THE BLOG
08/18/2009 10:40 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dumb Is the New Smart

To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It's the simplicity, stupid!"

One reason why extremist Republicans have way more clout than their numbers deserve is that they keep it simple: "death panels," "Obama is a socialist," "Obama hates white people," etc. Actually, many GOPers keep it simple and stupid -- given that our president is in reality a half-white centrist whose idea of a "death panel" is the dashboard of a car with a "Cash for Clunkers"-killed engine. But the simple approach works.

For instance, Barack Obama would have a better chance at decent health care reform with a simple "Medicare for all" proposal. And if he added some GOP-inspired stupidity to the simplicity, he'd get more support from uninformed Americans on all kinds of issues -- even climate change. For instance, Obama could convincingly claim that "hot air from the right-wing smear machine contributes to global warming." After all, have you seen any polar bears in the Potomac lately?

Also, Obama could give rich Republicans who pretend to like NASCAR the simple and stupid label of "race-ists," confuse "birthers" by demanding that not-yet-conceived GOP presidents show their birth certificates now, and discredit a certain talk-show host with the simple and stupid claim that "Rush Limbaugh is a Sosalist" (implying Sammy Sosa-like bloating due to steroids).

The right wing unfairly slammed Sonia Sotomayor for her "wise Latina" remark. I'm here to criticize Obama for having a "wise patina." Writing reasoned op-ed pieces, like the one published in Sunday's New York Times, will not do it for the president. He and other Democrats must get simple, get stupid, and get spiteful ... or they'll continue to get swift-boated.