Then there are the poor benighted pro-life voters who listened to the likes of Doug Kmiec and believed Obama would be someone more pro-life than his prior political record had demonstrated. But sure enough, he repealed the restriction on funding international groups which provide abortion services, nominated a Supreme Court judge who his advisors assured pro-choice groups would be solidly in their corner, and has done nothing to alter the Democrats’ aversion to any restrictions on abortion. (Indeed, Democrats will almost surely insist that abortion services be provided under Obama’s universal health care proposal.)
Perhaps the pro-life voters should have compared notes with the libertarians who were convinced that Obama was somehow going to limit the reach of government. But instead, the nanny state reigns supreme, stronger than ever. Obama is regulating tobacco, cheering on a massive energy tax and regulatory scheme, and planning a massive new consumer protection agency. Not very free market friendly, is he?
When you tally the list it’s an impressive record. He’s managed to offend or disappoint a diverse array of voters — everyone from Jews, to libertarians, to green eyeshade conservatives. Then you add in seniors who are more wary of his health care plan than younger voters and pro-defense voters who were lulled into his promise to expand the military (and now find that the Department of Defense is on a strict diet while the rest of the federal government is gorging).
So it’s not hard to see why the winning coalition of voters who put Obama in the White House is slowly crumbling. Essentially, anyone who expected something other than an ultra-liberal intent on vastly expanding the power of the federal government and retreating from America’s position of leadership in the world was taken for a ride.
Whether Obama can recapture the support of these voters and get them to turn out to the same degree that they did in 2008 remains to be seen. But you can’t win elections with only the left sliver of the electorate. And it’s going to be hard to fool all the rest of the voters a second time.