Analyst: Obama Needs Liberal Economic Agenda to Preserve Support

Segments of Obama’s 2012 coalition are doing so poorly, their support is at risk, says Robert Borosage.

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Key constituencies from President Obama's winning 2012 coalition are faring so poorly in the economy that their future support for the Democratic party is in jeopardy, says a prominent liberal analyst.

Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, argues that a liberal economic agenda is the way for Obama to stop the erosion of support.

"While demography and Republican reaction have provided an extraordinary opportunity to forge an enduring reform majority, it can be sustained only if Democrats champion and move an economic agenda that works," Borosage says in an online essay.

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It's the latest example of increasing pressure being applied to Obama from the left. Others seeking his approval for their agenda include environmentalists, Latinos, labor unions and African-American Democrats in Congress.

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"The FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism," President Obama said of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Borosage adds: "You can neither 'cut your way to prosperity,' as the president said, nor grand-bargain your way there. The rising American electorate is looking for help: a forward a strategy that will rebuild the country, educate the young, put people to work, capture a lead in the green industrial revolution that is sweeping the world, while insuring that the rewards of growth are widely shared."

He says, "This requires fierce battles with those standing in the way—not simply the Tea Party zealots, but Big Oil and Big Pharma, Wall Street and the global corporate lobby that will spend lavishly to protect their privileges and subsidies. Without that vision and courage, the rising American electorate will continue to sink together. And Democrats will discover that a status quo party has little attraction to voters looking for change."

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Borosage defines the "rising American electorate" as the core of President Obama's 2012 coalition: minorities, unmarried women and young people. He says more than 20 million members of "working families" need full-time employment; wages and family income are falling, and profits are "hitting new highs as a portion of the economy," while wages are "hitting new lows."

 

Borosage's comments were contained in an essay, "The Rising American Electorate Sinking Together," published online by the Campaign for America's Future at ourfuture.org.

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  • Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and is the author of "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He can be reached at kwalsh@usnews.com, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.