The Obama White House is considering an all-out election year assault on the Tea Party movement, The New York Times reports this morning.
While the Times casts this as a new strategy, the White House has been on the warpath against private citizens since last summer, attacking average Americans who disagree with him in press conferences and speeches.
But will it work?
For one, as the Times points out, "the party’s House and Senate campaign committees are resistant, not wanting to do anything that smacks of nationalizing the midterm elections when high unemployment and the drop in Mr. Obama’s popularity have made the climate so hostile to Democrats. Endangered Congressional candidates want any available money to go to their localized campaigns."
And there's also the simple matter that when it comes to the Tea Party vs. Obama, Americans back the Tea Party. Fifty-two percent of Americans say their views are closer to Sarah Palin's than Obama. Sixty-one percent of likely voters say they want ObamaCare repealed.
Any move by Obama to cast the midterm elections as a choice between the Tea Parties and himself will likely only alienate himself further and diminish his approval ratings further. Americans, while they may not always agree with it, recognize the Tea Party is a genuine grassroots movement and any attack on it by a White House political machine only cements the public perception of Obama as breaking his promise to usher in a citizen-driven agenda and eschew "politics as usual."