Jay Cost, writing in the New York Post:
Over the last few months, the Obama-Biden campaign and its allies have offered up phony issues to drive the national political conversation — the Buffett rule, the “war on women,” the student-loan fight, the “Life of Julia” ad, the gay-marriage debate and so on. From the president to the lowliest MSNBC Democratic talking heads, the party has focused on one silly item after another.
Usually, these diversions are saved for the fall, when voters start to pay attention. Why are they so intent on dominating the news with manufactured pseudo issues so early in the presidential campaign?
Yes, part of it is about distracting voters from the weak economy, persistently high unemployment, ballooning deficits and so on and the administration’s failure to deal with those. But there’s more to the story.
Remember: When he first emerged nationally, Barack Obama promised to move the country past its petty divisions and to focus on the big challenges that face all of us together. This was the central theme of his lauded “Red State/Blue State” address at the 2004 Democratic convention, as well as of his second autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope.” A big reason for his failure to do so as president has to do with the way his party is organized.
Over the last 80 years, the Democrats have added scores of “client groups” — organized interests that are loyal to its banner partly for the special benefits they receive from the party.
Whole thing here. And buy Jay's book--Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic--here.