In fact, the president himself called the whole thing a "gimmick". Isn't it great that the Senate is spending its valuable time on this purely political attempt to re-elect one man instead of doing its constitutional duty and passing the first budget in more than three years? Good to know they have their priorities in line.
Milbank spends the first few paragraphs talking about the roll out the administration is doing on this useless piece of political propaganda. He talks about the set, complete with props:
Actually, the gimmick was apparent even without the president’s acknowledgment. He gave his remarks in a room in the White House complex adorned with campaign-style photos of his factory tours. On stage with him were eight props: four millionaires, each paired with a middle-class assistant. The octet smiled and nodded so much as Obama made his case that it appeared the president was sharing the stage with eight bobbleheads.
And if that’s not enough evidence of gimmickry, after his speech Obama’s reelection campaign unveiled an online tax calculator “to see how your tax rate stacks up against Mitt Romney’s — and then see what the Buffett Rule would do.”
Milbank goes on to knock the proposed bill and the crass political nature of it all. I highly recommend it. But that's not what this post is about.
No, the thing that struck me isn't the pure politicization of this issue (which is the worst I've ever seen - using the Senate as your lackeys to attack a political rival? really?), it's the "roll out" of the gimmick. As a child of the Cold War, this struck me as the most ham-fisted propaganda campaign since the fall of the Soviet Union. Any American of a certain age knows what I'm talking about. Little vignettes like this from the Soviet propaganda machine were laughed at on nearly every level of American society at one time.
All that was missing was President Obama, dressed in a spiffy military uniform with lots of medals, saluting a vast army of middle class riding mobile printing presses spewing money as they passed in review; F-18's flying in formation overhead and carpet bombing the adoring masses with SNAP cards and government cheese.
The left scoffs at conservatives' labeling of progressives as socialist or borderline communist (when you don't have an answer, deride, right?). But when faced with such blatant propaganda, well, it's hard to see it as anything else.