The art of deliberately, cleverly, and secretly pissing people off…using dialogue…The most essential part of trolling is convincing your victim that either a) truly believe in what you are saying, no matter how outrageous, or b) give your victim malicious instructions, under the guise of help.
A lot of ink is being spilled about Obama’s forthcoming immigration plan and who it will include, will it go far enough, etc. This, in my opinion, is academic in a political — obviously not in a real life — sense. The greater issue is what this is setting up for 2016 and how it brilliantly is making sure 2016 is more like 2012 than 2014. Let me explain.
The greatest threat to Hillary is a moderate GOP candidate who can appeal to both the base and the middle. Democrats know this. The GOP knows this. It was unlikely such a unifying candidate would emerge from the GOP, but the Democrats are not taking any chances. Especially after the drubbing in the midterms.
The question becomes, how do you marry the GOP candidates to the extreme base? The Democrats have calculated this in three steps.
- Outrage the GOP Base to Extreme Levels
- Force all the GOP Candidates to Adopt Base Positions on the Subject
- Make Sure the Subject Damages the GOP in the General Election
Obama’s Immigration order nails all three. It is not just red meat for the GOP base, it’s the entire cow. Executive action and immigration. The GOP base will be whipped up into a frenzy. Next, all the candidates will have to take a position, and appease the base.
This is where the third factor comes into play. How does the GOP condemn the action without alienating the middle and Latinos? If the action is what I expect it to be, cleverly not deporting family members of citizens, the criticism will be difficult and have to be nuanced. The base won’t take nuanced answers. They want hard condemnation. The incentives to give in, issue broad condemnations, an fund raise on the issue with be overwhelming for the GOP. Silly comments will slip out and be tagged to the entire GOP.
It has been only a day and you see Rick Santorim getting this danger, trying the frame the issue differently:
Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2012 and is likely to run again in 2016, said the GOP should focus on the economic implications for blue-collar workers, emphasizing that Obama is trying to legalize 5 million new workers as the economy and wages are stagnant.
Yet, Michelle is biting hard on the trolling:
“The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer — millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language,” Bachmann told reporters at the Capitol. “Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote.”
Can the GOP keep the crazies under control for this one? I doubt it. While I personally disagree with what Obama is doing here, it’s brillant politically. Expect the Hillary commercials highlighting all the top GOP candidates saying how they will reverse the order and deport immigrant children mom and dads to run on a continuous loop.
2016 is really starting to look like 2012.