue, it's how the Romneybot's software processed and responded to the revelations that mattered.  And he flubbed it.)

Political campaigns have come to understand certain things about politics.  You have to go negative, but in a way that doesn't rebound to your disadvantage.  The proposed campaign sounds skeevy.

People tend to have made up their mind about incumbents, especially high-visibility ones like the President.  They also tend to like Obama, even if they are disappointed in his economic performance.

A double-barreled sleaze campaign focusing on an issue most people have already made their mind up about, could backfire against Republicans in general.  A lot of it will depend on where the electorate is by Labor Day and Columbus Day.  Currently, the race is pretty tight, though state polling tends to favor Obama more than national polling.

My own prediction is that - with gas prices coming down - we should see an increase in hiring that should continue through the fall.  The big wild card is the situation in the Eurozone.  How painful will the collapse of the Euro be in the US?  A much stronger dollar will further depress gas prices, but it will also hurt exports.

But if unemployment is around 7.5% and falling by September, then Obama should win fairly handily.  If the GOP - through their money men - launch a scorched earth campaign, then they will "damage the brand" of the Republican party.  Especially when you compare it with their plans to force another debt limit fight.  They will tip their hand about being essentially negative and destructive in their politics.

Winning the House couldn't be more important for these reasons, and if the GOP/Plutocrats poison the political atmosphere too much, it might help turn people away from the GOP even more.

But it will require the Democrats to prepare the ground politically for this NOW, and Democrats tend to suck at politics, so....

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