Obama’s Current Media Strategy

March 25, 2010

As Ben Smith points out, during the campaign, Obama played down any notion of his opposition as extreme, confrontational, or otherwise divisive. In essence, he didn't want America to become afraid of him as a candidate due to his being too controversial. But things have changed.

On the one hand, he's actually being confrontational. That's exhibited with his Go for it nonsense regarding any repeal effort. He actually said that on the same day a poll indicates 55% of Americans want his bad HCR repealed. A better man would have tried to mend fences, not widen gaps.

Big picture, that's extremely sad, as he's willing to insult a majority of Americans as part of what he sees as a winning messaging strategy. It's impossible to respect someone like that. But it's what we're stuck with for now.

At the same time, Dem orgs, officials and office holders have begun, not only playing up any extreme opposition, they're even exaggerating it – witness the Carnahan coffin caper as just one example. So, what's going on?

Obama wants his opposition painted as extremist, he just doesn't want his fingerprints on the artwork. And he knows that the media is not likely to call him out for using his Go for it rhetoric in the face of broad public disapproval. They're more than happy to carry his water and ignore that his message is actually impacting citizens as a whole.

It's a repulsive strategy designed to make him look as though he's in command and above it all, while his critics are portrayed as unhinged. It's also dangerous given the manipulation of public anger involved. But it seems to be the type of unprincipled so called leadership we're stuck with for the time being. We need to fight back against his agenda forcefully, but also be smart.

It's imperative to take the House in 2010 and gain what we can in the Senate. Only by elevating the Republican voice in Congress to a position of strength, will the people have a voice capable of speaking for us without quite the risk we now face of being played by his political machine.

There's some debate over whether the strategy of engaging, even hyping, the other side's extremist behavior has been working. Greg suggests it just conveys the general impression that health care is controversial. Its defenders argue that conservatives are simply out of control and that Democrats have no choice but to respond in the face of real fears of violence. The fears of violence on the campaign, of course, were real too, and Obama's detail was always more tightly wound than his rivals'. And the Democrats' decision to publicly engage the threats, and to use them as a metaphor for broader Republican sentiment, reflects a real departure from what many now see as a hopeless goal of portraying the party, and the president, as unifying.

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  1. Mike says:

    Another Alinsky tactic perhaps?

  2. Elmo says:

    Yeah, Obama … the great unifier, of the Republican Party (Thanks Bozo!).
    And the best dang friend Israel ever had (after Nasser, Bin Laden, Arafat, Gadahn, Zarqawi, Farrakhan, and Obama’s buddy Khaledi).
    The wheels are off the wagon. He won’t be able to drag one single candidate across the finish line. Not one. I’m starting to like Hoping for Change. Yes indeedy.

  3. A Proud Marine Mom says:

    I love this blog. Thank you for helping me to keep my sanity, when all around us, things are going crazy.

  4. Karen says:

    I think we should keep our focus on what they are doing WHILE they are attempting to distract with the “conservatives are terrorists” meme. Because this is a strategy of the powers that be–to keep us so busy with the back and forth bickering between parties that we forget to focus on what THEY ARE DOING TO US!!!
    That being said, something kept nagging me about that whole healthcare freakshow Sunday night. There was never any recognition (except negative) of the protesters outside. There was never any compassion for those people who did hold a different opinion than the democrats in Washington and our president. There was no peace offering or any semblance of kindness. The president did not say, “Look, I understand that you are uncomfortable with this idea. This is what I am going to do to help alleviate your fears…”
    The dissenters were simply ignored–and then, made out to be potential terrorists again!
    A normal human being would have shown those who were afraid some compassion. The democrats and the president show us nothing but contempt.

  5. section9 says:

    Alinsky’s doctrine was all about confrontation, not about governance.
    People need to understand that if you want to know what makes Obama tick, you have to understand Alinsky. Once you get Saul, you can peel back Obama like a rotten onion.
    Understand that Obama’s method of politics implies noncooperation and polarization. The AssClown G.O.P. doesn’t get this and never will: they are all about feeding at the Hog Trough.
    Palin, on the other hand, DOES get Obama, which is why she is reviled by the Left. She is one of the few who uses Alinsky well against Obama.

  6. archer52 says:

    Two things that will knee-cap Obama’s approach.
    One- He sucks on video when his arrogant narcissistic personality comes out. As it did today. He thinks he’s God now, and it shows. (Think Terrell Owens)
    Two- The facts on the ground are what they are. He can claim he is helping the economy recover, but nobody is working. He can say he is for small business but he passes laws that crush them. Then he decides he will taunt 67% of the people today Taunt them.
    People aren’t buying his Sammy Davis “cool cat” soft shoe anymore. They see who he is and I think people are getting a handle on the direction he wants to take us.

  7. Elmo says:

    A lil unseemly Arch, to mention Buraq the Mageek Ponay, and Sammy Davis in the same breath (Berrie couldn’t carry his jockstrap).
    “After I signed the bill, I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling, some cracks opening up in the earth,” Obama said, adding it turned out to be a nice day and “birds were chirping, folks were strolling down the mall.”
    Karen, you nailed it. He isn’t even a man (well that goes for a very large portion of both Houses of Congress). A worthless bug. I’m betting more will an a few will start to pay attention to the crickets now (kin ya say boyth satificate?).
    Leave the Dem’s to their own devices. Before this is over they will have shot off all their freakin toes. I say stay in pocket. And let ‘em.

  8. Ricky says:

    Well said Karen. Good insights everybody. Spot-on Dan.
    It seems that the Administration wants civil unrest so bad…. Jerome Corsi and the advice Obama gave to the Kenyans come to mind…..
    As for us “If my people who are called by my Name will humble themselves and repent and pray, I wil come and heal their land” Message from G O D.

  9. Philip McDaniel says:

    We need to be vigilant and not play into their game. The Dems would like nothing better that for any of us to loose our cool, do something violent or suggest some sort of violence. But we can beat them at their own game if we do things carefully. Narcissists cannot stand to be questioned or laughed at. They are, after all, the most important beings on the planet. They are legends in their own minds. A constant barrage of serious questions to the point then listening to the answers and dismissing them with a laugh will enrage them. There are other tactics that will work as well, perhaps one of us who is well grounded in ther psychology of narcissistic personalities can give us some pointers as well.

  10. DirtCrashr says:

    They want their Reichstag fire and we shouldn’t give it to them, but that was manufactured anyhow.
    I spent part of today reading some paeans of gushing purple love Time Magazine sent to Mussolini in the 30’s and I don’t see it ending anytime soon.
    Alinsky’s doctrine was all about confrontation, not about governance. They’re proving they have no concept of behavior beyond confrontation, and little ability to handle something so petty-bourgeoisie as governance. It’s all Authoritarian, all the time, witness the “We Won” thematic.

  11. evil monger says:

    We need to hammer the Arne Duncan special treatment list from his Chicago public school days. There is not doubt that the Obamaklatura will get special treatment from the government rationing bureaucrats too.

  12. tim william says:

    BO’s Alinsky like tactics to date: making Rush Enemy #1 and the head of the GOP, and calling FOX a propaganda arm while encouraging other networks to ostracize them, have both failed miserably. And don’t forget the initial efforts to brand the Tea party participants as extremists. All have failed and so shall this b/c this administration is frankly, incompetent.

  13. mark l. says:

    “making Rush Enemy #1 and the head of the GOP, and calling FOX a propaganda arm while encouraging other networks to ostracize them, have both failed miserably.”
    having failed on limbaugh and fox, it looks like he’s moved onto going after regular americans.
    this is not going to be pretty.

  14. NaSa says:

    Of course he can taunt all he wants – this monstrosity is going no where unless the Republicans get a 60 vote majority in the Senate – or if they have the balls, they can go for re-conciliation just like the Dims have done and confirm that the Senate is no different from the House.
    What Obama indulged in was a naked and a raw power play – the Republicans dont have half his ruthlessness to play politics at his level.
    So far the only viable strategy is not to fund this cr**p sandwich – but the GOP has to create its own legislation that has tort reform, allows insurance to be sold across state lines – i dont think the individual mandate or the mandate on businesses is going to be repealed.
    In other news Castro is so happy at the “revolution” that is ObamaCare – i think he needs to talk to David Brooks and understand that Obama is “really,a centrist(TM)*”.
    * Its David Brooks Trademark -only he is allowed to use it.

  15. gary gulrud says:

    “The wheels are off the wagon.”
    In talking to those who voted “hoping for a change” I find no need to insinuate Dear Leader into the conversation, merely “Our government”.
    The grim assent to my point about ‘our shared plight’ is all I require to detail some particular, documenting its careless, spendthrift, arrogant, slothful incompetence.

  16. walksalone says:

    Talk to your neighbors…post flyers in churches/grocery stores/bowling alleys, any place that has a bullentin board..Put Address and phone number where democrats can go of call to change to REPUBLICAN.. Its time to take our country back from the SOCIALIST who are out to destroy the United States of America..

  17. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    There could be another reason why the Messiah and His followers are taking an in-your-face approach to critics. Recent history has proved that Republicans are spineless cowards who will go fetal at the slightest criticism, and He may believe that the current GOP defiance is temporary and that they will fold again.
    And even if the Republican Party hangs tough, remember always that Obama is America’s version of Robert Mugabe. All of the state-run media’s yammering about “violence” by the Tea Party protestors is simply an effect to invent the Democrats’ own version of the Reichstag fire. Also, the Democrats have SEIU, a modern brownhirt movement willing to intimidate and even beat up critics (Kenneth Gladney, anyone?). The Messiah urged His supporters to “get in people’s faces”, a not exactly subtle call for violence against His critics.

  18. Don L says:

    The issue isn’t, nor was it ever, how Obama portayed himself. The issue is the fact that the media, issued consittutional protection for the sole purpose of exposing fakes, phoneys, and frauds entering government positions as candidates, not only was negligent in vetting him, but they were and still are part and parcel of his enterourage, managing his campaign by proxy. The first amendment needs modification to open them up to conspiracy crimes and civic lawsuits as they have become an danger to America’s freedom – masquarading as unbiased servants of the public good. These are the same people clamouring to take down legally; Bush Cheney and the CIA for their service. I say, so be it -they too need to be wide open to punishment!

  19. drjohn says:

    America was stupid. In the movies it’s called willing suspension of disbelief. All of the signs were there- Obama wrapping himself in ACORN, voting to kill abortion surviving babies, speaking at length about economic justice (wealth redistribution). Obama allows the real persona to be shown in his “I won” and Go for it” arrogance.
    The media was absolutely derelict.
    It remains true that one needs to not listen to Obama but rather watch what he does. He stiffs Israel and goes soft on Iran. He falls over himself placating Muslims.
    He badmouths executives and the next day comforts them in private.
    He is truly bad news and arguably the most dishonest person ever to sit in the White House.

  20. Rachel says:

    While I felt that the Reps were overreaching in their reaction to the HCR, after hearing Obama’s “bring it on” I am now determined to vote straight republican this november. And I am a liberal Dem. I believe in tolerance, not arrogance, and man am I glad I did not vote for this jive turkey in 2008.
    I do plan to vote for Nye, as he voted no on the bill b/c of the budget cuts to a children’s hospital in our area (so much for O’s caring :P)

  21. Elmo says:

    Posted by: Rachel | Friday, March 26, 2010 at 11:03 AM
    It’s a real moment of truth, going into that booth, and pulling the lever for a Repub. For the very first time. Myself, found it quite uplifting. Exhilarating in fact. I was on a pink cloud for days. Being true to both one’s heart and mind, can do that to you.
    G*d Bless

  22. ahem says:

    Does he really need a strategy? He can be as unpleasant as he wishes. The media no longer spins news, it ignores it. The news blackouts will just increase.

  23. Polly says:

    There are two problems with voting for ANY Democrat, no matter how he or she voted on the bill.
    1) Nancy, knowing the bill was toxic to Dem re-election prospects, allowed some vulnerable Dems to vote against it; and
    2) every Democrat left in Congress reduces the power of the Republicans and decreases their chance of having a sufficient majority.
    With the obscenely gerrymandered districts all over America, there are some Democrats who are highly unlikely to be dislodged. Nancy herself comes to mind (UGH!).