In electoral terms, what Republican candidate is even trying to make America feel united? Always a small-tent party, the Republicans win when they manage to cobble together splinter interests. As long as gun owners, Western ranchers, social conservatives, religious fundamentalists, and white males can find a suitable candidate, a viable Presidential race can be run. But even the most optimistic Republican strategists realize that all their candidates, with the possible exception of Romney, are dividers. The irony is that Romney divides Republicans, because he won’t tilt toward Tea Party extremism.
You may not accept my analysis of leadership, but by his words and deeds this is the line that the President has been following and continues to follow. He realizes that the level of the problem (fear, insecurity, divisiveness, uncertainty, frustration, anger) isn’t the level of the solution. The level of the solution is to fulfill the three needs just outlined. Trapped in their ideology and hostility to progress, the Republicans aren’t even on the map in these areas. Next November the pivot point won’t be the economy, not alone at least. The pivot will be whether the electorate wants its needs fulfilled or its anger expressed. I know it’s a tossup, but I can’t blame the president for not doing what leaders need to do. He is.