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Politicians who tell you their rivals are playing politics must think you’re stupid — and perhaps correctly so

Mitt Romney said something yesterday about President Obama “playing politics” with the issue of immigration — which suggests that Romney is either stupid or thinks you are.

Yes, Obama is playing politics with immigration. Like all presidents, he’s a politician. That’s what politicians do. They play politics.

Presidents also are “always campaigning” (which is another complaint Republicans frequently aim at Obama). Most of any American president’s public appearances and public utterances amount to campaigning for his administrations’ policies or his own electoral fortunes or those of his political party.

Chief executives of the United States don’t just hunker down in their offices, formulating policies and holding meetings. There’s a certain amount of that kind of thing, to be sure, but there also are speeches and news conferences and photo ops and trips to the hinterlands to meet and greet regular folks. All of these are efforts to curry public favor for certain political agendas and to ingratiate oneself with the electorate.

Abraham Lincoln, for one, had a keen understanding of the importance of public opinion and was a master at swaying it to his advantage — at playing politics, as it were.

As Lincoln once put it: “He who moulds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions. He makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to be executed.”

When a president “moulds public sentiment,” he is campaigning, he’s playing politics.

Of course, Republican complaints that Obama is always campaigning and playing politics are of a piece with the other ridiculous gripes we hear from the Obamaphobes: He never mentions God. He’s always apologizing for America. He wants to take away our guns. Etc., etc., etc.

All of this stuff is false. But that doesn’t prevent the people who get most of their information from Fox News, talk radio or right-wing emails from pedding such nonsense as if it were the gospel truth.

 

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4 Comments

  1. The President’s reaction to the a-face from the Daily Holler was to say the least impressive. If confronted Willard would certainly not have been that mature and if it was Bush the guy would have been tased and sent to one of Cheney’s torture camps.

  2. expdoc

    Yeah, that’s right Stevie. I’ve heard that Laura was packing a taser at all times for just such an occasion. Now that Cheney has a new heart, I hear that Obama has secretly employed him to keep on running the “torture camps”.

    In fact, I think there might be one of them torture camps right inside that tower down near the river in Rockford. I even heard Cheney has been seen cheering on the Icehogs on his day off. He’s a big fan you know.

  3. doc said: “I even heard Cheney has been seen cheering on the Icehogs on his day off.”

    His day off from what? Counting his il-gotten blood money?

    And of course he watches the Ice Hogs. He got his heart from one of their relatives.

  4. expdoc

    No, his day off from running his torture center in the news tower.

    Duh.

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