Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Intelligence Matters

David Corn, who wrote for The Nation for years and now writes for Mother Jones, has an interesting take on the presidential election, which is in his new book and which he discussed in an interview on Democracy Now the other day (a transcript is below the video.)

He talks about how President Obama set up the narrative for the current election after the tea baggers were swept to power in 2010, specifically with how he proceeded during the debates over raising the debt ceiling limit, when Republicans, under the influence of the just elected tea bagger hoard, threatened to take to nation over the cliff unless huge cuts were made to the federal budget.

Obama argued that government is a force for good and that we as a people help each other out in hard times and we do that through government, and then he kept repeating that theme in other contexts.

It was a brilliant strategy and it worked, although you'd have to add that Obama was lucky to get Mitt Romney as an opponent, and that a lot of the credit has to go to the Occupy Wall Street movement for doing a lot of Obama's work for him when it changed the national debate to one in which class plays the central role.

Also, Corn, who released the secretly recorded video in which Romney talks about writing off 47 percent of the population, tells how that story unfolded, with the help of Jimmy Carter's grandson.

Jimmy Carter was pleased by how things unfolded.

Romney has campaigned against former President Carter almost as much as against Obama. Countless Republicans have used Jimmy Carter for a punching bag and it's no doubt been difficult for him to have his good name excoriated all these years. Jimmy Carter has been the very model of an ex president, devoting his life to causes of justice, building houses for the poor, mediating difficult conflicts, and going around the globe with his Carter Center observing elections, unlike Ronald Reagan who, the minute he left office, flew to Japan to make commercials for a million dollars each, and never did a thing as ex president to help anyone but himself.

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