October 15, 2012

Obama's October (yawn) Surprise?

Hatched by Dafydd

The "October surprise" is a favorite tactic of the Left; because they see a presidential campaign as a game to be won by any means necessary -- vice Republicans, who see it as an opportunity to highlight differences in philosophy and policy between the two major parties -- they naturally gravitate to the eleventh-hour punch at the candidate of the Right, whether he is incumbent or challenger, as the linked Wikipedia article demonstrates.

During George W. Bush's reelection, Democrats dropped the "bombshell" that munitions were allegedly looted from al Qa'qaa, supposedly under American control (October 27th, 2004); although it turned out to be false, it likely made Bush's victory smaller. Four years earlier, the October surprise (OS) was the revelation by Algore's campaign that Bush was arrested for drunk driving twenty-four years earlier (last week before the 2000 election).

Bill Clinton sought endlessly for an OS in 1996; he pushed for a peace treaty in Bosnia, an Israeli-Palestinian agreement, and finally, in desperation, a massive sting against the Russian Mafia in the United States. Four years earlier in 1992, when Clinton was running for his first term, leftist Democratic "Independent" Counsel Lawrence Walsh saw fit to announce the indictment against George H.W. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, just four days before the 1992 election! (Even more obvious: The grand jury had actually indicted Weinberger four months earlier; Walsh sat on the indictment until the week before the election. Subtle, Larry.)

Michael Dukakis didn't manage to pull off any OSs, and he lost. (To be fair, I think he would have been walloped just as hard even if he had produced one.) Finally, back in 1980, President Jimmy Carter tried desperately to forge a last-minute deal with the Ayatollah Khomeini and his wild-eyed mullahs to release the American hostages from Iran before the election. The deal fell through... then when the Iranians released the hostages the very day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, the Left was so enraged it immediately accused Reagan of having concocted a "secret deal" to keep the hostage in custody until after the election -- likely the most bizarre and vile accusation ever leveled after a presidential campaign had already lost. (Much more plausibly, the Iranians were (a) more afraid of Reagan than Carter, and (b) wanted to take revenge for Carter's failed attempt to rescue the hostages by force in April, 1980.)

Barack Obama himself received the best of all "October surprises" in September, 2008, with the economic meltdown -- inadvertently served up to him on a golden platter by a cohort of liberal Democrats, via their legislation and regulation that effectively forced banks and S&Ls to lend money to poor people who could not possibly meet the payments.

So what's Obama's OS going to be this year? I think the odds are darn near 100% that his campaign is cooking up something (or has already set something in motion).

More and more "pundants" have suggested that the president's "October surprise" is going to be some kind of assault on Libya, to retaliate for the assassination of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy personnel.

This could easily happen; it's entirely in the hands of the Commander in Chief to order such an attack, at a time of his choosing. However, the most likely vehicle for this attack is -- a drone with a Hellfire missile, or maybe several. Such a remote attack, just one more in a long line of dubious drone attacks on purported high-value targets, would hardly change the dynamic of the race; in fact, it would lay the Obama campaign wide open to ridicule for having "fired a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt." Only a real assault, at least a successful raid with boots on the ground, could possibly be dramatic enough even to get a few minutes of airtime on the network news.

The only way that boots would hit the ground would be one of two possible scenarios:

  1. If the administration could (a) definitely prove who was responsible for the attack, and (b) demonstrate that said person or persons was/were still in Libya, and (c) positively determine exactly where they were, and (d) convince Barack "Third time's the charm" Obama that the targets were in a vulnerable place, so we wouldn't lose any troops at all. Only then would he have the huevos to send in some Special Forces to take out the bad guys. Unless...
  2. Unless, in the alternative scenario, Obama becomes utterly desperate. Even if the administration knows none of the above, they might nevertheless send in the SF to attack something, anything, any target randomly selected by the administration. The assault in this case would be without regard to any military objective; it would be purely as political stunt to show Obama's "resolve."

The actual result would be irrelevant, so long as the assault came just a few days before the election: just long enough for Obama to spin it as a historic victory (even if it meant lying, a prospect that evidently holds no existential terror for the president), but not long enough for Mitt Romney's campaign to unearth the reality and bring it before the American people.

It takes a lot less time to trumpet a victorious Obama "winning the war against terrorism" (I mean against "man-caused disaster") than it takes for voters to discover the truth, readjust their conclusions, and realize how they have been duped by the master debater. If the Obamunists time it just right, they might well get a five-point bump in the polls that drops to a three-point bump on election day... just as it happened in George W. Bush's first presidential campaign. That one resulted in the gut-biting tie in Florida.

In this year's potential October surprise, the attack would be timed to occur sometime in the last week before the vote -- say Thursday, November 1st, at about five o'clock PM New York time, for maximal live-feed ratings impact. (They would do it closer to the election, except they need several days for people to start thinking Obama is a great wartime leader, but they can't rely on coverage over the weekend when people are out doing their own things.)

Commercials touting Obama's historic victory over al-Qaeda ("It's D-Day all over again!") would hit the airwaves just a few hours after the assault.

Would such an absurdity work? My own opinion is: No, it would not. In fact, I expect we'd see a massive backlash against such shameless politicking of war. But we'll see.

It's possible that if Obama can't get actionable intel, the administration and the permanent campaign might be too afraid to pull the trigger, fretting that it'll be like Geraldo Rivera drilling open Al Capone's vault: We go charging in, live on camera, only to find nobody home (except a camel with a convenient butt); and our troops -- and by extension the Commander in Chief -- end up looking foolish, with egg dripping from their faces.

So, having neatly set up my prediction so that I'll be right whether he does or doesn't pull off an October surprise, your ivory-headed correspondent retires to his villa compound to await confirmation, if not coronation.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 15, 2012, at the time of 6:01 PM

Comments

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

Wow! prescience!
http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20121015/NEWS03/121019710/0/SEARCH/White-House-considers-methods-for-striking-militants-in-Libya

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 16, 2012 7:13 AM

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