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Obama's Master Coalition--A Union or an Intersection?

Politicians succeed by forming coalitions. And they usually do it in a different way than America's President Obama. That is to say, they find one issue on which the majority of the population agrees with them, champion it, win it.  Then they go on to another issue on which a majority agrees with them, hoping to carry the issue without losing too many people from the first majority. Inevitably, a politican loses a few people on each issue, but if s/he knows the "business," these numbers will be small.

Obama goes about things in rather the opposite way. He finds an issue (e.g. the auto company bailout), and takes a position that only a minority (e.g. auto workers) support. Bondholders, pensioners, and even customers were left out. Then Obama seeks a health care reform that will give health insurance to the one quarter of the people that doesn't have it, at the expense of the three quarters of the people that do. Then he tries to help homeowners that are being foreclosed on, even though most people aren't in this situation. Perhaps he hopes to organize these disparate groups into a "community." After all, that's what a community organizer does.

If Obama can add up all these groups into a master coalition, he'd have a majority. That can happen if you have a "Silent Majority," as in the case of FDR, and, ironically, Richard Nixon. That is called a "union" of sets.

But this does not hold with Obama. The problem is that the interests of any ONE of his constituencies conflict with those of others. For instance, auto workers, who get a lot  health insurance would suffer from a program that would  suffer from almost any program that would give some that don't now have it. And some people don't buy health insurance because they have other, more pressing needs, like avoiding foreclosure on their homes. There are actually very few people that like all of Obama's programs, and they form an "intersection" of sets; a minority of people within a minority.