In a customarily squalid re-advertisement of Republican indifference to intellectual integrity and human decency, John Boehner's spokesman told the NY Times:
Americans expect their elected leaders to work together to boost job creation, even in an election year. Divided government can be challenging, but that’s no excuse for [Obama] to put his presidency on autopilot when so many Americans are looking for work.
That statement, as you might have guessed, was in tailored response to the president's announced re-election strategy of: I've had it with the wretched Republicans. Haven't you?
The Times frames it a bit less colloquially:
President Obama, heading into a grueling re-election campaign, plans to intensify his attacks against an unpopular Congress, concluding that he cannot pass any major legislation in 2012 because of unrelenting Republican hostility to his agenda.
As I've already noted elsewhere and often, I have little doubt as to the actual "re-election" portion of that scenario. The question is the extent of the "grueling" part. Current polling indicates a tight race between Obama and the GOP's eventual nominee, Mitt Romney, but current polling is about as relevant to November 2012 as Sarah Palin's Facebook comments are to the theoretical future of quantum physics.
Yet to come are hundreds of headlines of yet unknown, electoral influences; namely, the vicissitudes of foreign affairs and the economy's health. Republicans are of course doing whatever they can to cast the worst conceivable gloom on the former and poison the latter. But Obama's greatest strategic challenge is less likely to come in defending his record -- and in attacking Romney's as an immense explosion of dazzling flip-flops -- than in battling what appears to be the emerging Romniac strategy: to Occupy Obama, or rather to pre-occupy Obama with unrelenting blitzkriegs of lying monstrosities.
Obama's European socialism, his Marxist "entitlement society" of leveled outcomes, his unAmerican values, his apologetic foreign policy -- these are but the beginning salvos of a Romney assault designed to deflect the incoming shells of his own flip-floppery, as well of course to entice the media into a bloody indulgence and, it goes without saying, to delight the hooligan base.
I'm betting it won't work. Nearly a year of this humbug will undoubtedly thrill the core Obama-haters, and for a while it will unsettle the independently clueless; but 10 unremitting months of such brazen bullshit are several months too many. On the stump Obama will cast that cool smile, he'll look about to comedically confirm that he's indeed surrounded by reality and realists, and then, having done both, he'll chuckle. And the crowd will chuckle. And in short order Romney will appear, to the many, to be precisely what he is: desperate and foolish.
Two other items: the no little matter of a probable Ron Paul third-party run, which will drain Romney of vital votes in essential states; and then there's the GOP base's disaffection with the unreliable Romney, which should score some quantifiable effect on GOP turnout.
A "grueling" re-election campaign? Notwithstanding present polling, I'd label that assessment gratuitous.