Laughing All the Way to the White House
Barack Obama is in favor of gay marriage. He's in favor of it in the same way he supports closing Gitmo: It's a nice thing to be in favor of, he's just not going to do anything about it.
And that's fine, really, in the case of gay marriage. His opinion of what to do about it (nearly) matches my own. Gay marriage is a totally new thing whose time may be coming, but let the states -- let the people -- come to grips with it at their own rates. Thirty years from now everyone, even folks in North Carolina, will wonder what all the fuss was about. And that's as it should be.
However, this is not a case a progressive Democrat may reasonably make. Progressives believe the crushing power of the state is theirs to wield to get their way on everything from what health insurance people must buy, to which light bulbs they may not. And now we're supposed to buy, "except for letting the gays marry?" Hell, if the progs thought they could get away with it -- and give them four more years on Pennsylvania Avenue and they will -- they'd mandate that the Catholic Church perform the ceremonies. And in drag.
So Joe Biden put his boss in a difficult position. Biden said straight out (no pun intended) that he's all in favor of gay marriage. It wasn't a big deal when Dick Cheney said the same thing, because he's known to have respect for federalism, and because his boss was known for at least paying the notion some lip service. But when a progressive Veep says it, prog expectations are raised that his boss will wield the mighty power of state to do something. It's what they do.
But this is in an election year, with the president losing his grip -- has lost his grip? -- on the independents who will choose November's winner. And this election isn't 30 years from now. It's six months from now, and gay marriage is still very much a fussy issue, especially in swing states the Democrats need.
First, David Axelrod came out (again, no pun intended) to walk it back, and insist that the White House was not, in fact, going to push for gay marriage. But then the next day Arne Duncan walked back the walk back, and said that, yes, he's in favor. Obama was faced with a Veep and a cabinet officer making an issue out of an issue he'd been happy to "evolve" on, flexibly, until after the election. So then finally on Tuesday Obama settled on a Modified Limited Gitmo: Say some nice things while sitting on his hands.
Needless to say, the progressive Left is all up in arms over Obama's "bullshit" maneuver. They know and understand the Modified Limited Gitmo, and they don't like it one bit. Over the course of two days, Obama managed to appear like a vacillating weakling while annoying the middle and seriously pissing off his base.
The word you're looking for here is "SCoaMF." But it gets worse. Happily, wonderfully, gigglingly worse.
Everything we've seen this week is of a piece with Bill Clinton calling Obama "an amateur." But even if he never said "amateur" out loud like Edward Klein claims in his new book, you know Clinton thought it. And since Clinton is almost pathologically incapable of not sharing his every thought, I'm certainly inclined to think the story is true.
And now Drudge is red-headlining -- redlining? -- a new poll showing Mitt Romney with a seven-point lead, 50%-43%. Gallup? Rasmussen? Drudge isn't saying yet, but Rasmussen usually releases his daily numbers at around 11AM Eastern, so it wouldn't surprise me if somebody there leaked Drudge a preview. [UPDATE: Yes, it was Rasmussen.]
Which leads us to the stupidest thing I read all week -- Mark Halperin's report about how "confident" the Obama campaign is about their chances this fall. Has he not seen David Axelrod doing the Flop Sweat Tango on national television? Has he not noticed that the DNC chair is witlessly out of touch with voters? Is he unaware of the unprecedented nastiness of the president's campaign? Obama 2012 makes Bush 2004 look like Reagan 1984. "Mourning in America" would be a step toward the positive for this crew.
Anyway, Halperin is just another cog in the progressive media machine that will stop at nothing to reelect the President. Our job is a much simpler one: Point and laugh at all of it. The contortions, the spins, the lies -- they're all so pathetically and rib-achingly funny. In three-plus decades of watching politics, I've never witnessed anything so desperately, hysterically funny.
To take advantage, the Romney campaign needs to function on three levels, shaped like a pyramid. The top level is Romney himself, his staff, and eventually his Veep pick. Their job is to allow Romney to act the part of president. The hardest part of unseating a president is that he already has the job, the jet, the motorcade -- he owns it. The new guy has none of that, and appears small if only in contrast. So far, Romney has stayed on-message (the economy) without being nasty about it. That's presidential. Good.
The next level down is the 527s, the conservative think tanks, and the big money boys. Their job is to go negative. Get mean, get nasty, run all those TV ads they ran against Newt and Rick, but change the names and faces for the general election. Being nasty is usually the Veep's job, too, and Biden is very, very good at it -- the Democrats' own Spiro Agnew. But I'd advise the Romney camp not to go that route. Stay clean, look professional. Act like everyone on board deserves the jets and the motorcades.
The bottom level is you and me. We're on the blogs, we're on the social networking sites, and we're at the water coolers if we're lucky enough to have jobs. Our role is to treat them -- the White House, the media, the professional left -- with all the respect they richly deserve. By "respect," of course, I mean, "gently mocking disdain." We know the president is a SCoaMF. Most people are getting the feeling the president just might be a SCoamf, but are loathe to admit it. We need to make it cool to say so out lout. Gently, positively, fun-ly. Remove Obama's aura of cool, and what's he got left? 57 states of denial.
That's the path to victory, and it's a fun one.