President Obama is one of the great political knife-fighters in modern history. He is a failed president — his economy is bleak, his foreign policy bleaker, his vision for American even bleaker still. But he wins.
He wins by losing.
President Obama has only had two major policy victories during his tenure: the stimulus package and Obamacare. Both are massively unpopular. The stimulus package launched the tea party movement. Obamacare led to the Republican wipeout of 2010.
Then Obama began to lose. He wasn’t able to push forward climate change legislation or immigration reform or gun control or increased taxes before the election of 2012. And he won a sweeping electoral victory. The strategy was — and is — simple. Obama pursues policies that are widely popular and then purposefully sinks them by casting Republicans as obstructionists.
He is not truly interested in immigration reform; Republicans are fools to think that he is. Obama wants to raise the issue of immigration reform so that he can demonize Republicans as anti-Hispanic. That’s why Obama ignores the broad support for an immigration plan that would provide border security once and for all and then deal with the illegal immigrants who live here. Instead, he proposes an immigration plan that would do nothing for border security while essentially granting gradual amnesty to those already here — and to millions more who will cross the border unmolested.
By doing so, Obama puts himself in a no-lose situation: If immigration reform passes, he takes credit; if not, he blames Republicans as racists who simply don’t like Hispanics. The media will abet this little game. Suddenly a failed proposal from Obama becomes a political winner for him.
The same holds true of the sequester. President Obama originated the sequester. It was his idea to put into place an automatic cut in the rate of spending increase, and it was his idea to focus those cuts on the defense industry. Republicans, idiotically believing that Obama was interested in honest negotiation, voted for sequestration. Now Obama runs to the cameras to suggest that if these cuts go forward, the world will end. All he asks to avert this earth-shattering crisis is a few tax increases. The media helps him pimp this narrative.
Again, it’s a no-lose for Obama. If sequestration is averted, Obama takes the credit. If not, he gets to cast Republicans as hard-hearted Scrooges who want Tiny Tim to starve to death. Another failed proposal, another victory for Obama.
What does all this achieve? It achieves electoral victory. Once Democrats have enough votes in the House and Senate to ram through their agenda, the game is over: Obama forces through his policies. America moves to the left.
Obama understands what Republicans do not: Politics is a waiting game. If nothing gets done with a split government, Obama is happy to live with that. Meanwhile, he’ll demagogue each and every issue until he gets the votes he needs to truly transform America.
Ben Shapiro, 29, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is the New York Times bestselling author of “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.”