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August 05, 2011

Will Obama Be Primaried? Ralph Nader Believes So; A Former Obama Supporter Hopes So

There are protest primary challenges and there are bona fide primary challenges. Ralph Nader is probably right that there is a "almost 100% chance" Obama will be primaried, but most likely by a fringey candidate like Dennis Kucinich or Van Jones, if she's a Democrat again, Cynthia McKinney.

The only question, he said, is the stature of that opponent and whether it will be either “an ex-senator or an ex-governor” or “an intellectual leader or an environmental leader.”

Or a Communist, or a Jew-hating lunatic. Don't forget those options.

Obama has little to fear from the left as far as primary "opponent." Such an opponent will just be there to make some noise for the fightin' fightin' Progressive nutroots, and supposedly "pull him to the left," as if he isn't as far over to the left as he can reasonably manage.

A real primary opponent would be more of a centrist, like Evan Bayh or, Goodness Gracious, Hillary!

During the 2008 presidential primaries, Hillary Clinton ran an ad called "3 a.m. phone call." The ad juxtaposed pictures of sleeping children with the insistent ring of a telephone. A grave voice asked us to consider who we would want in the White House when the phone rang at 3 a.m. with news of trouble. The message was clear: Barack Obama lacked the strength to be president.

I remember how angry that ad made me. I was newly hired as a junior professor, working hard to get tenure. My nonworking hours were, however, devoted almost entirely to getting Obama elected.

...

Like most Americans, I've spent the last several weeks watching in disbelief as Washington edged closer to defaulting on the nation's debt. And now that the crisis is over, I'm even angrier. Obama has handed the GOP a victory that is disproportionate to either their real leverage (the GOP controls only one house of Congress) or the appeal of their ideas (Americans favor deficit reduction plans that include both spending cuts and tax increases over the GOP's single-minded focus on cuts). The only thing the Republicans really had going for them was their determination to debauch the creditworthiness of the United States if they didn't get their way. But against a weak president, that was enough.

...

I'm not a political expert, so I don't know if Obama can be re-elected. I only know he shouldn't be. He has broken with the faith that has sustained Democrats since the 1930s — faith in the power of government to soften inequality, and to provide some measure of security for the old, the poor and the sick.

Hillary, I'm sorry for not listening to you back in 2008. But perhaps you'll give me another chance. Resign as secretary of state, and run against Obama in 2012. I will work my heart out for you. And I bet that millions of other angry Democrats will be with me.

Could this happen? I think no, with "almost 100%" certainty.

Imagine if the GOP had a president beloved by the right -- Say, President Sarah Palin. Suppose she found herself in political trouble, and had compromised with the center-left on something or other.

Now suppose that someone not really beloved on the right -- say, Jeb Bush -- primaried her. And won.

What would be Jeb Bush's chances of winning the upcoming general election? Slightly less than half the party would hate him. Many would not vote.

That's what would happen were Hillary (or Bayh, or any other legitimate potential candidate) were to run against Obama. They couldn't win the primary, but if he or she did somehow win the primary, he or she couldn't win the general, because the party would essentially have been blown up, split in two, furiously angry at each other.

Imagine a white Democrat actually beat the First Historic Unprecedented Black President in a primary challenge.

Can you imagine?

You probably can't. It's almost unthinkable.

52% of the country thinks Obama is a bad president and does not deserve reelection.

But 33% of the country still thinks he's Captain Awesome. We call these people "the Democratic Base."


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posted by Ace at 04:36 PM

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