Over the last few months - in fact, since the inauguration of Barack Obama - those on the right have complained about the Obama Administration using taxpayer dollars in order to fund what seems to be a continuous campaign effort on the part of the President. However, at this point I do not believe he is campaigning. Rather, he is chopping wood.
Moderate voters drove Obama to victory in 2008, coming out in record numbers to propel him into office. His ideas and policies have slowly eroded away the support of moderates, leaving him barely hanging on to the far left. Even those on the far left are disappointed, claiming that his efforts have not been drastic enough. In order to win over enough of the moderates for a repeat victory in 2012, Obama has only two remaining options:
First, he can court the moderates through speech and policy. This would mean compromising with republicans in Congress. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is not likely to support any measure that includes such compromise.
Second, he can attempt to drive a wedge into the American public. All he needs to do in this case is pick one or two hot-button issues (the wedge) and hammer them until there is a fracture in the populace. As that fracture spreads, more and more of the moderate voters will be forced to take sides. For him to attempt this strategy, he banks on the greater number falling out to his side.
If you have been watching the actions of the Administration and listening to the speeches of the President and those who support him, it is abundantly clear which strategy he has adopted. The continued race-baiting and slander of those who have done nothing more repugnant than disagree with the President's policies (like those who associate with the Tea Party movement) and attempts to draw average Americans into large scale class warfare (by continually preaching about "your fair share" that currently resides in someone else's pockets and by perpetuating the message of groups such as Occupy Wall Street) the President has clearly chosen sides. The only question that remains is whether or not the American public can see the wedge and hammer strategy for what it is.
Those of us in St. Louis are in a particularly good position to see this coming, as this is the very same strategy that recently fractured the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition. There were rumors that MO2 congressional candidate Ed Martin was the cause of the problem, but that is far from the truth. Ed Martin was just the wedge. The axe was wielded by the group of people who failed to separate the candidate from the cause, and then doubled down on that failure by making the candidate outweigh the cause. In their case, the strategy worked. And it worked quickly.
I have no doubt that President Obama and his team have the ability to cause a fracture in the United States. The question is whether it will be the kind of fracture that we can use to rebuild our nation, or the kind that allows us to double down on the failures we have already seen.