Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Puzzler

There's nothing overtly wrong with Obama giving an interview to al-Arabia TV in an effort to outreach to the Muslim world. Winning the GWoT calls for whatever sneaky strategies we can think of to win hearts and minds, therefore it's not a given that Barack is sucking up or selling out:

What is problematic is his tendency to leave an impression he's cleaning up after the previous president. Bush never suggested we were at war with anyone but the 'evildoers', and basically coined the term 'religion of peace' (an object of scorn from some of his own supporters). Here's one of many proofs:

Obviously the target audience didn't buy it. Yet Obama believes he can go say the same thing while throwing in a few "ah shucks, sometimes we ARE the Great Satan, gosh darnit" quips and it's magically transformative. Maybe--it's harder to get away with calling a guy who used to live in Indonesia an "infidel crusader". As long as Obama follows up with strength in the right areas he may have a winner.

One bothersome thing is how he always seem to include a subtle jab at the Bush by suggesting he has to fix what W broke. We've seen it in speeches and even on the government White House web site. It seems so unnecessary--childish perhaps, since "he won".

Or maybe not childish. Maybe part of an overall subtle political strategy to bleed the conservative opposition right out of existence by throwing in a Bush bash whenever possible and jabbing and isolating Limbaugh (he knows how much influence Rush had on Bill Clinton's legacy) while charming the Republican caucus, sometimes even at the expense of Speaker Pelosi.

Er, or maybe not. As with everything else about this guy, figuring whether this subterfuge is part of a diabolical plan to move the country towards Sweden or simply get him reelected by moderates in 2012 is a head-scratcher. One may decide to look at his cabinet for clues but one will find just as many right leaning moderates as Democratic Socialists. Imagine what the terrorists are thinking. Obama even admitted they were probably confused, too.

Well, they called Bush the Decider, just call Obama the Puzzler. Whether the Puzzler can make any headway by running a line to the Arab street while trying to isolate the cave freaks remains to be seen, but it appears to be the same strategy he's using on his conservative enemies. The question is whether they'll buy it.

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