Monday, August 20, 2012

The Dark Side

("Obama's Perceived Transformation")

Mr. Coates talks of the President going to "the dark side". This is a man who for much of his presidency has been forced  to defend against the "birthers", who heard of his "death panel" health care legislation, who has been pushed around  by the obstructionists and threatened with our country's financial ruin in a manufactured fight over paying for those obligations we had already incurred in the ludicrous debt ceiling debacle. He has been confronted on a daily basis with a foe whose mandate was to make him a one termer.

It was for far too long a presidency on the defensive. Only recently, after practically begging his opponents  to no avail to join in moving this country out of the economic abyss, did the President have his "Network" moment. And so, conciliation with no reconciliation is now abandoned.

He is faced with a challenger who runs from his own past, who will not speak of his religion, of his governing in Massachusetts, of taxes sheltered or not. Romney has pandered to the most conservative wing of his party and chosen a running mate who embodies principles that  wrongly protect those least requiring protection, at very real expense of  those most vulnerable. The President is asking the questions that should be asked.

He understands that he will face blistering attacks, filled with the equivalent of death panel assertions in the coming weeks. He  now is portrayed as one whose health reform law takes  $716 billion from its recipients when the reduction is from the bloated and inefficiency of the providers. And he knows his presidency and the direction of the country in the years ahead rest in large part on who controls the message between now and the first Tuesday in November.

The most serious accusations will come from the Super PACs least constrained by the truth, in a party where truth is not a high priority.

Has the President crossed some imaginary line to the dark side in his attack on his adversary? Rather,  I think he has made a decision not to do battle against an AK 47 with a slingshot. The President has come to the realization that his presidency and this country are worth fighting for.

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