Thursday, May 10, 2012

Inside Obama's Decision on Gay Marriage — Getting Dragged Along, Brutally, by His Party's Extreme Radical Base

From Ronald Brownstein, at National Journal, "Obama's Gay Marriage Leap of Faith":

But his decision also reflects a hard-headed acknowledgement of the changing nature of the Democratic electoral coalition. Indeed, historians may someday view Obama's announcement Wednesday as a milestone in the evolution of his party's political strategy, because it shows the president and his campaign team are increasingly comfortable responding to the actual coalition that elects Democrats today-not the one that many in the party remember from their youth.

Obama's senior advisers see the announcement as essentially a political wash, although polls now consistently show more Americans support than oppose gay marriage. In its latest national measure, the Pew Research Center found in April that a 47 percent to 43 percent plurality of Americans back same-sex marriage. Other recent national surveys, including those by Gallup and the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, have found majority or plurality support for the idea.

Obama's announcement might not significantly change the overall level of his 2012 support, especially in an election where economic issues will dominate. But the announcement may reflect the Obama camp's thinking about the likely composition of his support. It shows the president, however reluctantly, formulating an agenda that implicitly acknowledges the party is unlikely to recreate the support it attracted from the white working-class and senior voters who anchored Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal coalition. Instead, the announcement shows him reaching out to mobilize the new pillars of the Democratic electorate, particularly younger people and socially liberal white collar whites.

"It was crystal clear that he didn't want to get off the fence on this issue before the election if he could possibly avoid it; this is not a bright line he wants to draw," said long-term Democratic strategist Bill Galston, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. "He realizes it intensifies the divide between what might be called the emerging Democratic coalition and the pieces of the old coalition that he wanted to retain. But things had gotten to a point where he felt he had no choice."
The "emerging Democratic coalition"?


These guys are just now recognizing a new party coalition, six months before the election. Give me a freakin' break. The New Deal Coalition collapsed after Vietnam. I don't know what these people are smoking, but the party lurched to the left in the 1970s and by now it's basically a coalition of social democrats and neo-Marxists --- and that's putting it mildly. See Fred Baumann, "Our fractious foreign policy debate." And on the Democrats' gay marriage extremism, see "Gay Activists Go Ballistic on Warren Invocation."

TRIVIA: Check this search from the archives, "Democrats + Vietnam + War."

BONUS: "Occupy Wall Street to Attend Capitol Hill Meeting Chaired by Congressional Progressive Caucus."