Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How will Obama respond to these secession petitions, Update

Obama is not stupid, he is very smart and  has a sharp analytic mind. You may not agree with what he says, but I think it would only be blind partisanship not to recognize that he is smart.

So it occurs to me what will Obama's response be to these secession petitions? I initially thought it would be some reply with legal reasoning that would not get much public interest. Or perhaps Obama might just publish the Gettysburg Address and say "ditto" in a humorous response.

However, I see that these secession petitions give Obama a political opportunity. An opportunity to get his opposition into conflict and trouble with themselves and discredit themselves with the general public.

When Obama first got elected he made a statement that the Republicans shouldn't let Rush Limbaugh be their leader. Obama wasn't being helpful to the Republicans. He wanted Rush Limbaugh to be the face of the Republican party and further show that the Republican party wouldn't reject Limbaugh further giving credibility that Limbaugh was representative of the Republican party. Limbaugh not caring for anyone or anything except himself leaped at the opportunity to promote himself surely knowing he was enabling Obama's strategy. Obama's gambit worked wonderfully helping him to win re-election.

Understanding what Obama did, and that he is a strategic thinker taking advantage of these types of opportunities I think might give us insight as to what he will do. The petitions did get a lot of attention and his response will get a lot of attention. In responding Obama has the opportunity to discredit his opponents or put them in a difficult position with their supporters.

Surely Obama has noticed the response of Rick Perry advocating staying in the Union, but not condemning the secessionists and expressing sympathy to them. Obama surely has concluded secession is a difficult issue for some Republicans.

So Obama in his response to these secession petitions has opportunities. Even though the public is laughing at them, it is the type of thing that entertains the public and there will be curiosity over exactly what Obama's response will be. If Obama does a legalistic response, there will be some commentary about it and the topic will fade out to oblivion. If Obama hands out the Gettysburg Address or some brief historical reference, it will get some response, and fade to oblivion. The conservative movement will further resist secession entering their mainstream but not criticizing Obama so they can avoid being identified with secession.

But Obama might respond in a way that will bait his opposition to respond. Since much of his opposition is  hysterical or at least very excitable or reactive without reflection this isn't so difficult.

I think Obama's response might have many patriotic references and use the "mystic chords of memory" and his defense of the Union will refer to the blessings of the American government from a Democratic party viewpoint. Maybe not in an obvious way. He might refer to the American historical narrative and reference the increasing egalitarian spirit of American life and how opportunity is made available to all. He could refer to the great national enterprises like NASA and the national parks and federal lands. The later might provoke the Sagebrush rebellion types. There might be a reference to immigration, the Statue of Liberty and how America is seen as a desirable place to immigrate to and how immigration is part of the national story.

The response can't be seen as baiting the opposition, so it has to be done just right to provoke, but not at an obvious level.

I think though Obama will simply choose to make his response a general patriotic defense of the nation. But still these petitions give Obama a possible opportunity to create all sorts of trouble for his opposition and surely he must be thinking of them.

I am very curious as to what Obama's response will be.

Update 11/27/12: I think Obama merely has to have the same response to the secession petitions as Lincoln did regarding secession. Obama has to reject secession on the same basis as it was rejected during the Civil War. Without mentioning Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis or the Confederacy it will be clear that Obama rejects the basic arguments of the Lost Cause mythology justifying secession and hence reject the Lost Cause mythology.

Without mentioning the Confederacy by name he can reject it, and given the current geographic location of the Republican party base, this might get a response of those defending the Confederacy. It would put the Republicans in a difficult position not wanting to be identified with the Confederacy, but not wanting to alienate and lose their base in the deep South.

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