Barack Obama is the accidental president. Having little meaningful political experience is the best and perhaps the only explanation for Obama's numerous head-first plunges into the cold and murky water that will turn Congress over to the Republicans in November.
In 2004, Obama had mere token Republican opposition in his Senate election and won by default. And after eight years of the disastrous Republican George W. Bush and an inept 2008 campaign by GOP candidate John McCain, all Obama had to do to get elected was look and sound presidential. Thanks to his teleprompter, Obama coasted.
Since Obama took office, he's done few of the things that he promised, especially about job creation. And Obama has ignored middle-right Americans, the voting bloc who got him elected in the first place.
You continuously read that Obama owes Latinos for his ascendancy to the White House. Sorry, that's wrong. Latinos historically vote for the Democrat. Independent white voters put Obama where he is today. Yet he continues to ignore his majority-makers.
Obama doesn't know how to play the political game.
Using smoke and mirrors, Obama rammed an unpopular health care bill through Congress. Obama's ratings are sinking under the combined weight of his costly, futile Afghanistan war and his mismanagement of the BP/Gulf of Mexico oil crisis.
A more savvy politician would assess the mounting Democratic body count around him that includes but is not limited to New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter. Since neither Corzine nor Specter could win their primary and Massachusetts elected a Republican Senator in its special election to replace ultra-liberal Teddy Kennedy, you'd think Obama would be worried about the nationwide rejection of his agenda.
But instead of running safely to the center, where he would be doing not only himself but his incumbent Democratic allies a favor, Obama moves ever further to the left.
Through his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama let the message go forth that he's "considering" a lawsuit to block Arizona's S.B. 1070, the bill that would allow police under certain circumstances to request from immigrants proof of legal residency.
Clinton's announcement alone is poison for Democrats. First, she undiplomatically made her major domestic policy statement in a foreign country, Ecuador. And second, Clinton also overstepped her authority since Attorney General Eric Holder is responsible for the country's legal affairs.
Before weighing the Arizona challenge in terms of its political risks against its potential merits, the Obama administration racked up two quick strikes in the public's eye.
Now let's look at the facts: America is angry. The federal government, as represented by Obama and the Democratic Congress, is its biggest target.
Although S.B. 1070 is limited in its scope to Arizona, Americans overwhelmingly support it for reasons ranging from the basic illegality of illegal immigration to the alarming rise in violent crime it causes in murders, carjackings and kidnappings throughout the state, but mostly in Phoenix and Tucson.
When Americans look at Arizona, they unknowingly may be thinking of what former House Speaker Dennis Hastert said after his 2006 U.S. tour on border security: "Every state is a border state, and every city is a border city."
If the White House sues Arizona, it will, as it always does, wave the flag of high moral authority on immigration to promote its non-stop amnesty agenda.
But voters will view the suit with much more cynicism. In the public eye, Arizona has been forced to act because the federal government under both Republican and Democratic administrations has refused to enforce immigration law. People will wonder what Arizonans have done to deserve to be punished when it's the federal government who is the guilty party.
Unless he is willing to be a one-term president like Jimmy Carter, Obama should continue with extreme caution for his remaining two years.
Polling done in March indicated that if the November elections took place then, Democrats would lose every Senate and gubernatorial office they hold throughout the 10 midwestern states, including the pivotal Ohio.
For Obama to win re-election in 2012 without carrying the Midwest would be quite a feat. No amount of Obama smooth talk can make up for lost electoral votes in those key swing states.
Joe Guzzardi retired from the Lodi Unified School District in 2008. He now lives in Pittsburgh, PA where he took great satisfaction in Senator Arlen Specter's recent primary defeat. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.