2014 Strategy: Obama's Top 5 Distractions
With Democratic 2014 Senate and House hopes receding faster than the rise of the tides under President Obama, the Obama administration and Democratic Party have decided to resort to their favorite page in the political playbook: distraction and misdirection.
Psychologists posit that the brain can only handle so many narratives at one point; if we are distracted by problems at home, for example, we tend to perform less well at work. The same holds true in politics: if our brains are occupied with worries about the war on women, for example, we’re less likely to be thinking about the horrors of Obamacare. Our bandwidth is filled with lower but sexier priorities.
That’s the strategy pursued by the Obama administration, which is busily mirroring the campaign strategy of 2012, in which President Obama and his minions successfully directed attention away from his own incompetence and toward binders full of women, a dog strapped to the top of a car decades ago, and contraception.
So, what are the top areas for misdirection from the Obama administration? Here are the top five:
Minimum Wage. On Tuesday, President Obama jet-setted to New York City to continue his push against income inequality by shopping at the Gap, a store which recently announced that it would be voluntarily raising its minimum wages. He told the sales associates, “I think the ladies will be impressed by my style sense.” The White House announced, “In his State of the Union address, the President called for businesses to raise workers’ wages, and today the President will visit a Gap store to show his support for Gap Inc.’s decision to increase wages for their US based employees.”
The push for minimum wage increases has now gone national, with the City of Seattle now considering a $15 minimum wage – a fight led by Socialist city councilwoman Kshama Sawant. Invoking fairness and equality, Sawant and Obama are leading the charge to mandate that businesses increase their baseline wages, even though the Congressional Budget Office estimates 500,000 jobs lost thanks to such increases on the federal level.
Obama wants to be seen as standing up to evil corporations bent on greedily exploiting their employees. He’s pretending that his opponents want people to be stuck in poverty at the behest of those corporations. In essence, this is Obama’s “man of the people” shtick – even though, as Obama’s Gap visit showed, he doesn’t even know how a credit card machine works.
Climate Change. On Monday night, Democrats took to the floor of the Senate, talking for 15 straight hours about climate change. Leading voices in that effort included Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), who quoted Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax:
“’But now,’ says the Once-ler,
‘Now that you’re here
The word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear:
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better.
The purpose of the all-nighter was to create the perception of conservatives as Bible-thumping cretins. That’s also why President Obama felt the necessity to introduce Fox’s Cosmos series, where he lauded the merits of science – a fine message on its own, but certainly a politically-calculated one during election season.
War on Poverty. Over the weekend, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that her anonymous Republican friend had told her that Republicans hate poor children:
“I asked a Republican friend why his party remains so opposed to extending the vital lifelines for struggling families and really hungry children. This colleague’s response was telling in its blunt nature and it’s stunning in its honestly. What he said was, ‘To the Republican caucus, these people you are talking about are invisible, and the Republican caucus is indifferent to them.’”
This larger narrative – that Republicans hate the poor – has been leading the Obama docket since January, when President Obama issued a statement on 50th anniversary of the failed War on Poverty, stating, “In the richest nation on Earth, far too many children are still born into poverty, far too few have a fair shot to escape it, and Americans of all races and backgrounds experience wages and incomes that aren’t rising, making it harder to share in the opportunities a growing economy provides.” And this week, Obama is slated to sign a package of executive orders that will broaden the definition of overtime pay under federal law.
Sure, Obama’s economic policies are a failure. But it’s the intent that counts. Harvey the six foot bunny rabbit told Nancy Pelosi so.
War on Women. According to Politico, Democrats are reviving the “war on women” meme that worked so successfully during the 2012 race. “This is a driver,” Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, stated. “There may be issues that flare up or die down, but this is a driver of the next nine months.” Obama tackled so-called women’s issues in his State of the Union Address by fibbing about income inequality between women and men:
Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode. This year, let’s all come together – Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street – to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds.
Pelosi is now making the case for universal childcare. Of course, the leftist media played rearguard for the Obama administration in attacking former Gov. Mike Huckabee for suggesting that Democrats’ focus on contraception and abortion as the centerpiece of their women’s rights campaign was paternalistic and condescending. And now, the Obama administration is taking part in the idiotic #BanBossy campaign designed to cast aspersions on anyone who doesn’t want to crack down on linguistic use.
The Middle East. President Obama’s sudden uptick in interest in the Middle East peace process mirrors the second-term obsessions of his predecessors in the White House. But still, Obama’s latest offensive against Israel speaks to his desire to misdirect from domestic issues. His State Department, led by John Kerry, has already stated openly that Israel’s enemies need not acknowledge Israel’s existence as a Jewish state. Meanwhile, both Obama and Kerry have threatened Israel with the possibility of international isolation should the Jewish State refuse to make concessions to its terrorist Palestinian neighbors.
The list goes on, of course. But the bottom line is that the Obama administration will do everything in its power over the course of the next few months to distract from the issues Americans care about most: the economy, and the threat of Obamacare. Republicans and conservatives will have to work hard to avoid following him down the rabbit hole of misdirection if they hope to win a sweeping victory at the polls in November.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.