Ross Douthat raises an important point about "bittergate" that I haven't seen anyone else emphasize: Obama's argument that economic anxieties cause people to "cling" to social issues is actually empirically false. While social issues have attracted some working-class voters to the Republicans and pushed some affluent social liberals out of the GOP, voters generally have to pass a certain threshold of financial comfort before focusing on values issues rather than bread-and-butter issues. It's a big reason black and Hispanic social conservatism hasn't paid major dividends for the GOP.
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