Last week on Univision while during an interview aimed at Hispanics, President Obama referred to Republicans as “enemies”. As you might imagine, that raised a bit of a stir on the right side of things.
‘We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’ — if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election — then I think it’s going to be harder. And that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2nd."
Knowing he was going to take heat over the word used and before House minority leader John Boehner could deliver a well deserved scolding, Obama attempted to defuse the situation.
“Now the Republicans are saying that I’m calling them enemies,” Obama said during a get-out-the-vote to The Michael Baisden Show. “What I’m saying is you’re an opponent of this particular provision, comprehensive immigration reform, which is something very different.”
Well actually, no, it’s not. It is certainly a rather poor attempt at damage control, but it is clear in a interview in which Obama was attempting to rally that particular base constituency during an election season that the object of the “enemies” remark was the GOP. And, the use of the word “enemies” was purposeful and calculated. It was meant to convey a message that the opposing party was an "enemy" of that which Hispanics wanted and it was important that they understand that message and act on in Nov. 2nd.
This wasn’t some unscripted slip of the tongue or poorly phrased appeal as he’s trying to spin it now. It was exactly how the post-partisan president views the political landscape and the other party.
Now the "smartest man in the room" is attempting this transparent and rather weak counter to his "enemies" remark.
I on the other hand have no problem attaching the word “enemy” to those on the left who would take my liberty and trash my rights. Same for those on the right with the same inclinations.
The fact that Obama used the word, however, is telling. It is another indicator to me that he has no intention of doing what Bill Clinton did when he and the Democrats lost the House in 1994. Obama is an inflexible ideologue who will go down with his leaky ship rather than do what is necessary to work across the isle. The “enemies” remark does more than any other to finally pop the “post-partisan” bubble of nonsense he spun on the campaign trail. And while I’m sure he’ll attempt to pin the failure of bi-partisanship on the right, it is clear, at least to me after watching the last 2 years, that there never was any serious desire or attempt on the part of the administration to make bi-partisanship work.
As it turns out – that’s fine with me. But let’s put the claim that it is something desired by this president and administration to rest once and for all.
So, after jamming the health care reform legislation through Congress, Democrats begin to turn a wary eye toward November and the mid-term elections.
A good portion of them have deluded themselves into thinking Bill Clinton was right – that after they passed the legislation all the furor would subside and Americans would accept the new legislation – even embrace it. The term “Judas goat” comes to mind. And I think for those who bought into that nonsense, they realize they’ve certainly been led into the electoral slaughter pen. The Obama post law-signing sales tour has been anything but successful in changing the public’s perception of the law. And it certainly hasn’t cooled the anger about its passage.
Some Democrats are giving up to “spend more time with their families” as has Bart Stupak. They see the writing on the wall and don’t like what they’re reading. Others are gearing up for a fight that many experts are sure they’ll lose. Of course there are those on the left who’re sure the tide will turn. James Carvelle recently said the GOP “peaked too soon”. I don’t think so.
However, what are the Democrats going to do to reverse this trend that sees them losing big in November. Well, the word was they were going to do energy next. And that energy would contain a utility tax being called “cap-and trade lite”. Frankly I don’t see them trying to introduce any new tax before November unless they’re just a lot less intelligent than they should be.
But they have to do something to take the public’s mind of HCR and do something positive for their chances in November. I was thinking about that when this headline caught my attention – “Hispanic loyalty to Democrats wanes” with the sub – “Inaction on immigration reform has key voting bloc less enthused about election.” Ah ha! Why is this potentially the issue that will be most important to Dems prior to November – because of the nature of the election.
“The number of Latinos who say they are enthusiastic about midterm elections is the lowest we’ve ever seen,” said Barreto, whose firm polls extensively among Hispanics. In 2006, 77 percent of Hispanics were excited about voting. In a recent poll, however, just 49 percent were excited.
As Barreto noted, midterm elections usually feature lower turnout, which means victory hinges on energizing the party’s core supporters rather than persuading swing voters.
So Barreto is asserting that Hispanics are inclined to vote Democratic and unlike the 2006 mid-terms, have much less interest in voting in this mid-term because, well, see the headline.
Conclusion – look for a flurry of activity addressing “comprehensive immigration reform” in an attempt to energize the hispanic vote prior to November and, I’d guess, try to lure some independents back as well. Whether they get anything done or not is probably not as important right now, in the short time span involved, than appearing to make the effort. Whether that will be enough to save them remains to be seen.
But if it doesn’t – then what? What would a lame duck Democratic majority Congress attempt from November to January. My guess, and that’s all it is, with nothing to lose, they’d go for broke and try to ram as much of their agenda through as possible. And that means they’ll be working on a comprehensive energy bill, to include cap-and-tax, and possibly a VAT tax, and be prepared to introduce them the day following the mid-terms. Success might not be easy, but if Nancy Pelosi knows she’s losing her speakership and Harry Reid finds himself out of a job – anything is possible.