Morning Briefing: October 18, 2012
by Jen Green
Political Sanity in the Last Place You’d Look
Post debate analysis was interpreted fairly cleanly down party lines. Conservatives, Republicans and their media outlets touted Romney’s performance in light of the stacked questions, the biased moderator, and considerable less talking time. Democrats, Liberals and their media outlets declared Obama the winner because he was prepared this time, landed metaphorical punches, and took back ground with his base.
We knew it would play out this way, but there was one oasis of fairly critical thinking going on in the desert of partisanship. Right after the debate, one cable news station hosted a discussion time with a focus group of eight undecided voters: four men, four women. In this video, you can see them discuss the performances of both men, declare the debate a tie, explain why they are undecided and what they are waiting for from the candidates before they make their decision. Two men in the group declare they have chosen their candidate: one for Obama, one for Romney. The six left tell us for whom they are leaning–and remarkably, several are leaning Romney.
Why “remarkably?” Because the cable news station was MSNBC.
Black America Feel “Less Free” Under the Obama Regime
Because it’s been released during an election cycle, this study is sure to be both marginalized and politicized. Frankly, I’m amazed this study by Washington University in St. Louis is being reported on at all, and kudos to U.S. News and World Report for reporting on it. It’s a stark but truthful look into the ramifications of identity politics at its worst.
The study finds that “Under Obama, many black Americans feel less free than whites when it comes to political participation.” On its face, that’s a head scratcher. How could that be?
Immediately after Obama’s inauguration, blacks in our country felt more empowered than ever in our history to be involved in the political scene. As the author of the study, James L. Gibson, professor of government and African-American studies explains, “First we saw the ‘empowerment effect,’ the boost that happens when a member of your group gets elected to an important political position.”
But, by 2011, that effect had eroded and the numbers of blacks who felt “empowered” in the political realm fell to pre-Obama levels. Why?
Because the blacks who are feeling more oppressed under America’s first President to share their skin color are the ones who do not share his values. Gibson calls it “ideological polarization.” Conservative and religious black Americans are a large part of that population. They feel their efforts to be politically active in socially conservative areas are “thwarted” by Obama. The article specifically mentioned that the President’s stances and policies on contraception and “homosexual marriage,” have caused the schism.
Bishop E. W. Jackson who has been on our show before has said it this way, “Obama has forced blacks to choose between being a Democrat and being a Christian.”