Ace hits the nail on the head in a recent entry. You would have thought abortion was a minor issue in the health care debate. You might not have even realized the House plan and ever-morphing Obama non-plan covered abortion. But it turns out it may split the Democratic coalition and this news has been a long time coming, but the media wanted it to be kept under wraps:
The media is never interested in covering wedge issues that effect Democrats. A wedge issue is any issue that divides the party. They’re always damaging in terms of getting elected or getting legislation passed, because, if there is a resolution on the issue, it is clear one wing has won and another wing has lost, and that causes all the internecine fighting we see all the time on the Republican side of the aisle.
A party’s best strategy — as far as simply acquiring and maintaining political power — is to obscure these wedge issues, ignore them, finesse them, leave them unresolved, to keep it unclear as possible who has won and who has lost.
And then, only later, once they’ve accomplished their short-term goals, do they deal with the political fall-out.
It is against a party’s interests to see these splits come to the forefront before they’ve achieved their short-term goals.
Clarity, in other words, hurts in politics. Witness Obama’s gauzy, empty campaign of change and hope without many people knowing what that meant. Liberals, leftists, independents and even some Republicans each read those empty words in a different way, each believing Obama would govern as they preferred.
Three of those groups were wrong. Had Obama been clear about his intentions and politics, three of those groups would have known they would be in the Out Group in any Obama presidency, and would have voted differently.
But because the media gave Obama a free pass on remaining utterly obscure, he prevailed.