“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.”
That’s the strategy from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” that seems to playing out from President Barack Obama again. This time Obama was talking about Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in reference to DeMint’s comments a loss on health care could eventually break the president’s momentum. For the second time in three days, Obama referenced the senator’s comments in high-profile appearances, this one at his July 22 primetime press conference.
“I’ve heard one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, its better politics to go for the kill. Another Republican senator that defeating health care reform is about breaking me,” Obama said. “So let me be clear – this isn’t about me. I have great health insurance. So does every member of Congress.”
And Obama had made a similar reference about DeMint on July 20 for the
DeMint’s analogy or quote were picked up and used by all three broadcast networks. In addition, both The Washington Post and The New York Times quoted DeMint making the Waterloo comment.
In addition to Obama’s remarks, the Democratic National Committee and other left-wing groups have decided to launch attacks to rally their base, including a 30-second TV spot by the DNC set to air in DeMint’s home state. However, DeMint fired back at the president.
“It’s disappointing that President Obama has lowered the discourse of this important debate with false personal attacks,” DeMint said in a statement through his office. “Beyond the fact that the President’s accusations are patently false, it is disturbing that he and his team would respond to a policy debate with political attack ads. The American people deserve a real debate of ideas, which is why I’ve offered major health care reforms every year that I’ve been in the Senate.
DeMint, author of the newly released book “Saving Freedom,” also noted that Obama had been “change” candidate, determined to change the “politics as usual,” but his shot at the South Carolina senator has proved otherwise.
“These false personal attacks are exactly the tactics the President promised to change. I strongly encourage the President to live up to his campaign promises and work honestly with me and other Republicans to make health care affordable and accessible for every American,” DeMint added.
Obama’s strategy isn’t new, however. Earlier in his term, the president and members of his administration have attacked some of his other outspoken critics including conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh and CNBC on-air personalities Jim Cramer and Rick Santelli.