Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hot Gay Latinos

I was listening to some smart commentary a couple weeks ago about how Obama has (smartly) cherry-picked certain policies to excite an otherwise (very) unexcited base. Gay marriage energizes Hollywood elites and rich benefactors with a personal interest in the matter (even if his support is limited to not opposing states that recognize same-sex marriages). This is important because he needs money. The recent position decision to provide children of illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship energizes the Latino vote. This is important because otherwise these people aren't going to show up. Call it cynical politics, smart politics, bad policy, or smart policy. I'm it calling strategy. He's got the money and the voters, but is missing an essential link - the mobilization effort. This will require the work of either students or greenies. Smart money is on the greenies. If Obama was gonna do something to excite students, it needed to be done a month ago. Now summer break is halfway over and 20-year-olds are already preoccupied with shitty summer jobs and awkwardly hooking up with old high school flings while skyping with their college boy/girlfriends every other night. He'll need them in the fall, but it just doesn't make sense to believe they'll provide support like in 2008.

However, there's a perfect storm calling for the green mobilization machine. Environmentalists have taken a backseat to everyone but the typewriter lobby since the failed cap and trade effort of 2009. They've been grumbling for three years about how every major liberal group got something big accomplished but them. They're not happy. As such, your current Campaigner In Chief needs to do something to get them to go pound the pavement and telephone lines. The weather this summer has been ridiculous, and the time to pounce is probably this week:

(The ten day forecast back home in KS)

Exploit the weather now! Between half the western US being on fire, Florida going underwater, and the enthusiasm bump from environmentalists finally getting some attention, it seems like the thing Obama could pounce on. (Remember kids - always point to peculiar weather events as confirmation/disprove. Both sides love using anecdotal evidence to back up their science.) Plus, as of Tuesday there's less uncertainty about whether the EPA can go forward with regulating GHGs under the Clean Air Act after a federal appeals court ruled the EPA was “unambiguously correct” in its legal rationale behind regulating greenhouse gases. Probably highlight the legal triumph and use it to bolster your argument for the new GHG policy.

The flip side of this is that the Obama team recognizes how unhappy the markets will be at the prospect of an energy tax, making economic output sink, and really giving conservatives to rally around and drum up more support from business. With Europe unable to remove itself from one huge clusterf*** and China slowing down, the Dow is just looking for an excuse to plummet back to 11,000. As such, I think it's iffy politics. It'll also be done in a way that's dumb policy. After the SCOTUS ruling today upholding the health care mandate, I don't know if the administration prefers to bask in the glow of 'winning' or would rather divert attention away from an unpopular law. Just don't discount the possibility of a cap and trade announcement coming to a campaign near you.


  1. just wanted to clarify that he's proposed deferred action to halt deportations for eligible dreamers, still not a pathway to citizenship.

  2. That is an important clarification - although the nuance is lost on 98% of Americans (and 99% of amateur bloggers...)