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posted by melmarino in Politics

Government by Freakout

February 24, 2013

Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal has finally boiled down this administration's plan for the United States of America:

Mr. Obama has finally hit on his own version of national unity: Everyone get scared together.

Ms. Noonan makes the case that every press conference, every statement from the White House is meant to alarm people, not calm them:

In a way it's all brilliant showbiz: Scare people into supporting your position. But we've been through it before, and you wonder, again, why a triumphant president and a battered Republican House majority can't reach a responsible agreement.

And then you remind yourself why. Because Mr. Obama thrives in chaos. He flourishes in unsettled circumstances and grooves on his own calm. He spins an air of calamity, points fingers and garners support. His only opponent is a hapless, hydra-headed House.

America has a weakness for winners, and Republicans just now do not look like winners. They have many voices but no real voice, and no one saying anything that makes you stop and think.

Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is a singular character who tells you in measured tones that we must have measured answers. Half the country finds his politics to be too much to one side, but his temperament is not extreme and he often looks reasonable. With this gift he ties his foes in knots to get what he wants, which is higher taxes. He wants the rich to pay more and those he judges to be in need to receive more. End of story. Debt and deficits don't interest him, except to the extent he must give them lip service.

And so far this seems to be working fine for him. A USA Today/Pew Research Center poll out this week reported half the respondents said it will be the Republicans' fault if the sequester goes through. Only a third said they'd blame the president.

So it's tempting to see this moment as part of the continuing saga of Obama Triumphant. But I'm not so sure. Short-term you can win the way the president wins, but long-term? No, that's not the way to go.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732450320457831854047537128...

Is the tactic working? Do you believe every fabricated crisis that has come up? Are you being taken in by President Freakout?

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