Remember when President Obama inspired Americans with such tired bromides as, "There are no red states or blue states, just the United States"? Remember when Obama declared that Americans had to pull together, because what united us was stronger than what divided us?
Yeah, not so much.
President Obama's re-election campaign has been an exercise in fragmentation. Where the 2008 campaign was built thematically around the notion that a polarized electorate was bad for the country and that election of a third-way, multi-racial president could symbolically overcome our divisions once and for all, the 2012 campaign is built on precisely the opposite notion: Americans united in opposition to Obama's agenda must be divided again.
And so Obama has carved up the electorate into winnable chunks. And he's appeasing those chunks of the electorate, one by one.
Start with the black community. President Obama's record in the black community has been abysmal. Aside from appointing a record number of blacks to his administration, he's done nothing for the black population in America. They're worse off than ever in terms of employment and income. But Obama has a plan to exploit them. First, he raises the phony specter of white racism on a regular basis. Trayvon Martin? Hey, he got shot, and he looked just like Obama's son! Interrupt the president during a press conference? That's because white people hate Obama! Next, Obama makes the racial solidarity pitch to the black community with disgusting pandering -- an Obama radio ad plays an R&B track underneath the sound as soul singers whisper, "We've got his back!"
It's sickeningly exploitative. But that's the new Obama way.
But Obama can't win the presidency simply by appealing to the black community. He needs money. That's why he decided to embrace gay marriage. Obama had been having trouble enthusing gay members of his support base about his candidacy, and his fundraising numbers had reflected that unease. So he swiveled on a dime. His newfound love for gay marriage didn't change a thing for gay Americans, except their checking account numbers -- and those numbers went down, since many gay Americans fell for the ruse and began signing checks to the first gay president.
Another day, another pandering stratagem.
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