By Richard Larsen
“I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake, my policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them,” said President Barrack Obama two weeks ago. There can be no doubt that the agenda of the past six years is a factor in the mid-term elections in two weeks, but for the president to so inextricably conjoin his policies with the election increases the significance and possible outcomes.
Reactions to the president’s statement have been predictably mixed in political circles. The comment drew consternation from some Democratic Senate candidates who have been attempting to distance themselves from the president and his policies, even though they’ve historically been supportive. Some have reveled in the declaration believing that linking the president’s policies, and his now dismal approval rating, to the midterms increases the odds of Republicans extending their majority in the House and regaining control of the Senate.
Last Monday the president doubled down on his remarks in an interview with Al Sharpton on MSNBC. Speaking of those congressional and senatorial candidates attempting to distance themselves from his policies, the president said, “These are all folks who vote with me. They have supported my agenda in Congress. I tell them, I said, ‘You know what, you do what you need to win.’”
There are two significant revelations embedded in that counsel. The first is that those of the president’s party are supportive of his agenda, regardless of what they may say. That verity is bourn out by near 100% support of the president by his party member’s votes in congress. The second revelatory counsel is for them to do whatever they need to do to win. Obviously that includes deceit to appear to voters as not amenable with the president’s agenda.
This should be immensely disturbing to voters, that their Machiavellian tactics would so blatantly based on dishonesty. Disavowing the president’s policies, while having actively supported and voted for them, is counting on voter ignorance for success, and is clearly deceitful. In other words, they have to lie to hope for success at the ballot box. This comes as no surprise to many of us, but for it to be so explicitly disclosed by the national figurehead of the party speaks volumes not only of him, but the Party he leads.