The darling of the New New Left, Barak Obama, stepped in a pile while trying to embrace the mainstream of red state America. His “Embrace the Change” campaign tour, targeted at a Christian audience, includes “ex”-gay singer and recruiter Donnie McClurkin and Obama has refused to cancel the appearances.
This is reminiscent of the way Republicans were stuck with racist associations while pursuing the Southern Strategy in the 70s and 80s. It also looks a lot like the guilt by association that true conservatives are facing with the faux-conservative anti-immigration agenda. Republicans have largely learned the lesson when it comes to issues of race – be very careful what you say and who you associate with and be ready to eat your own if they aren’t. There is plenty of talk about how a split between the mature and long lasting alliance economic and social conservatives is going to destroy the Republican Party, meanwhile here’s the Great Black Hope of the Democratic Party embracing an anti-gay agenda.
Unfortunately for Obama, he doesn’t seem to have learned any lessons from Republican’s trips down the same path. In terms of the Democrat’s stance on gay rights, this pairing looks like Jesse Jackson inviting David Duke to a campaign rally and Obama’s folks don’t see that.
But it’s not entirely Obama’s fault. The New New Left model is a tent big enough for anyone who doesn’t like George Bush or Dick Cheney, a group so big at this point it might be easier to shut off the rain than to pitch that tent. The other half of that model is a good looking face and an empty suit that can parrot the anti-Bush pitch, with or without any ideas of substance. Obama’s Embrace is the logical result. It will be interesting to see how his supporters react when forced to look into the mirror Obama’s holding up for them.