Obama’s Desire to Make Race The Top Election Issue
Democrats are scurrying about like roaches when the light’s turned on, as panic is setting in among some top Democrats that President Obama may lose his reelection bid. In fact, a recent report released by notable Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville was characterized by deep concern that Obama is in trouble.
That should come as little surprise given the continued high unemployment rate that has become a defining characteristic of the Obama presidency. Perhaps, it might be said that Obama’s appeal is increasingly waning due to the overall weak economy or that Obama’s healthcare mandate, which was enacted against a majority of Americans’ wishes, could cost him the election.
The Obama campaign is, of course, well aware that the economy and jobs are Obama’s Achilles Heel in this election. The best characteristic he has going for him as it relates to the electorate is that his likability factor is still exceptionally high. That is why the Democratic Party and Obama officials are now, and will continue to, make this election not about the economy and jobs, or even ObamaCare. Instead, the Obama campaign wants this election to be about race and to characterize any opposition to Obama and his policies to, at the very least, have a hint of racism behind it.
As you may recall, President Obama recently lost about 40% of the vote in the democratic primaries in Arkansas, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Cries of racism have filled the air. After all, how could a sitting president who is running virtually unopposed possibly lose 40% of the primary votes? And, in West Virginia, how could the President lose 41% of the vote in the Primary to a convicted felon who, ironically, could not even vote himself, and, who you might note, is Caucasian? It seems Democrats believe racism against Obama is even prevalent within their own Party.
Add to the fray last week’s Presidential Executive Order in which President Obama essentially granted amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who are less than 30 years old and who came to America before they were 16. While the White House denies that their motivation was political, the belief among some was that Marco Rubio was soon to propose legislation that granted a very limited amount of amnesty to some illegal aliens. Were Rubio to do that and Romney also choose Rubio as a running mate, Obama’s huge voting edge with the Hispanic voting bloc could have been significantly reduced.
That move by President Obama, as recently noted in a Washington Post piece, allows a huge influx of eligible workers among the under-30 population. This segment of the population, and especially those who are recent college grads, is experiencing atrocious levels of unemployment and this will only add to the percentage of unemployed. One might see this as catastrophic in regards to the Obama campaign capturing the overall under-30 voting bloc.
But, what President Obama is likely to do in order to mitigate the loss of voters among the under 30 crowd, is to cast this as a Civil Rights issue and compare it to when blacks were fighting to be treated equally. He will appeal to the tendency for us not to appear racist in our own minds and by framing it that way, then only those who are “racist” will oppose granting citizenship to the millions of, mostly Hispanic, illegals in this country. He will vault himself up as a Champion of Civil Rights, this generation’s Martin Luther King Jr. if you will, and a fighter on behalf of all people who live in America, citizens or not, so that all have a chance at greatness. It’s a nice, emotional message which will be designed to make this election about “civil rights” versus jobs. Again, Obama loses on jobs, but civil rights is an emotionally appealing issue.
Obama has had plenty of leftists on his side of late in terms of stoking an aura of racism in the race for the presidency. After President Obama was recently heckled at a news conference, Democratic strategist Julian Epstein quipped on MSNBC, “We’ve never had a white president been told by the opposing party to shut up in the middle of a major address to the Congress. We’ve never had a president like this heckled so disrespectfully. We’ve never had this otherness afforded to any other president and I think the right wing has some explaining to do because to me it’s patently obvious.
Add to this a recent report from an economics doctoral student at Harvard, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, in which Stephens-Davidowitz claims that race, or better said racism, cost Obama up to five percentage points in the 2008 election against Senator John McCain and that he may well lose a similar amount of votes this November. Among the states Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz claims has especially racist voters are the swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. Interestingly and perhaps to no surprise, Mr. Stephens-Davidowitz has ties to the Obama administration.
For Obama, success in the November election will be be largely dependent upon the degree to which his campaign and his Democratic allies, both in politics and the media, can move the election judgement bar away from the economy and towards race, or as it will be called “civil rights”. His will be a message that, for the good of the nation, civil rights trumps the economy.
Chad Stafko is a writer and political consultant living in the Midwest. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org