But gays and blacks are too small a percentage of the population to swing an election for Obama. So he decided to reach out to Hispanics by announcing last week that he would unilaterally ignore the law with regard to deportations of certain young illegal immigrants. Sure, the result would be a massive influx of illegal immigrants flooding across the border in search of the next amnesty package. Sure, the new program would create more competitors for low-wage jobs, hurting nonillegal immigrants. And sure, Congress was already in the process of trying to work out a long-term solution for illegal immigration, rather than a politically motivated Band-Aid. But this was about votes, not about helping America.
But it still wasn't enough.
And so Obama continues to push the war on women. It's the one constant in this campaign. Obama knows that if he loses women, he will lose the election in a landslide. And so he's portrayed Republicans as Neanderthals searching Rite Aids in a desperate hunt for condoms to burn. He's tried to argue that pro-life Americans wander the streets carrying rusty hangars. He's suggested that American men continue to gyp women on their weekly wages. He's even tried to claim that conservative opposition to Obamacare is driven by sexism.
And, to a certain extent, all this divisiveness has worked. Obama remains a competitive candidate.
But over the long haul, Obama is ignoring what brought him here: the capacity to inspire. His one advantage over Mitt Romney is that soaring language, that feel-good emotionality. And he's ignoring it in favor of petty personalization.
Obama now realizes that he can't win by uniting Americans. He can only win by dividing us. The question now turns to the American people: Are they willing to be divided once more along race, religion, sexuality and gender lines?