Obama the Social Issues Firebug
May 10, 2012 - 5:15 pm
As we all know, Republicans have for some time now been engaged in a War on Women. According to Al Sharpton, they’ve also declared a War on Blacks. And in the coming days and weeks, in the wake of Obama’s decision to support gay marriage following years of
poll soul-searching, we can expect the White House and compliant media to start putting it about that the GOP is waging a War on Gays; Chris Matthews was on the case within minutes of the President’s interview being broadcast, followed today by the Washington Post, with a hit piece on Mitt Romney that may already be unravelling.
Three wars! This is getting ridiculous – even the entire US military is only expected to be capable of fighting two wars at a time. The Republican troops are certainly going to be spread thin in the coming months; it’s a good job the Romney-led War on Dogs fizzled out before it really got going.
The social issue ‘wars’ are, of course, inventions of the Democrats, but I think a better analogy for these manufactured controversies from the Republican point of view is forest fires. Obama is scuttling around the forest, starting social issue fires left, right and center – the Sandra Fluke phone call, the Trayvon Martin speech, and now the gay marriage ‘evolution’. As each one takes hold, the Obama-friendly media arrives on the scene shouting “Fire!” at the top of their lungs (or, in the case of Matthews, shrieking like a girl). Republicans rush to try to put the fire out, or at least stop it spreading, but just as they get one blaze under control, another one erupts.
The idea is to keep the Republicans chasing around, tamping down social issue flare-ups, until November so that they’re not able to focus on the real problems, which are jobs and the economy (I won’t try to take the analogy any further). It’s a deeply cynical strategy on the part of Obama and his team, but the fact that they’re resorting to it this early on suggests a degree of desperation that I find encouraging.
As the campaign takes shape, each time the Democrats attempt to bring up social issues Romney should politely explain that he would rather not waste time talking about matters that Americans will inevitably disagree on, and which cannot be quickly or easily resolved by the President or Congress; and that he would prefer to focus on the subjects that are of pressing concern to every American – the economy and jobs, and Obama’s utter failure on both counts.