February 13, 2009

Its Called Strategery

A virtuous leader is one who is clever, cunning, decisive, ruthless and above all, effective.

During the primaries, Obama used his massive fundraising capabilities to pound first Clinton, and then McCain.  With Clinton, he expended massive amounts of money in an all out attempt to wrest Pennsylvania from her. He had an outside shot at overcoming her lead, but I think more importantly, he was using his money advantage to bleed her dry  and make her win in PA so expensive that it would wound her and inhibit her future path through the primaries.  With McCain, Obama pressed hard in a slew of states and used his financial prowess to advertise everywhere from TV to video games, even buying a cable channel and to mobilize a volunteer base estimated to have numbered over 5 million.  He was ruthless in the application of his financial advantage, using it like a nail incrusted baseball bat to bludgeon his opponents.

Likewise with the Census power grab. Republicans are crying foul about the administration's move to place the census under direct White House supervision. Its a bit funny to hear GOP folk bleat about the potential that Obama might change the rules, since republicans play to win in just this fashion when it suits them, for example the reapportionment strategy pursued by republicans in Texas. I look at this as another example of Obama's political ruthlessness. The census data is used to apportion legislative districts, allocate millions in government dollars and more. 
Manipulation of the census to change the political landscape in a way that could perhaps permanently change the course of the GOP and remove
its ability to be a national party for a generation is a possibility and one I think Obama intends to exploit.... because he can.  The GOP base
loves to disparage Obama as an empty suit, calling him Obambi.  Keep laughing right on into extinction as a national party.  Obama is a strategic thinker.  He beat the Clinton machine by having a superior strategic game plan that showed a grasp of the entire primary conflict well beyond Super Tuesday.  The census move suggests he is thinking ahead again now to a future with a toothless GOP.