In the legendary 1942 movie Casablanca starring Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid and Humphrey Bogart, as Rick, the proprietor of the night club, Rick's Café, in Casablanca, Morocco, Bogart asks Claude Rains, Captain Renault:
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!
Several people in the media covering the presidential campaign between President Obama and Mitt Romney indicate their surprise to learn the contents of a planning document to defeat Obama, captioned "The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama." It was allegedly prepared by Fred Davis, a political advertising guru for Joe Ricketts, the conservative founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. It has been reported that Davis expected Ricketts, through a Super PAC, would fund the plan with $10 million.
The New York Times reported on its front page, above the fold,"The plan, which is awaiting approval, calls for running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign."
"The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way," says the proposal.
"Our plan is to do exactly what John McCain would not let us do: Show the world how Barack Obama's opinions of America and the world were formed," the proposal says. "And why the influence of that misguided mentor and our president's formative years among left-wing intellectuals has brought our country to its knees."
I cannot believe that messers Messina, Plouffe, Axelrod, et al are so politically naive as to be surprised by the contents of Fred Davis' memo. The Memo is simply the ideological cesspool underlying Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky statement soon after President Obama was sworn in at inauguration in Jan 2009 that the principal political objective of the Republican Party is to make sure that President Obama "is a one term president."
The Tea Party and other people in the country comprising the right wing in our country today are prepared to overlook their short term differences with Mitt Romney as their default presidential candidate to defeat President Obama.
Differences that they may have with him on one or more important policy matters are secondary. He provides them with the "political instrument" of their "Great White Hope" to defeat President Obama. To them, President Obama is the embodiment of the black heavy weight boxing champions Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali. Like them, he must be dethroned at all costs by whatever lawful means necessary so that" The Great White Hope" is returned to the White House as "champion" (anyone familiar with the history of heavyweight boxing championships in America will understand my use of the phrase "The Great White Hope").
The fact that such means, while lawful, may also be immoral, untruthful or the ugliest kind of guilt by association reminiscent of the Communist witch hunt days of Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy does not matter to them.
Mindful of this attitude among powerful financial and political forces opposed to President Obama was one of the reasons, on more than one occasion in prior blogs concerning the president's style of leadership I had suggested to him at the time "to kick ass and take names"; instead of the well-intentioned, but unrealistic efforts to compromise with Republican congressional leadership.
I had hoped that coming from Chicago, during in his efforts to negotiate with Republican congressional Republicans, President Obama would remember Sean Connery's (Malone) advice to Kevin Costner (Elliott Ness) in the movie, The Untouchables.
Ness: I want to get Capone! I don't know how to do it.
Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital; you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?
Ness: I have sworn to capture this man with all legal powers at my disposal and I will do so.
Malone: Well, the Lord hates a coward.
[jabs Ness with his hand, and Ness shakes it]
My only modification to the above advice is that the president exercise his leadership as Malone suggests, but consistent with the legacy of Dr. King that he do so non-violently.
Right wing supporters are sending President Obama's re-election campaign and their supporters a message: block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, voting precinct by voting precinct, the skills of Barack Obama the Community Organizer are more needed now more than ever.
Additionally, no effort in any state at voter suppression should go unchallenged by the most vigorous and vocal opposition -- financially and organizationally capable. In a word, no stone can be left unturned along the various combinations roads to amass 270 electoral votes.
The Fred Davis plan is only the tip of the iceberg of what the opposition, including Karl Rove's Super PAC, is planning to defeat President Obama. Nothing should surprise us about those who have a fundamentally different vision about the future of America and for our children and grandchildren.