Dan Henninger's weekly column today, which is a great read, touches on another angle. He's dancing around the edges of this truth in a few columns now. I thought I might help him along.
Mr. Henninger's column, "The Obama M.O."describes Obama as "the most anti-political president the United States has had in the post-war era." He relates the tale of the Syria debacle, wherein Obama gains the support of his political opposition only to abandon them wholeheartedly a week or so later in favor of the leader of Russia... then promptly turns about and attacks his domestic opponents regarding finance issues.
Trace elements of normal politics are inevitable in any presidency. But this one over five years has floated beyond the American political tradition. The Obama modus operandi is reducible to this: I think, therefore you do. Everyone else who still does real politics—from one side to the other—is left to gape.Obama continually does the unexpected. He pivots from Syria to the economy and then tosses in an order forcing all pension plans to recognize same-sex marriage in any state of the country, then it'll be on to something else. The hits just keep on coming.
Consider the president's actions through the lens of "Is he a sociopath" and the strategy becomes clear: Confuse everything. Jump from policy to policy. Put out orders that go beyond your constitutional authority. Announce that you are not enforcing some law. Include facts that distort reality in your speeches, even outright lies. Play to emotion all the time.
No matter what, never let your opponents get their feet on the ground. Keep them spinning as often as possible. Prevent them from planting their feet and forming a cohesive response.
I believe that this is what the president is doing.
And the best way to respond to the onslaught is to calmly, clearly stand on principles that are undeniable. State those principles unequivocally. Repeat them over and over. Respond with good, common sense governing principles. Respond with respect for the law and the powers of each branch of the government. Connect decisions and policies to the Constitution. Avoid inserting emotional pleas. Stay rational, coherent, focused, and sure.
Obama may or may not be a sociopath, but I propose that his behavior makes sense if viewed as if he is. And from the clarity that view of Obama's actions provides, we no longer have to stop, stand, and gape. We can respond. We can begin to chip away at the foundation the president stands on, a foundation built upon deliberate confusion delivered with the intent of preventing any meaningful opposition from coalescing.
Obama is winning by playing a different game. WE can undermine his efforts by playing the original game, by the original rules.