No that is just a dog and pony show just like abortion and gay marriage. They take a topic that most people are either very strongly for or against but has no real barren on whats really going on in the country. Then they "fight" tooth and nail over it making a big scene, making sure that the topic is on every 24 hour news station while quietly doing things like passing the National Defense Act or just avoiding news on things like how bad we are getting fucked by the NSA. Think of it like a magic trick. It's all about misdirection.
*They = politicians and the media.