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Jon Walker wrote here yesterday:

Even with strong popular support, Obama’s call for increasing the minimum wage is unlikely to get through the Republican controlled House… Of course given the current ideological makeup of House Republicans, any proposal Obama makes is likely dead on arrival as well. So since no legislation is going to be approved, Obama might as well spend his time advocating for things that can be used as political weapons by Democrats….

The minimum wage increase is both very popular and easy to understand. Expect it to feature prominently in Democrats 2014 strategy.

Indeed, today The Plum Line confirms this:

In an interview with me, Nancy Pelosi summed up the message Dems used against Republicans in 2006, and will again use in 2014: “Just keep it simple. We want to raise the minimum wage, and you don’t. Why not?

This is of a piece with the broader observation that President Obama’s recent State of the Union speech was largely designed around defining wedge issues that Democrats can campaign on in 2014.

But stop for a moment, and think about how shocking that is.

Announcing legislative initiatives intended to give your own party a near-term political advantage?  And even coordinating with your own party on a prospective campaign message?!  It’s hard to think of anything Barack Obama did between 2009 and 2011 that would fit this description — in fact, on high-profile issues such as healthcare reform and the ill-fated “pivot” to deficit reduction, Obama’s goal has often (and famously) seemed to be the opposite.

What happened here?  Are we talking pod people, or was there some other kind of secret switch (see video above right)?

In terms of the well-worn stupid-versus-evil question, that Obama appears to have finally learned this political lesson argues in favor of the former (although there are still occasional data points for the latter).  I’m not sure how reassuring that is.



Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (www.needlenose.com).