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Obama’s Wiley Coyote Reelection Strategy

You all may have already heard or read about Obama’s reelection strategy:  govern for independent voters.  It is taken as gospel that the reason for Democratic losses in the midterms was the defection of independent voters to the GOP, so to get those voters back, Obama is going to focus on policies that appeal to independent voters.  To wit,

In other words, the White House blamed Democrats’ 2010 defeat on the loss of independents, and to win them back, it will try to slow the growth of government, encourage a bipartisan spirit in Washington, and reform the government process by eliminating things like earmarks

Too bad for the rest of us progressives and other long suffering Americans because the legions of independent voters that Obama is catering to DO NOT EXIST.

According to the 2008 National Election Survey, there are supposedly 40% of American voters who consider themselves independent, but follow up questions reveal that only 10% of American voters are real independents. The rest gravitate toward either the Democratic or Republican Parties.  

And the number of actual independent voters, those who show up at the polls, is not static.  In fact, at best about 7% of actual voters are independents.  The rest of the independent voter hordes don’t bother to vote. 

Also, these self proclaimed independents don’t make up a political party or other institution.  There is no party platform for independents, nor is there a coherent political philosophy for independents.  Except for one or two members of Congress, there is no independent party holding a significant block of elected offices.

To make matters worse, Obama is projecting some political mindset onto the independent voters who bothered to show up and voted against Democrats – embracing bipartisanship.

As John Judis pointed out, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the thin slice of the American voting public described as independents wants:  JOBS!  When times are good, independents tend to vote for the government.  When times turn tough, independents succumb to right wing populism.

Given that Obama wants to give the Republicans an even bigger bear hug than he has the last two years and release his inner supply side self, how exactly are failed Republican economic policies to create jobs over the next two years?

Oh, and as an aside, I’m sure that many of you FDLers have met one of those independent voters. I used to chat online with an independent voter from Florida.  This independent voter lived in Florida during the 2000 Election Debacle.  She was a committed environmentalist and Wiccan. 

She voted for George W. Bush because she thought he was a good man.

Let that sink in for a sec.  Bush was not only an oil man, but he did not recognize Wiccan as a real religion.  So independent or swing voters are some of the dumbest voters on the planet.  And Obama wants to go chasing after them in 2012.

Where Obama’s Wiley Coyoteness comes into play is that he is not only chasing a phantom voter, but he has decided to disrespect the rest of the Democratic Party in the process.  I can’t remember any president ever insulting an entire base of a political party.  I remember Bill Clinton would attack certain segments of the Democratic coalition (labor for one), but never has any Democratic president thrown so many elements of the Democratic base under the bus with such, dare I say, sanctimony. 

Progressives can only conclude that Obama thinks that we have only one place to go come 2012, so he can insult and dismiss us all the way to the election.   Well, if Obama wants to be the leader of the non-existent Independent Party, I think we as  progressive Democrats should oblige him with a primary challenge.  Let Obama win reelection with 7% of the voters.  He obviously doesn’t need our help.

Barack Obama – SUPER GENIUS!

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