Since the election, a slew of political reporters and analysts — never mind the self-declared Obama boosters — have argued that Obama will, must, or should crush his enemies (and by enemies, I mean the Republicans). Slate’s John Dickerson wrote that if Obama “wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat.”
“Obama’s only remaining option,” Dickerson continued, “is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents.”
Many conservative observers agreed. Michael Barone wrote, “Obama begins his second term with a strategy to defeat and humiliate Republicans rather than a strategy to govern.” Rich Lowry, my boss at National Review, wrote that Obama’s approach to the debt-ceiling fight should have been called “Operation Humiliation.”
That strategy worked for Obama, so, he figures, why quit now? His second inaugural address was a frilly campaign stump speech, dividing fools and devils (Republicans) from the wise and the sainted (Democrats).
His State of the Union address, already fading from the mind’s eye like the afterglow of a flashbulb, showed that Obama remains committed to his hammer-and-tongs style. His ludicrous claims that massive new expansions of government won’t add a “single dime” to the deficit — technically true, since they would add trillions of dimes to the deficit — alone made it clear that he’s still in campaign mode.