I think the stunning arrogance of the Republicans, who have been reading their own talking points far too much, came back to bite them in the ass in Baltimore last week. The Republicans welcomed President Obama to their annual retreat last week in Baltimore (maybe with the thought they could make him look bad on national television). It was a big mistake. One has to imagine the Republicans never knew what hit them by the time everything was said, done and written (unless you watch Fox News which still tried to spin it negatively for the president). President Obama went onto Republican turf, handled all the partisan attacks, misleading information, fear mongering and falsehoods with dignity, class and intelligence.
With relative ease, the president smacked down most, if not all, of the Republican falsehoods and misleading attacks with charm, poise and intelligence. In all honesty, President Obama made the Republicans looked like a bunch of angry obstructionists using fear, misleading information, false information and hatred as weapons of attack. The president came off looking like a good guy trying to do the right thing while the Republicans came off looking angry and politically hateful.
This is from Think Progress:
House Republicans were fired up and ready to go for their conversation with President Obama at their annual retreat today. According to the New York Times, members of the conservative Republican House Conference said they were “itching to quiz the president and present their policy ideas rather than listen to another lofty presidential address.” Although such sessions generally occur behind closed doors, Republicans agreed to open it up after the White House said it was willing to do so. However, after Obama’s strong performance, some Republicans are now regretting that decision. As Luke Russert reported on MSNBC:
RUSSERT: Tom Cole — former head of the NRCC, congressman from Oklahoma — said, “He scored many points. He did really well.” Barack Obama, for an hour and a half, was able to refute every single Republican talking point used against him on the major issues of the day. In essence, it was almost like a debate where he was front and center for the majority of it. … One Republican said to me, off the record, behind closed doors: “It was a mistake that we allowed the cameras to roll like that. We should not have done that.”
Here is the bottom line: The Republicans believed all of that garbage about teleprompters and questioned the president’s intelligence. They underestimated him (mainly his intelligence) and ended up looking REALLY bad as he handled all of their questions and attacks as if he knew what they were going to say (because he did know what they were going to say).
President Obama was right about how vulnerable these Republicans become with their own base because of how hateful the rhetoric from the far right has become. He turned on the charm and used reason to expose the anger of the far right in attacking his administration. As the president asked how can the far right work with the president when they’re buying into (initiating or advancing) the garbage that he is a fascist, a socialist, he’s trying to harm old people, he is trying to take over government and so on and so forth? They can’t unless they are willing to risk the wrath of people who hated Barack Obama from the moment they first saw him.
But, back to my main point: Republicans made a mistake.
They underestimated Barack Obama and he made them look really bad on a national stage (unless you watch Fox News in which case you would not have seen the entire exchange as they turned away to begin bashing him with right-wing talking points … disguised as fair and balanced).