"The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states..." -- Barack Obama, rising star, Democratic convention, 2004
WASHINGTON -- Poor Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. Once again he's been pilloried for fumbling a historic Supreme Court case. First shredded for his "train wreck" defense of Obamacare's individual mandate, he is now blamed for the defenestration in oral argument of Obama's challenge to the Arizona immigration law.
The law allows police to check the immigration status of someone stopped for other reasons. Verrilli claimed that constitutes an intrusion on the federal monopoly on immigration enforcement. He was pummeled. Why shouldn't a state help the federal government enforce the law? "You can see it's not selling very well," said Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
But Verrilli never had a chance. This was never a serious legal challenge in the first place. It was confected (and timed) purely for political effect, to highlight immigration as a campaign issue with which to portray Republicans as anti-Hispanic.
Hispanics are just the beginning, however. The entire Obama campaign is a slice and dice operation, pandering to one group after another, particularly those that elected Obama in 2008 -- blacks, Hispanics, women, young people -- and for whom the thrill is now gone.
What to do? Try fear. Create division, stir resentment, by whatever means necessary -- bogus court challenges, dead-end Senate bills and a forest of straw men.
Why else would the Justice Department challenge the photo ID law in Texas? To charge Republicans with seeking to disenfranchise Hispanics and blacks, of course. But in 2008 the Supreme Court upheld a similar law from Indiana. And it wasn't close: 6-3, the majority including that venerated liberal, John Paul Stevens.
Moreover, photo IDs were recommended by the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter. And you surely can't get into the attorney general's building without one. Are Stevens, Carter and Eric Holder anti-Hispanic and anti-black?
The ethnic bases covered, we proceed to the "war on women." It sprang to public notice when a 30-year-old student at an elite law school (starting private-sector salary upon graduation: $160,000) was denied the inalienable right to have the rest of the citizenry (as co-insured and/or taxpayers -- median household income: $52,000) pay for her contraception.
Despite a temporary setback -- Hilary Rosen's hastily surrendered war on moms -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will resume the battle with a Paycheck Fairness Act that practically encourages frivolous lawsuits and has zero chance of passage.
Copyright 2012 Washington Post Writers Group