To the extent that this new culture war resembles the old one, it is in the reversal of roles--it is the right that is now largely defined by an identity politics which perceives persecution, and possible extinction, for a culturally constructed usually white, conservative, "real American." This isn't just about Obama or his agenda, which borrows heavily from earlier conservative ideas, it's also a response to anxiety over economic insecurity and fear of ideological annihilation through demographic change. Hence the burgeoning Islamophobia and calls to repeal birthright citizenship.
Oh, good Lord. For the love of all that is holy, these people need to get the hell out of Washington DC or New York once in awhile. Out here in flyover country no one is worried about "ideological annihilation through demographic change." We are worried about trying to find a job, or worried that the job we have will go away in the not too distant future.
For some reason these supposedly rational journalists are flummoxed that two years worth of 9+% unemployment has bred disillusionment with the President and the Democratic party as a whole among a lot of people. They are confused because they still see Obama in near messianic terms:
I think a large part of what appealed to liberals about Obama was his ability to acknowledge discrete strands of American culture as equally legitimate. His fundamental task in the 2008 election, with the wind at his back, was to persuade the American people that he was one of them-- his failure to do so would be the only thing to bring defeat.
Gee, was Obama "acknowledging discrete strands" when he complained about American "clinging" to religion and guns? I'm sorry but that isn't acknowledgement, unless we want to call his contempt for millions of Americans some form of achievement. Can someone name me one thing Obama has done for a group not considered a part of his core constituency.
It's pathetic really. Here you have a mainstream publication on politics that can do no better than have a writer repeat liberal shibboleths without a shred of self awareness or critical questioning.
What I wouldn't give for a new Walter Lippmman to arise. Unfortunately, his current heirs are, shall we say, uninspiring.
Or maybe they just aren't that bright.