In light of Scott Brown's victory in MA, President Obama is bringing in his former campaign advisor David Plouffe to work the same spin magic for the president's agenda that got him into the White House over a year ago.
According to an AP report, Plouffe... will play a larger role in advising the president as reeling Democrats try to rally in this important election year. Plouffe's primary job on behalf of the White House will be to devise, coordinate and analyze strategies for the House, Senate and governor's races in November, according to an administration official.
It appears non-governmental entities will be paying Plouffe's salary for running this PR war. The AP article in the Washington Post cited here states that Plouffe will be operating through the Democratic National Committee and Organizing for America. Though its website portrays the appearance of a government organization, in reality Organizing for America is Obama's independent political group which continues now after the election to operate and direct the president's "national service" activities, and act as a mouthpiece for his various agendas.
By labeling Plouffe an "adviser" it's still unclear whether he will have an official position in the White House or if he will be considered another one of the president's czars. (The title "Propaganda Czar" sounds too Orwellian for political tastes, though more poignant. Perhaps, "Karl Rove, Part 2"³.)
What's striking about this move is the sudden panic that it shows from a president who, only a few weeks ago, was convinced of the support he had from the American people for his "Healthcare Reform" bill, though a large portion of the population was against it. After the public which still, though fleetingly, believes in the left/right paradigm hastily responded by electing a Republican to a longtime held Democratic seat, the White House seems to be reacting with a less than dignified call for help from the former spin doctor. Instead of listening to his constituents and changing policy direction like a representative of the people, Obama intends to reinforce the same message of "government knows better than you" that the voters in MA rejected, and further stick the tentacles of the executive office into Congressional and state races.
So what about David Plouffe?
In November of 2009 David Plouffe appeared on CSPAN's Washington Journal show. Some comments he made of which to take note:
When asked by the host: "When did "Change We Can Believe In' catch on?" Plouffe responded:
"Like a lot of things it's not like we weren't certain it would work but it caught on. I think it made people THINK... it was a little unusual but it was certainly something that made people THINK...okay obviously this guy (Obama) isoffering change but, "we can believe in', and what does that mean? And for a lot of people that meant he's not from the Washington gestalt so he might have the ability to bring about change"
Really? "Change We Can Believe In" made people think? Perhaps in an obscure 10th grade civics essay or freshman college level philosophy fashion it did...the kind of thinking that results in vague, well meaning answers like, "showing more respect for my fellow human beings" or "reaching out and doing more for the community"...the kind of answers that were recited as "pledges" by celebrities in a commercial that ran on inauguration day...pledges made directly to the new President and which included such promises as no longer flipping the bird in traffic, or Jason Bateman stating that he will only flush the toilet when he does a number 2.
Change is a cliche in politics. I remember politicians using that word back when I was ten. (I'm 30 now). During the 2008 election, and still today, this was and continues to be a country with some very specific problems, needing candidates with specific answers based on common sense, historical precedent, and an understanding of reality. Wars with no end in sight, increasing anti-Americanism overseas, high unemployment, increasing inflation, increasing domestic strife, corporate control over government...though the public was eager for a quick fix after eight years of Bush's "in-your-face" contempt of it, it lazily congregated around somebody who told them what they wanted to hear without offering specifics, (the few specifics Obama did offer when cornered he later recanted on) cloaked in positive words of "change" and cult like chants of "Yes We Can".
If Plouffe sincerely believes "Change We Can Believe In" makes people think, then perhaps he believes that the public's capacity for thinking is very limited.
At one point when asked on Washington Journal if in the general election there was any doubt in the campaign that Obama would win, Plouffe said,
"...we were going to build a campaign in each battleground state to do everything humanly possible to win. We thought...forty-seven percent of the country voted for John McCain...but we thought that we had a huge obligation to win this election. That we could not continue the policies (of) George Bush that basically McCain was going to continue..."
So that Obama could continue those policies himself?
The articles on the internet (and even some in the mainstream media) are numerous which highlight how Obama has betrayed his well meaning liberal base and not ended the occupation of Iraq, has escalated the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan, and continued the policy of drone bombings that kill innocent civilians in other nations and stir-up hatred against America. How he refused to prosecute torture, continued the practice of rendition, fought to maintain the intrusive provisions of the Patriot Act that Bush championed, supported the bailouts that did nothing but socialize the risk for Wall Street speculators with tax payer debt, and push a healthcare agenda that mandated that unemployed people buy private insurance they can't afford or face stiff fines, (a move he said he was against during a debate with Hillary Clinton and which is, in fact, unconstitutional).