Over the past few weeks, President Obama has taken some heat from the Congressional Black Caucus over such issues as black unemployment, which is almost twice as bad as the generally appalling unemployment rate of the Obama Depression. This led to some high-profile criticism from the likes of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), before she reverted to her default mode of telling Americans who favor limited government to “go to hell.”
The Washington Post reports that a nervous Obama Administration is responding by abandoning its relatively race-neutral posture, so it can do some good old-fashioned racial pandering to shore up the black vote:
The race-avoidance strategy served President Obama well, helping him attract support from many whites while also mobilizing African Americans energized by the powerful symbol of a black commander in chief.
But a soaring jobless rate among African Americans and a newfound comfort by black lawmakers to criticize Obama’s economic policies are prompting the White House to recalibrate — and to focus more directly on the struggles of black America.
The shift comes amid a growing concern among some Democrats that the stubborn economic conditions in minority communities might hamper efforts by Obama’s reelection campaign to generate the large black voter turnout it needs in key cities to make up for his declining support among white independents.
Was this Obama encouragement to a Latino audience, just before the 2010 midterm elections, part of that scrupulous “race-avoidance strategy?”
If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, “We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,” if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.
Would the Washington Post be willing to forget about a few such appeals to white audiences while praising a politician for color-blindness?
What the Post really means is that Obama has generally avoided anything that looks like an obvious, blatant pander to the black community, but now it’s time to buy some votes.
This week, the White House dispatched a top official to participate in a Congressional Black Caucus jobs forum in Miami that had been scheduled in part to pressure the White House.
The official, Don Graves, the executive director of the president’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, told black lawmakers that the president would consider taking executive action to enact at least parts of jobs-related measures they have introduced to no avail in the Republican-led House.
The Post goes on to describe this approach as “subtle,” which is not the first word that popped into my head. What are the latest measures Obama intends to force on America through raw executive power, bypassing Congress as he did with his evisceration of the Defense of Marriage Act, imposition of the DREAM Act, and other agenda items too important to be left in the hands of Americans and their elected representatives?
One proposal would extend aid to communities with long-standing poverty problems. Another would help the long-term unemployed.
[…] Several black lawmakers said they think the White House is considering additional targeted steps to boost urban communities as part of the jobs package the president plans to release shortly after Labor Day.
So… more deficit-fueled “infrastructure” spending, plus extended unemployment insurance. The exact same things he keeps talking about, every time he makes a “pivot to job creation.” Oh, and he’s going to give a speech in Detroit on Labor Day. Even Obama’s naked pandering is tedious.
Leaving the racial component aside, this is a good illustration of the mindset that has brought us Downgrade America and the return of stagflation. The Obama Administration sees the entire economy as a machine the government must endlessly fine-tune and overhaul: giving a little bit to this group, while taking something away from that group, in a never-ending quest to balance the engine cylinders. Happily, that precision engineering can be adjusted to pump up the enthusiasm of core voting groups, who must show up at the polls in 2012 for their 90% support to help the President.