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Charles Krauthammer: Divider in chief

By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER Published: May 4, 2012
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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.

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.

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.

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 was denied the inalienable right to have the rest of the citizenry (as co-insured and/or taxpayers) 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.

No matter. Its sole purpose is to keep the war-on-women theme going, while the equally just-for-show Buffett Rule, nicely pitting the 99 percent versus the 1 percent, is a clever bit of class warfare designed to let Democrats play tribune of the middle class.

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