Friday, July 10, 2009

Pandering


It might be that what separates politicians is who they pander to, not what they really believe.

Bush pandered to military supporters (he had to in order to wage an increasingly unpopular war), religious people who were disgusted with the moral state of the country, small and large business owners, “oil people,” and nonthinking, reactionary types.

Obama panders to homosexuals (as seen in a special meeting he had with them last week in the White House), non-religious people, those who think they have been victimized (as he probably thinks of himself), abortion proponents (Planned Parenthood), and to some extent the clueless.

This is not to say that everyone who voted for either of these men for office were in one of these categories; I think Obama won because of white and Latino voters who supported Bush in 2004 but changed parties, for whatever reason (not principle, obviously). Obama couldn’t have won just on the Black vote, which was probably pretty much the same, or the youth vote; youth don’t vote as much as they are purported to. (see http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/ )

What do I mean by pander? Make promises, and then once in office throw a token concession or piece of legislation to them. Keep them on a string. Have them to the White House for a photo op, seem pleasant.

Clinton pandered to the homosexuals and they got “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military which they don’t like. At the time they accepted it because he seemed to convince them he was on their side, but now it’s not good enough, if it ever was. (It seems to me that in most cases their fellow service personnel would not have to ask.)

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