"I want to be on whatever team isn't doing that..."
It's an old Greg Giraldo joke, in which the comedian asserts that we often make decisions not because we see something we like in the team we join, but because we see something that makes us uncomfortable in the team we shun. He says it more humorously.
But it's also a great way to understand independent voters.
Last week, we didn't get the Olympics. Republicans cheered. This week, the President gets a Nobel peace prize, and Republicans can't step on their own heads fast enough to throw a hissy fit. Limbaugh went so far as to come right out and say he's with the Taliban on this one. And Fox News is just pure comedy today in reaction. Rep. Jason Chaffetz stated that the awarding a Nobel Prize to the President of the United States of America cheapens the credibility of the award itself. What kind of message do these people think they are sending? The base is eating it up, but the base isn't enough to win elections.
End result? Health care reform passes with a public option, Obama maintains or even gains a noticeable chunk of credibility and new political capital, and independent voters -- who are trickling from the Democratic Party now without reassigning themselves to the Republican Party... preferring limbo you could say -- find more reason to cast a Democratic Party vote in 2010 because, frankly...
They don't want to be on the team doing that.
Conservatives might find the most recent rhetoric and talking points witty, but it's not exactly smart strategy when your challenge is getting out of the woods, not wandering further in. It's a primer for 2008, redux.
Not that I mind.