Primary President Obama?

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.


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15 thoughts on “Primary President Obama?

  1. I personally think a primary challenge to President Obama would be a disaster. I think the exact opposite of all reps and Senators like Ron Kind!

    While I do no excuse everything President Obama has done, I think much of it has to do with the corporatist democrats who fight him almost as hard as the loons like ryan and cantor.

  2. I agree Ed and I understand the frustration. However, I think he has followed through with most of what he said he would. I think when he has a Senate with people like Ben Nelson in it and a congress loaded with “blue dogs” he has limited “tools” to work with.

  3. The only way a dem wins next time is a different candidate, the dumb dumb in the white house has proven so incompetent even Chris Matthews has stop shivering. So please whatever you do run this dimwit next time, its the hope and change America will need,

    1. Who’ll beat Obama in 2012?


      Who’s the Republican candidate who’ll knock President Obama out of office?

  4. People need to get a grip. When I asked Trumka who the friends to labor were he immediately(without hesitation) named President Obama. While he has been far from perfect, what are our options exactly?

    Where would we be now if the Mccain/Palin ticket of old and dumb were in? Any other options?

  5. You obviously did not read Wellington’s essay very well. He makes good points. If the Republicans run anyone even half way reasonable, Obama is finished. He has lost the Liberals and a great many Progressives in the Democratic Party, Most of the Greens and will play hell winning over Independents and Republican Moderates IF the GOP can find a non-Tea Party candidate We think they will). He cannot make up his losses by moving farther to the right. Repugs will vote for their own kind over a GOP-Lite like Obama.

    Running primary challengers now against Obama would help us win back the White House in 2016. Even though many of us knew Obama wasn’t a liberal (or even a progressive) we voted for him because we were told He Wasn’t a dangerous and Loony Tea Party type. See what that got us. I’m done voting for the lessor of two evils. I DEMAND a DEMOCRATIC CANDIDIATE THAT WILL “FIGHT” for our Platform Issues.

  6. This is all pretty silly. The progressives/liberals will do just what the conservatives do when they have a candidate they’re not thrilled about – suck it up and vote for him/her anyway because they’ll come to the inevitable conclusion that it’s better than the alternative. One trait the right & left share is the inability to imagine someone with differing viewpoints as something other than the evil.

    I’d be surprised if Obama doesn’t get a second term. If Bush wasn’t a one-termer given how much the left hated him, I’d just be really surprised if Obama doesn’t.

    I don’t know who the Republicans will select, but presumably it will be some re-tread who’s waited his turn. Maybe they’d have a chance if they find somebody with some charisma or put together an effective campaign to appeal to the middle. I just wouldn’t hold my breath.

    1. Yeah, I’ll agree that progressives will ultimately hold their noses and vote for Obama if faced with a choice between him and some random Republican, because they know the alternative to President Obama is likely to be someone like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty….or God forbid, Donald Trump.

  7. Prime example of why Dems can never win the message war. When Republicans circle the wagons its one big circle. When Dems circle the wagons, they circle the wagons into 4,5,6 or more circles. Dems have way too many agendas going at the same time. Obama can’t even pivot without upsetting someone in the Democrat party. He has just the right amount of liberal support to get him re-elected. He can’t shift left or right one inch unless he wants to lose 10-15% of the Democrat support he currently has.

    Dems need to learn how to stick together. Your issue is my issue. My issue is your issue. That’s how the Republicans do things! Government is the enemy to republicans. That’s the only message they need. Government is the problem! My goodness, Donald Trump is shaping up to be a serious candidate using that slogan.

    And they circle the wagons around that one message.

  8. Watch what happens tomorrow. What he is going to say or not say will cause his polls to drop at least 5% nationally. Americans only care about their particular slice of the pie. And when someone wants to take a bite out of their piece the whole country is going to hell in a hand basket. America going to hell in a hand basket is just like all the times doomsayers claimed the world was about to end. It never happens!

    Here’s a thought. Let’s not slice the pie up anymore. Let’s all just share the pie together.

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