There are some Democrats who want to primary Obama. They're angry because they think he's a wimp. I think it's stupid and a little retrograde to evaluate political performance by the "toughness" yardstick, but to each their own.
A serious primary challenge would almost guarantee a Republican victory. Not only would it deplete the overall Democratic warchest (pitiful to begin with) but it would produce an extraordinary amount of rancor that would put Carter v. Kennedy in the shade. And even if the Democrat (whether Obama or a successful challenger) won the general election, the ideological outcome probably won't make white liberals any happier and might conceivably make them even more unhappy.
You see, President Obama is black. And any challenger (who? no one says) will likely be white. And black voters always, always make up the margin of victory for Democrats in the general election, at least since 1964. Black voters today overwhelmingly support Obama - 91%. This compares to 79% of Democrats and 75% of liberals.
In short, white Democrats -- especially white liberals -- are turning on the first black President and black Democrats like him a lot.
This tells me that in a serious primary challenge, black Democrats will come out in droves to support him and a white challenger will tend to appeal to white Democratic voters, some of whom will be liberals but in general will be more conservative than the average, because there are more moderate to conservative white Democrats than there are white liberal Democrats.
In terms of racial politics, it will be worse than Hillary v. Barack. The animosity generated will make it very hard for the survivor -- I hesitate to use the word "winner" in this scenario -- to unify the party and go on to win.
In terms of substance, it means Obama is more likely to be successfully primaried by a white candidate who is as liberal or less liberal than he is. And that means that Obama will have to compete for those white moderate to conservative Democratic voters -- ultimately causing him to stay where he is ideologically or move even further right. In the end, no matter who wins, we'll end up with a President that's either no more liberal or more conservative, maybe way more conservative if it's the Republican, than we have in Obama now.
Am I wrong?