When you consider the political events of the past week and the ridiculous outrage drummed up by the radical left in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings, any reasonable person can see how delusional these attacks are. In fact, a recent Gallup poll clearly shows that a clear minority of this country are believing the recent outrage against conservatives and the Tea Party, even as the media does its job of trying to advance the story. There is a deeper storyline here however, and one that I can't help but wonder is a planned effort on the part of the left as we gear up for the 2012 presidential election.
The country is divided up generally 3% hard left, 33% hard right, and 33% independents/moderates. These are the segment of people whose votes may swing from D to R for any number of reasons. Some people would say this division is more like 40-40-20. Nonetheless, after this past November it is obvious the shift in the country has turned away from Obama and the Democrats. Although the left is many things, stupid is not one of them and they know that barring a drastic change in the next two years, their candidate is in trouble.
Now, if the economy were to bounce back with unemployment dropping 2-3 points, along with the "smooth cool" of Obama, the Left would be feeling pretty good about their chances of reelecting him. However, with all the economic uncertainty, that level of growth is in no way assured or even probably in 21 months and so there needs to be a "Plan B". Plan B could very well be what we are currently seeing...
The general outrage against the hard left in this country could not get more severe than it did in November. Sure they could act even more ignorant and politically suicidal, but because of the 33% base of support their disapproval will most likely not go any lower. Knowing this, Obama and the left have begun using this as a base from which to redefine who he is and remold him as the moderate 53% of the country who voted for him thought he was. Obama's speech last night was a great example of this. The Left is the Left and that won't change, but Obama can use his beloved Left as a means to illustrate his great political savy and move to the center.
Consider the lame duck session of Congress as another example. Obama was able to get many things done, some in opposition to base of his party, and in the process position himself as a moderate even though he is not. By extending the tax levels he kept the status quo, gave the country what it had just said it wanted via the election results, and was also able to distance himself from the base of his own party. If you look at his approval numbers on RCP, they are already trending upwards...even in Rasmussen's poll which has been the hardest on the president.
With the House in Republican hands the Left knows no real legislation they desire will be passed. With the Senate and the proposed rules changes, presidential appointments could get easier to pass in this next congress. Between the expanse of executive power through the appointment of unelected officials these past two years a.k.a "czars" and the continued appointment of leftist officials in the coming two years, the Democrats are happy consolidating their power gains and policies for the time being to include their biggest win Obamacare.
Now back to my original point. The Left is more than willing to sacrifice a little "face" of which they have little left anyway, in order to play the bogeyman for their president to improve his standing with the middle portion of the electorate. If a more centrist and moderate Obama can peel back enough independents by November of 2012, especially against what is perceived to be a weaker Republican primary field, they can get Obama reelected for another term, all but ensuring Obamacare and other laws are institutionalized before they can be repealed.
This will be the challenge of conservatives and conservatism: How can we keep our message clear and above the foray of what the Left and the media will attempt to muddle? For if conservatives fail to delineate our message and fail to remind people of what Obama and the Left did in 2009-2010, it very well could be forgotten by the middle 33% in 2012 and as a result...four more years.
Be wary of these red herrings where Obama moves to the middle against the bombast of his own party and mainstream media which the public already knows is full of leftists anyway. The irony is that apart from some spending cuts he won't even have to legislate against the Left because the Left still holds the Senate. He will only have to move to the middle in style, not form. Moreover, It is entirely possible for a sympathetic and forgiving spirit to develop in the American middle for a man of temperance, such as Obama will try to portray himself. We conservatives may not like it, but an Obama back up at 55% approval rating will be the favorite for reelection in 2012. As of yet, I don't have answers on how to combat this since their strategy is reactionary to events and circumstances, but we must be vigilant in identifying it and working hard against such a shift. Obama is not Franken, Dean, Olbermann, etc. He is likable and people want to like their president. We need continually help people get back the "I like him" place they will default to and get to the substance of his political ideology which is hurting our country. The task ahead is not an easy one.