A disheartened base

Just another reminder that while the GOP presidential candidates are bending over backwards to satisfy the extremes of their base, the Democratic presidential candidate has managed to alienate his base in the unreasonable desire for bipartisan cooperation. (From Crooks and Liars and the Washington Post):

New cracks have begun to show in President Obama’s support amongst African Americans, who have been his strongest supporters. Five months ago, 83 percent of African Americans held “strongly favorable” views of Obama, but in a new Washington Post-ABC news poll that number has dropped to 58 percent. That drop is similar to slipping support for Obama among all groups.

Cornell West and Tavis Smiley have been on Obama’s case over this for months. But their complaints aren’t really the focus here. They just enjoy providing good soundbites. What’s relevant is that the country’s economic problems have hit the black population harder than any other American demographic. When a black president garners less than a 60 percent favorable view from African Americans, the only thing you can say is that he’s completely screwed it up.

Obama will win the black vote in 2012. But with Republican state legislatures passing laws specifically geared to cutting into black turnout and with a devastating economy that’s going to damp any enthusiasm, he’s got to do more to make the base want to fight for him.