REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Obama’s State Of Disunion Pitch

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama’s sixth State of the Union attack is intended to cause enough disunion to help Democrats win the 2016 election.

He’ll push for huge tax increases and for more supposedly free government and company-provided services that taxpayers and fellow employees must fund, Democrats say.

He’ll argue that Democrats’ more big-government redistributionist policies can fix the wage freeze and widening income gaps that are a hallmark of his big-government, low growth Obama economy.

He’s also inviting a palette of guests to paint himself and the Democrats as the guardians of the ordinary man or woman — including the nation’s population of 12 million illegal migrants — nearly all of whom have seen their wages freeze or shrivel during his six years of economic policymaking.

He and everyone else knows that all that extra spending and regulating must be opposed by the newly elected GOP-majority Congress, which was elected on an anti-Obama, anti-Obamacare, anti-amnesty platform.

But his pitch and the GOP’s inevitable rebuff will help Democrats and the media portray the GOP as the party of greedy plutocrats, in the hope they can repeated their 2012 strategy that worked so well against former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Obama’s former speechwriter, Jon Favreau, gave the game away early, once GOP leaders dismissed Obama’s proposed tax hikes as unfair tax grabs. “I see Obama’s tax plan has already baited Republicans into making the argument that most annoys people about their party,” he tweeted Jan. 17.

Obama executed the same obfusacte-divide-and-rule strategy prior to his presidential elections in 2008 and 2012.

That strategy worked, partly because GOP candidates couldn’t generate much love or enthusiasm among the hard-pressed, lower-income swing-voters that might have pulled the lever for the GOP.

Of course, there’s not much room these days for school-book style cooperation between the two parties.

The ideological gap as been widened since 2008 by Obama’s determination to expand the federal government’s reach into every corner of America — into doctors’ offices, school playgrounds, city planning debates, university dorms, K-12 bathrooms, Missouri squad cars, New York police briefings, non-profits’ tax filings, gun-smugglers business plans, Mexican coyotes’ advertising campaigns, ad nauseam.

His expansion has helped the tea party surgically insert the strongest ideological backbone they could into into the GOP, although the GOP’s establishment wing is trying to reject the rather flexible transplant.

GOP leaders say they’ll try to ignore the president’s Capitol Hill trolling.

“I would guess the president would love for Republicans in Congress to take the bait or to somehow have our heads turned away from working toward constructive solutions in some cases,” Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker told The Washington Post.

“Our goal should be to perform, to show we can legislate responsibly,” he said.

That effort to ignore Obama’s will be difficult, because the media will try try hard to get a reaction.

The GOP’s efforts to govern will be even more difficult, because Obama and the Democrats will try to wring unpopular concessions from the GOP in exchange for deals.

But the GOP’s establishment does want to strike deals with Obama that likely will be opposed by large slices of the GOP electorate.

They leadership wants deals that would cut business taxes in exchange for ignoring Obamacare, and they want an immigration deal that would trade future voters to the Democrats in exchange a rush of cheap labor for GOP donors.

Yet Obama’s amnesty is so unpopular that his unilateral amnesty plan is opposed by 89 percent of GOP voters, 54 percent of independents and 32 percent of Democrats, according to a Jan. 189 poll by ABC and The Washington Post.

Whatever the details, Obama’s speech is the first hatchet swing of the 2016 election.

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