The people advising President Obama are definitely OTL. While accomplishing a great deal, possibly more than any President since Johnson, in the first 20 months of his Presidency, public opinion still continues to lag about his accomplishments, and misunderstandings about what the new legislation he has driven through mean to the American people…
Still abound. They spend way to much time worrying about offending the white voters who didn’t vote for Obama last time – and wouldn’t vote for Obama if he was the second coming.
Now, it might be comfortable fo some to blame the massive disinformation campaign by Faux News and others on the right…
But I blame in on just plain old Democrat cowardice. It would seem, having a spine is anathema to the majority of elected Democrats, despite the surfacing of a few champions occasionally.
The President of the United States has one heck of a “Bully Pulpit” – the fact that he hasn’t until now utilized the full force of that is the most critical failure of his administration. No wonder that the progressive and minority base…
Just isn’t going to show up this election. This is a classic case of forgetting the folks who got you there…
Maybe it was just a coincidence, but it was striking, nevertheless.
The mayor of Washington, Adrian Fenty, one of the so-called postracial black leaders, suffered a humiliating defeat in his bid for re-election last week when African-American voters deserted him in droves. The very same week President Obama, the most prominent of the so-called postracial types, was moving aggressively to shore up his support among black voters.
Mr. Obama, who usually goes out of his way to avoid overtly racial comments and appeals, made an impassioned plea during a fiery speech Saturday night at a black-tie event sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. “I need everybody here,” he said, “to go back to your neighborhoods, to go back your workplaces, to go to the churches and go to the barbershops and go to the beauty shops. And tell them we’ve got more work to do.”
It’s no secret that the president is in trouble politically, and that Democrats in Congress are fighting desperately to hold on to their majorities. But much less attention has been given to the level of disenchantment among black voters, who have been hammered disproportionately by the recession and largely taken for granted by the Democratic Party. That disenchantment is likely to translate into lower turnout among blacks this fall.
The idea that we had moved into some kind of postracial era was always a ridiculous notion. Attitudes have undoubtedly changed for the better over the past half-century, and young people as a whole are less hung up on race than their elders. But race is still a very big deal in the United States, which is precisely why black leaders like Mr. Fenty and Mr. Obama try so hard to behave as though they are governing in some sort of pristine civic environment in which the very idea of race has been erased.
These allegedly postracial politicians can end up being so worried about losing the support of whites that they distance themselves from their own African-American base. This is a no-win situation — for the politicians and for the blacks who put their hopes and faith in them.
Mr. Fenty was cheered by whites for bringing in the cold-blooded Michelle Rhee as schools chancellor. She attacked D.C.’s admittedly failing school system with an unseemly ferocity and seemed to take great delight in doing it. Hundreds of teachers were fired and concerns raised by parents about Ms. Rhee’s take-no-prisoners approach were ignored. It was disrespectful.
Blacks responded last week by voting overwhelmingly for Mr. Fenty’s opponent, Vincent Gray, who is also black. This blowback undermined whatever Ms. Rhee and Mr. Fenty had hoped to achieve. Thanks to their ham-handed approach to governing and disregard of the sensibilities of their constituents, both of them will soon be gone. But the children they claimed to care so much about will still be locked in a lousy school system.
Black voters across the country are not nearly as discontented with Mr. Obama as blacks in Washington were with Mr. Fenty. But neither do they have the same enthusiasm that they had in the historic 2008 election… (more)