Taking a page out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” the plan is to maximize the people’s pain — to maximize the political damage to the enemy, the Republican Party.
What else explains it?
Consider this: Asked Wednesday if there were any danger of America defaulting on her debt, President Obama rushed to assure a reporter that, yes, indeed, there certainly is such a peril. Why would a president act in so perverse a manner, were he not trying deliberately to rattle or panic the markets?
Obama’s tactic worked. Thursday, the Dow plunged below 15,000.
Equally telling is what happened at the World War II Memorial.
This is an open memorial on the mall, to which the old soldiers of the Greatest Generation, flown here on honor flights, come to a last roll call with their comrades.
But when the old soldiers got here, the Park Service, apparently acting on orders from the White House complex, had thrown up steel barriers and crime-scene tape to keep them from visiting the site on what is surely the last trip many will ever make to see their memorial.
What kind of sick mind does something like that?
To their credit, the vets and their families pulled aside the barriers to walk through their monument, singing songs in memory of the heroes who had gone before. Now one reads that Obama has ordered the cemetery and beaches at Normandy closed. Again, what kind of mindset produces this?
Undeniably, Republicans have voted to defund Obamacare, to suspend it for one year, and to reform it. But in each of these three votes, the House also voted to fund the entire government.
Why, then, is the government shut down? Because Harry Reid and Barack Obama have issued an edict: Either Obamacare is fully funded and untouched in the continuing resolution, or we kill the CR, shut down the government, and blame you. And this is exactly what is going on.
This is all about a petulant president whose prize program the people do not want, but who insists it be imposed upon them, to assure himself a paragraph in the history books.
This week, Republicans tried to pass legislation that would keep open all memorials and monuments, all tourist sites in Washington, D.C., and all programs for America’s veterans.
Who stonewalled that? Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama.
Why would Reid sabotage the funding the National Institute of Health.
Why would Reid sabotage what is transparently a humanitarian act?
The Obama-Reid strategy is, in a word, sadistic.
They are inflicting pain on fellow Americans — to break their political enemies. And they can only succeed in sustaining their Big Lie — that it is Republicans who want to keep the government shut down — because of a collaborationist press.
Case in point: The Washington Post.
Several days ago, the Post wailed that Republicans were endangering the nation’s health by failing to fund NIH. But now that the Republican House has tried to fund NIH in full, where is the editorial denouncing Pelosi or Reid for blocking funding for NIH? Nowhere. Which suggests the Post’s real concern was never about funding NIH but about bashing the GOP.
In Thursday’s lead editorial: “National Security at Risk,” the Washington Post asks, “At a time of war, how can Republicans justify furloughing much of the intelligence workforce?”
Yet, not a word in the editorial about the indispensable role of Reid and our commander-in-chief in preventing America’s security agencies from being funded.
What should have the House Republicans done before week’s end? Pass bills funding the Pentagon, State, CIA, NSA, Homeland Security and any other agency having to do with the national security. But when Harry Reid again balks that he is not going to “play this little game,” anyone think the Post will hold him accountable?
The Obama-Reid strategy — inflict maximum pain on the country for maximum gain for themselves -- coupled with a refusal to talk with the GOP — reflects this city’s contempt for conservative Republicans.
Yet, the sadistic strategy of Obama and Reid, and the poisonous atmosphere it has created, is telling America that: In its assessment of this city’s ruling establishment, the Tea Party has more than a small point.
With Reid on the defensive, trying to justify his refusal to cooperate in funding any agency, the truth may be gaining on the Big Lie.
(Daily Corinthian columnist Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”)