The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Henninger: Barack Obama's Persuasion Army -

For the Obama campaign, the future was irrelevant. What mattered was the "product" of the president's first term. It's clear why Barack Obama was willing to turn former Wall Street Democrats and contributors like J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon into furious critics of the president with his seemingly compulsive scapegoating of bankers, millionaires and "the wealthiest." Or why at the last minute of the 2011 deficit negotiations he demanded a tax increase that wrecked any possible deal and would have blown up the GOP. Once past ObamaCare, the president spent his first term creating these wedge issues and wedge people for his re-election.

Simultaneously, his field operations were driving these wedges into the heads of the Obama base of minorities, single women and campus voters. Using national politics in this way is known as agitprop.

By the time the election arrived, the Obama base had been prepped, instructed and delivered to vote against half the country. The Obama campaign didn't have to turn them out. The relentless negative messaging never let them turn off. By the way, while Mr. Romney took the independent vote away from the president, some analysts now argue that the Obama victory coalition suggests the independents don't matter.


Read the whole creepy thing. The American system is based on a sort of depoliticization of politics, at least in parts. But there are work-arounds. --TS

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