Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rainbow Bridge

So President Obama has no problem with same-sex marriage? I had assumed as much for a while now; he alluded to being pro-LGBT during the '08 election, but he didn't specify his stance until last week. As a political manuever, it's just as risky as it is brilliant. The American LGBT population, a steady growing bloc of voters, are already wary of the GOP options. President Obama's endorsement wrangled the cattle back to the ranch. As such, Mitt Romney declared his preference for traditional marriage --which he awkwardly phrased as "a preference for women"-- in a rare reachout to social conservatives. As such, neither candidate will make a crossover appeal to new or undecided voters.

What frustrates me, however is that the gay marriage debate only further distracts voters and candidates alike from a much greater issue, the economy. Social issues keep getting pushed to the forefront, and with Biden's remark being the exception to the rule, it's been mostly social conservatives dropping the bombs.  If this election focused strictly on job growth and fiscal responsibility, Mitt Romney would win in November in a walk. The mere mention of abortion and gay marriage, however is only adding muscle to the Obama campaign. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum used social issues to undermine and distract Romney during the primaries and now it'll linger until the election. This has become an election of "values," even though I'm not sure that's the topic that needs debating, it is inadvertantly swinging the election in Obama's favor.

One other note:

+ Modern rock is back on Chicago radio... sort of. Earlier this month, Merlin Media --the same multimedia behemoth that killed Q101-- bought out a tiny "smooth jazz" station's signal and flipped it to alternative rock. Only problem is, that new signal is on 87.7 FM; older radios can't pick up that station, and the actual antenna is so far away from the city that it's difficult to listen to "Q87" on a car radio. This feels more like an unwieldy public relations ploy than an actual radio station (for now, anyway).

Next week: the 2012 memory list.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking that Obama taking a stance this early was only going to mobilize a group who was iffy about Romney into trying to defeat Obama. The way the right has been acting the past year with regard to social issues, though, it's likely they're going to overplay their hand by November.

    Didn't think Romney would do particularly well if the economy was the main issue, though. I think the Republicans were hoping it would either stagnate and get worse so they could capitalize on anti-Obama sentiment.

    Do you think Romney is going to try to keep moderate with his running mate pick, or is he going to make another cynical suck-up to the hard right?