And that, in turn, connects with Victor Davis Hanson's interpretation of Obamism:
It works like this: The ghetto resident, the denizen of the barrio, the abandoned and divorced waitress with three young children, can all chart their poverty and unhappiness not to accident, fate, bad luck, bad decisions, poor judgment, illegality or drug use, or simple tragedy, but rather exclusively to a system that is rigged to ensure oppression on the basis of race, class, and gender—often insidious and unfathomable except to the sensitive and gifted academic or community organizer.
So Obama combines the age-old belief that the state is there to level the playing field (rather than protect the rights of the individual and secure the safety of the people from foreign threats), with the postmodern notion that government must recompensate those by fiat on the basis on their race or class or gender. Remember all that, and everything from the Professor Gates incident, to the dutiful attendance at the foot of Rev. Wright to Van Jones become logical rather than aberrant. Michelle Obama could make $300,000 and she will always be more a victim than the Appalachian coal miner who earns $30,000, by virtue of her race and gender.
The problem, as Matt Yglesias pointed out, is that this doesn't jive with any of Obama's actual policy initiatives -- virtually all of which would advantage Mr. Coal Miner over Mrs. Obama. The Obama administration's domestic policy agenda has been singular in its lack of focus on issues of race and racial division (or even, really, racial harmony). It has studiously ducked the issue.
But it doesn't matter, because it never was about what the country (or what Black people) did or didn't do. To a significant swath of the country, all Black political action is presumed to be partisan racial gerrymandering, and all political action geared towards the poor is also presumed to be race-based wealth redistribution. Combine the two prejudices together, and you have a powerful political hurricane.