That’s Obama’s personal motto and political strategy. ‘The rich’ vs. ‘the poor,’ ‘the patient’ vs. ‘the doctor,’ ‘the cop’ vs. ‘you.’ William Kristol touched on this subject in a recent blogpost (for the Washington Post). Read it.
Divide and conquer can be extremely useful. Caesar used it – and for good reasons. Machiavelli also told his superiors to use it (albeit moderately so). And again for good reason.
That is, unless you use it constantly. Once people see through it, it is not merely useless but counterproductive. They’ll stop trusting you. Obama has to be careful, he cannot afford to alienate doctors, insurance companies and patients. He needs at least two of those groups to back his efforts to reform America’s health care system.