Martin over at Balloon Juice makes some good points regarding POTUS and the upcoming general election:
The president can’t speak out against the opposition outside of campaign season. It’s an unspoken rule – because voters can’t do shit about it, you have to deal with the assholes you’re dealt. But at the same time, we give politicians permission to make their case during election years – and because the president is running for re-election, he can make his case. He can make it not only against his direct opposition, but also against the other party more broadly.
Obama has another thing working against him that no other president has had to deal with, and that’s the proverb: “You’ve got to work twice as hard to get half as far as a black person in white America.”
That’s true to a certain degree even as president. He’s GOT to be squeaky clean. He’s got to play the rules better than any of his predecessors, because the GOP and the media are just aching for a reason to tear him down, to say he wasn’t ready, that we weren’t ready, that we should stick to old, white, rich guys. So as president, he’s had to be more deferential than Clinton or Bush could have gotten away with.
But in campaign season, I think he’s going to open up more. I think we’ve already seen some of that. I think he’s just aching to do it, but knows he couldn’t afford it before. The GOP (the Tea Party, particularly) can’t help but see him as weak. I think that instinctively they see him as the black guy that they should be able to keep in his place. I think they feel they can roll him, even in an election year, and I bet that pisses Obama off something fierce. My guess is that guys like Boehner who have been in that town long enough know that Obama is going to just wreck them over something like this because he knows the rules change. Those bazillion Tea Party freshmen don’t realize that. They never recognized that they couldn’t still campaign during the State of the Union and catcall the President. And now that they’re at least acknowledging that there’s a certain decorum here, I don’t think they realize that he can come out swinging as soon as the voters decide that campaign season is on.
Remember the scene in In The Heat of the Night where Tibbs lets the old dude know his Nathan Bedford Forrest routine is DONE?
Yeah, that’s the one. A preview of things to come…