It’s called “divide and conquer” or “united we stand, divided we fall.” Whether we’re speaking about military tactics or U.S. Colonial sayings… the concept is the same: peel off members of the herd either through distraction or in-fighting and, once the numbers are scattered… attack (and win).
That’s pretty much what’s going on in Washington, D.C. about now. Obama and the Democrats – flush from their November victory – will raise taxes. They need to do this for a few reasons, two of which are to increase Government “income” so as to raise social programs and to rub it in the face of Republicans that they are now powerless in the hopes of further dividing them.
One of the more amazing post-election spectacles is the media celebration of Republicans who say they’re willing to repudiate their pledge against raising taxes. So the same folks who like to denounce politicians because they can’t be trusted are now praising politicians who openly admit they can’t be trusted.
So Democrats are meeting some success at dividing Republicans in Congress. They also have to divide Republican officials from their non-elected allies such as Grover Norquist who runs Americans for Tax Reform. Chances are if you hear or read about some politician taking a “no new taxes pledge” it is he who came up with it.
Democrats view Mr. Noquist as a hurdle to them raising taxes so they need to attack and isolate him in the hopes of reducing his influence:
The spectacle is part of what is becoming a tripartisan—Democrats, media, some Republicans—attempt to stigmatize Grover Norquist as the source of all Beltway fiscal woes and gridlock.
Grover’s—everyone calls him Grover—apparent crime against Washington is that he now actually wants to hold politicians to what they willingly signed. If enough Republicans will disavow their tax pledge, then the capital crowd can go about agreeing to a grand fiscal bargain that raises taxes, pretends to cut spending and avoids the January 1 fiscal crack-up that the politicians have set us up for. Voters are supposed to believe that only Grover stands in the way of this happy ever-after.
When Bill Clinton was president it was called “triangulation.” Basically, Bill would steal and idea from the opposition and claim it as his own while throwing in a few things he cooked up and thus drain support away from Republicans. It worked great – for him – but left his party badly divided and damaged – especially when he did things like signed NAFTA into law and “end welfare as we know it.”
Republicans allowed themselves to be played back then – Newt Gingrich playing Federal Government shutdown chicken with Clinton (and losing). And Republicans are making another mistake by agreeing to sign pledges then trying to back away from them and by failing to cast Obamanomics as the reason for the years of our discontent.
To add insult to injury, President Obama has taken the lead in the public relations war by saying the intransigence of the Republicans is going to spoil Christmas:
President Obama returned to campaign mode on Monday – casting Republicans as against the middle class by saying their failure to accept his offer for a limited extension of tax breaks will essentially ruin Christmas for consumers and retailers.
Obama laid out his case in an open letter that starts by underscoring its timing — coming on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Cyber Monday, in which consumers take advantage of online bargains.
So if Republicans agree to raise taxes on $250,000.00+ earners they’ll look like fools and their base will be upset. If they don’t and Christmas sales are not at record highs (they won’t be) then Obama will blame them for the failure.
Either way, Republicans have painted themselves into a corner.
Maybe that’s why they lost the election?