This week brought the 100-day mark of President Obama’s second term, and the Republican National Committee used the occasion to release a curious video.
It stands to reason the RNC isn’t impressed with the White House, but for some reason, Republican officials are pushing a message that doesn’t seem to help them much: Obama is pushing a popular policy agenda that enjoys public support; Republicans are killing that agenda in Congress; so Obama is bad. Or something.
Of particular interest is the visual in the RNC video about a third of the way through. Viewers are shown President Obama consoling Nicole Hockley, whose son was massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary, after Senate Republicans successfully filibustered bipartisan gun reforms.
I understand the RNC is going to go after the president aggressively, and I understand that some of the rhetorical shots the RNC takes are going to be cheap and ugly. But what exactly is the viewer supposed to take away from this? That Obama is a failure because congressional Republicans ignored popular will and common sense, crushing bipartisan measures intended to save American lives? That the RNC thinks it’s appropriate to exploit a grieving mother for a crass attack video?
Congratulations, Reince Priebus, your rebranding campaign is off to a great start. Just when it seemed RNC messaging couldn’t reach new lows, you’ve managed to launch a truly repulsive attack.