Posting under the pseudonym “Tom Wellington,” a Democratic Party insider makes the case for why President Obama should face a primary challenge in order to ensure Democrats win – if not in 2012, then in 2016.
The question with Obama is, can we afford not to primary him?
If Obama continues on his present course and does not show real strength and leadership, he will lose. In losing, his ineffectualness and lack of spine will become that of the Democratic Party and Progressives. The Left will be redefined in terms of Obama’s positions, as the Republicans try to roll back even those small accomplishments. And we will be out of power for another generation.
In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, a far-sighted scientist can see that the Galactic Empire is crumbling and is to be followed by a thirty-thousand-year-long dark age, but with the right steps, the darkness can be limited to only a thousand years. There is probably no saving an Obama Presidency that stubbornly refuses to save the country and itself. There may even be no way of preventing the Republicans from taking the White House. But conducted properly, a primary challenge now can result in victory: if not in 2012, then in 2016.
While I’m far from being one hundred percent happy with President Obama at this point in his first term, it’s safe to say I’m happier with the job he’s done than I’d be with President John McCain, and I think a good number of Democrats share my opinion. I don’t see a single Democratic elected official/officeholder who could mount a credible primary challenge to President Obama – with the exception of Hillary Clinton, who has said more than once she will not challenge President Obama in 2012. While a primary challenge might serve to prove a point to President Obama about not pissing off his base, such a challenge would ultimately weaken Obama heading into the 2012 general election and would do more harm than good for the Democratic Party.