As soon as veteran political reporter Tom Edsall posted an insightful examination of President Obama’s re-election prospects on Monday, the conservative media swooped in to misrepresent it and to spread a racially inflammatory untruth about the President. Edsall’s post, titled “The Future of the Obama Coalition” in the New York Times, explained that the rising share of non-whites in the electorate and the increasingly Democratic leanings of educated white voters offset Obama’s weakness among less educated whites in 2008. For decades Democrats had struggled to regain the popularity among working-class white voters that they enjoyed before the cultural upheaval of the 1960s. Now, writes Edsall, “all pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment—professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists—and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.”
If you read Edsall’s item, it is abundantly clear that he is describing shifts in the electoral terrain, not a governing policy. There is no mention of any specific policy changes in the piece. Rather it is all about what states and demographics the Obama campaign will target.
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