May 26, 2009

Obama's effective use of juxtaposition

On Monday, the press was all over the GOP in-fighting. Today, they will be all over the Sotomayor nomination for the Supreme Court. Obama has once again shown good political timing and the GOP gets caught with a left jab that it doesn't even realize has been thrown at it. The President appears to be a master of juxtaposition. His effective use of timing makes the GOP look bad.

The media was all over the Colin Powell vs. Rush Limbaugh story this weekend. The message is that the GOP, and conservatives in general are in disarray. Even deeper, the subliminal message is that they are in disarray because they are out of ideas, out of identity and who after all, would be foolish enough to vote for that mess?

Conversely, the President comes out and nominates a Hispanic woman for the Supreme Court. Identity politics at it's worst - not merit but demographic dictates appointments. Worse still is that she has said things that make her seem an awful lot like an activist judge. But it seems austere and above the fray to carry out this august duty of making an appointment to the highest court in the land. Where justice is blind....blah, blah, blah. I don't think he believes that for a second. He's after the votes and he's after an activist court.

But following on the heels of the GOP fight, the underlying message is that while the GOP is busy with trivial and petty fights, we are above the fray. We are busy running the country. The subliminal message - we're doing it better than the other guys.

The GOP is then trapped by the juxtaposition. They can't come out fighting Sotomayor because it looks like more of the same petty arguing. The alternative - stay quite, for now at least. But that gives Obama that moment he needs to appear calm, cool, collected and above the Republican fray and the message gets reinforced. And he gets a head start on slipping through an activist (potentially activist) into the Supreme Court without proper scrutiny.

Just because the President doesn't believe in vetting, doesn't mean the American people have to follow the same logic. More importantly the GOP continues to get pwned (whatever that means) by the President on the political sparring, and as a result, the country once again gets another step leftward for the President, without any real scrutiny.

Pat yourself on the back Mr. President - you continue to pull the wool over the eyes of the nation.

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