We know the Republicans are barkingly mad: first the Quitta from Wasilla, then King Combover Trump, followed by Crazy-eyes Michelle, succeeded by Prayin' Rick Perry, and now the guy who managed to make pizza taste bad. We know this, but now it seems even the Villagers are starting to get concerned, as witness Dana Milbank offering advice to Obama on how to beat his opponents. More post-squiggularity:
As one Kennedy aide recounted, “Jack preferred killing a politician to wounding one. ‘A wounded tiger,’ he always said, ‘was more dangerous than either a living or dead one.’”
Reading these pages brought to mind the current president, who too often handles his tigers with stroking or submission. President Obama doesn’t need to sic the FBI on his opponents, but neither would it hurt him to put some fear in friends and foes alike as he pushes for jobs bills on the Hill and begins a difficult reelection campaign.
Bill Clinton knew this: during the 1992 campaign, after a particularly irresponsible bit of Bush propaganda, he said he wanted his people to "punch their teeth down their throats". Later, when Gingrich shut down the government on claiming he felt slighted on Air Force One, the White House published pictures of Newt at a card table with the President.
LBJ got the Civil Rights Act through Congress by twisting arms, along with a host of other programs which eased citizen's lives such as Medicare and Medicaid.
In the current climate, Republican "compromise" means the Right gets everything Grover Norquist desires, and in turn they promise not to use the words "economic terrorist" more than a half-dozen times per speech.
Note Obama's popularity rose this past month after a half year of decline, at the same time as he sharpened his rhetoric and showed America a jobs bill which could help the country recover. The Republicans, of course, put up a straw man composed mostly of loosened pollution controls and more tax giveaways, but perhaps citizens are beginning to see through their obfuscation to the core of the matter: they don't have a plan. They don't want a plan, not if it means a recovery before November 2012. Even if they do offer a plan, it's hot air. The hell with bipartisanship: the current crop of Republicans are willing to burn the country down so their masters can save a few percent on their tax bills.
At this point, one hopes Obama takes a tip from the opponents' recent discomfiture and does something which doesn't come naturally to him, to wit kick their asses around the block, in public, with prejudice, and with malice aforethought.
Let's give Dana the final word:
The intimidation, naturally, worked on the Republicans, too. “They were ruthless,” one Nixon man said, in Matthews’s account. “They scared the [expletive] out of me.” They did more than that to Roger Blough, the U.S. Steel president, who defied Kennedy in 1961 by raising prices. “You have made a terrible mistake,” Kennedy told him. Subpoenas flew, FBI agents marched into steel executives’ offices, and Kennedy spoke about IRS agents examining “hotel bills and nightclub expenses [that] would be hard to get by the weekly wives’ bridge group out at the country club.”