Of late there have been several stories that seem quite disturbing on the surface: the Van Jones hire and the subsequent attack on Fox and Beck; the Obama call to school children and the lesson plans therein, which the administration is now backpeddling on (although the backpeddle still leaves the impression that positives outcomes are for Obama, not America); a recent conference call to artists via the National Endowment for the Arts asking them to create something positive for Obama.
And of course, turning 9/11 into a day of service and 'good deeds'. What's your good deed for 9/11? Mine is wishing for the hellfire deaths of as many al Qaeda leadership as possible, bombs be upon them peace out. Gee, why did the government not think of doing this on Pearl Harbor Day?
It goes without saying that if Karl Rove had tried to foist conservative versions of the above there would have been a firestorm, and rightfully so. But is a conservative kneejerk reaction warranted? Could this be the overarching Axelrod strategy--continually tweaking the far right in order to call them reactionaries, thereby diminishing the pushback on the major goals of single payer health care, cap and trade, immigration reform? After all, those are the true game-changers that could keep a Democratic power base in perpetuity.
For instance, they had to know the outcome of a decision to go after CIA interrogators would bring Cheney out of his hole again, flaring the torture fire, again. While yahoo blogs like this one were defending Darth a few of the bigger right wing sites decided not to take that bait and remained focused on health care issues.
But even if there is a strategy of sorts, is it working? Can Rahmbo say that a slide below 50 percent in the polls is an acceptable risk towards achieving the end goals? Well, the One recently did claim he'd be willing to risk being a one-termer to get hopenchange enacted. Again, it's about him.
But at some point it's not. At some point the national party might have a say in things, since unlike Bush, whose most controversial decisions were rooted in wars and his discretion as commander-in-chief, Obama's initiatives require congressional buyin via voting, which spreads the political blowback a bit farther and wider. Perhaps his grand new strategy will provide a hint of the real direction, which has always been somewhat mysterious.