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« On the Tax Cuts, I'm Going to Wait and See | Main | Tennessee Mosque Trial Turns Into Anti-Muslim "Circus" »

November 12, 2010


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Well, there are two questions here:
Should he have a meaningful primary challenge, and can he have a meaningful primary challenge.

As to the first, the question is whether there is a learning curve or not.

If we get 4 more years of useless wars, bank bailouts through defrauding home owners (HAMP), attempts to gut the social safety net (Catfood Commission), and more of the surveillance/torture state sold as liberalism, I would argue that this is more damaging to the country, and to the party, than a bruising primary fight, and an eventual Obama loss in the general.

On the other hand, you cannot defeat a sitting president in the primary. See Truman in 1948 and Carter in 1980.

This is even more the case with Obama, since he people have done their level best to cripple anything that even looks like an independent 3rd party liberal group.

Of course, that last bit really crippled the Dems during this election, but what the hell, it's all about Barry!

We'll see how he performs the next year or so. Of course the GOP will throw up some ridiculous legislation and he'll get the chance to veto it. If he does, people will come to appreciate his presence more.

I know people criticize Obama for "crippling" outside organizations in 2008. (He asked donors to give to him rather than to outside groups.) But I remember 2004, when MoveOn, SEIU and the DNC all did GOTV. It was a mess and totally a waste of resources. I'm not saying that such a channeling of money to the DNC/presidential campaign is always a good thing - I can imagine a lot of scenarios when it's not. But I was also there in 2008, and the money we did have was barely enough to keep the lights on. Every dollar was needed for the air war, and volunteers took up the slack for the ground game.

Did the DNC do something similar in 2010? Obama wasn't on the ballot, of course, so this year it wasn't "all about Barry".

I think it would be entirely premature to write off this presidency or this man's future term in office. Two years is an eternity in politics, and with the teabaggers on full parade during the next eighteen months America will see one party in the Senate blocking extremist legislation from the House, and that party's president vetoing anything outrageous that gets past the Senate.
Every midterm election (but one) costs the sitting president seats in Congress. It's easy to roll your eyes and say, "What has he done?" but they've passed 420 acts of legislation during a time when the opposition party was in jackbooted lockstep to block every single one of them.
Obama might (this will take some imagination, granted) benefit from having idiots as foils in the House majority. It's easier to rail and rant from the back of the room than it is to actually govern, and America (dim as the average voter may be) will get a chance to see what extremism on the right could mean for their Social Security, Medicare, infrastructure, schools, local governments, etc. The result will be a much warmer reception in '12 than in '10, and unless he gets caught with his pecker in a chubby intern we might actually see legislative progress during his second term.
Don't write off this president simply because we haven't gotten our entire Bucket List accomplished. I'm as frustrated as anyone, but bickering and seriously considering a Kamakazi primary challenge is the stuff of madness.
We have a man whose ideals and rhetoric haven't been matched by accomplishments, but look at the mess he inherited, understand that as much as we'd like to think he could if he'd only try, he CAN'T WALK ON WATER. They have stuffed every legislative action with obstructions from day one in office, and STILL we've gotten more done than anyone could have hoped.
Repeal DADT, close Guantanamo, help the auto industry finish their recovery, hold Wall Street accountable, and Main Street will slowly begin to recover.
We owe it to the guy to give him time to make it happen, not blow him off as a loser because we aren't all gliding around in flying cars with golden health care plans as parachutes quite yet.
Have faith, show some Democratic/liberal/progressive fight, and be there when your party needs you.
It's bad enough we're fighting the corporate whores and money changers now, but to watch our own base disentigrate over less-than-stellar results in an 18 month span is scary.
We all need to grow a set, fight these sanctimonious assholes at every turn, and turn out the vote in '12.
Sorry to rant, but damn!

BTW, I've added your site to mine, and hope you'll come visit! We have much to do...

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