• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    William on This part is interesting…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on This part is interesting…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Niles on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on This part is interesting…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    tamens on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Sweet Sue on This part is interesting…
    riverdaughter on This part is interesting…
    riverdaughter on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
    Niles on I’d hate to be this DOJ lawyer…
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    August 2010
    S M T W T F S
    « Jul   Sep »
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Fundraising Update and the Art Of Thinking
      We have raised $9,353. That means we’ve reached the first two milestones, and I’ll write sixteen reviews of books with useful information. The final milestone is at $11,000, and is to be a booklet, “How To Think: Understanding the World.” The fundraiser will end at midnight this coming Friday, June 28th. DONATE OR SUBSCRIBE I […]
  • Top Posts

  • Advertisements

The 2012 Likely Conundrum: Empty Armani Obama vs. Empty Mittens Romney (or another GOP empty suit)

We’ve speculated a lot about the 2012 primaries lately at TC. I am in the pessimistic camp. I do not think any Democratic pol currently is willing or has the guts to primary Obama. Yesterday Kucinich announced he will not be primarying Obama, instead calling for party unity, and I am not the least bit surprised.

I think Obama and his machine already have the nomination locked up, but let’s suppose that someone could primary him and win. One of the big elephants in the room is that any Democrat would need black voter *turnout* to go on to win the general in 2012–and any Democrat who primaried the first black president would likely incur depressed black voter turnout at best instead. This is how I see it anyway.

Even if that were not the case, I cannot see Hillary being willing to primary Obama. I do not think that is the direction she wishes to take her legacy in. I believe she is sincere in her loyalty to the current President, even though I think she would have also handled the presidency very differently if she had been the one who was elected.

Hillary on why she works with Obama, July 5, 2010, during a townhall with Georgian women leaders:

I saw two women wearing tee shirts from my presidential campaign, which reminded me, if I needed reminding, that I ran a very hard race against President Obama. I tried with everything I had to beat him. But I was not successful. And when I went from running against him to supporting him in the election, that was part of what I thought was best for my country. But when he won, much to my surprise, he asked me to serve as his Secretary of State. And many people around the world have said, “Well, how could you be a political opponent and now be working with your former adversary?” But there is a very simple answer: we both love our country. And in a democracy, there comes a time when politics stops, and governance must start.

Hillary is all class. And, she works from within the system, making certain compromises to do it, without compromising her own goals and endgame of bettering people’s lives. She’s won my support and respect for it. But, I also believe it means she will not be primarying Obama.

I also cannot see Obama stepping aside to let Hillary run. I hear this suggested often, and I encourage people to do more than talk about a Draft Hillary 2012 campaign if they truly believe it is possible. But, I just am not convinced yet that it is a viable opening for Hillary to run.

I think Obama enjoys Being President. It is the “doing” part that comes along with Being President that he doesn’t like so much. Just look at the stuff coming out of Obama World in this teaser of the September edition of VF from Vile Filth purveyor Vanity Fair editor Todd S. Purdum:

There’s a relentlessness to this that’s unlike anything else, especially when you come into office in a time of crisis,” says Obama senior adviser David Axelrod. “We did not exactly ease into the tub. The world is so much smaller, and events reverberate much more quickly, and one person can create an event so quickly from one computer terminal.”

There’s a saying for laments like that, Mr. Axelrod. If you are looking for sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.

Larry Summers, who served as Clinton’s Treasury secretary for the last 18 months of his term, says, “It used to be there was a kind of rhythm to the day” with the tempo picking up after the markets closed and as newspaper deadlines approached, between four and seven P.M. “That’s gone.” And, according to Rahm Emanuel, C.I.A. director Leon Panetta thinks “it’s a huge problem” that Washington runs at such “a highly caffeinated speed.”

Oh gosh, if only DC would just slow down for Obama & co. Look at that Fierce Urgency of Someday.

Emanuel calls it “Fucknutsville,” and Valerie Jarrett says she looks back wistfully to a time when credible people could put a stamp of reliability on information and opinion: “Walter Cronkite would get on and say the truth, and people believed the media,” she says.

Why won’t we just believe TOTUS? Whaaa.

It got so bad last December that President Obama and Emanuel would joke that, when it was all over, they were going to open a T-shirt stand on a beach in Hawaii. It would face the ocean and sell only one color and one size. “We didn’t want to make another decision, or choice, or judgment,” Emanuel tells Purdum. They took to beginning staff meetings with Obama smiling at Emanuel and simply saying “White,” and Emanuel nodding back and replying “Medium.”

Wow, your government tax dollars at work. Apparently ObamaRahma’s White Medium T-Shirt stand of Shirking Responsibility is some great source of amusement to the Obama WH while America’s struggling middle and working class are told they must be more “personally responsible” left and right. I have to say I personally find this insight into the Obama WH a lot more distressing than anything in the factually inaccurate NY Daily News hit job that conservative Andrea Tantaros wrote on Michelle Obama’s Spain trip.

The First Lady went on a trip and everybody’s got an opinion on that, but look at what the Frat Boyz are doing at work. Or rather, what they are avoiding doing.

If Obama really is so put upon by the audacity of the American people expecting him to make decisions that he signed up to make, then maybe at some point he really should consider stepping aside and letting someone else who is ready to make those decisions run in his place. That would be the decent thing to do. But, I highly doubt Obama will ever get to that point. As long as his inner circle can keep him in the bubble where everything that’s going wrong is everybody else’s fault and Obama remains a king amongst his adoring crowds (his fanbase still exists, despite his dwindling poll numbers), the scrutiny is not enough to keep Obama from “Greek Columns part II” as commenter paperdoll put it recently. For Obama, I suspect the narcissism of Being President outweighs the pain of having to be held accountable for doing the work that comes along with that territory. I think Obama would rather run and risk losing than let any other Democrat prove that they could win in 2012, especially if that other Democrat was Hillary.

Two giant caveats to all of the above:

  • Hillary was the best person for the job in 2008, and Hillary would be the best person for the job in 2012 and 2016. I’ll always be a holdout for Hillary at heart.
  • I would love for any Democrat to come forward and prove my skepticism wrong about the 2012 Democratic nomination.

I always hope against Hope™. But, I am also preparing for the worst. Which brings me to the likely 2012 conundrum.

Both parties are broken right now and only seem capable of putting empty suits into the WH. A major party would have to nominate a woman before I would believe they were capable of it.

Continuing under empty armani Obama or going from him to empty Mittens or some other empty GOPer are both net negative outcomes. They have their silver linings if you think about them, but it’s all an exercise in trying to decipher the difference between bad and worse.

If the 2012 general is between O and Mitt/blech/etc, then in terms of which outcome gives us any chance at escaping our national nightmare sooner, I think it’s the outcome where the GOP loses in 2012.

But, it’s an infinitesimally slight chance, and I’m not sure we’ll ever fully escape the nightmare.

I look at it as 8 years total of empty Obama that we’ll have had to endure if Obama wins a second term vs. up to 12 years of empty suit if he doesn’t (i.e. 4-8 years of Mitt or whoever else after 4 years of Obama already.) We couldn’t even afford these corporate tools from 2000 to now, so how the eff are we going to withstand another decade of them? And, that’s the risk we face if we just switch from Obama to Romney or whoever.

It just seems like with Obama winning a second term, even though that part is undesirable, at least we aren’t stuck with the torture of not knowing how much longer this will go on. Maybe that’s cold comfort, but with the scenario where the GOP picks up enough steam to win, we’re kinda stuck in limbo in another quandary all over again wondering when the hell we’ll get our next chance and how exactly are ordinary, non-bonus class people supposed to get by until then.

An argument can be made here that Obama losing in 2012 gives Hillary a wider opening to run in 2016… I just am very wary of that, since the Dems couldn’t even nominate her at age 60… how in the world are they going to nominate her when she’s almost 70? I don’t see the tidal wave of misogyny, classism, and ageism against her and her supporters ebbing between now and then.

Now if Obama were to lose to the GOP in ’12, then even though the GOP winning is undesirable, the upsides are 1) the Obama blueprint would be discredited as a path to 2-term success and we would have a better chance of rebuilding a better Dem party and 2) the crap GOPesque agenda would stop happening under the Dem/left brand, and we’d have a better chance of opposing that agenda from the left. However, the big huge catch there with all of that silver lining is that actually making the Dem party better in the long run and not repeating the entire mess and opposing the GOP/Dem corporatocracy more effectively — much of that hinges quite a bit on the activist left learning from their mistakes from 2000-2012, which they’ve not shown much inclination toward so far. I suspect instead they will learn all the wrong lessons from a loss in 2012.

So the marginally better scenario I can see is that the GOP loses in 2012 and then in 2016, even if we can’t really reform the party’s root problems, we might have a shot at rallying around a Democrat who can bring the Dem party’s key constituencies back together at least and we can work on shared goals again (without being divided by the false charges of racism). It won’t be an easy year for a Dem to win, because after 8 years of Obama/Dems, the GOP would likely stand a huge chance of recapturing the WH. (Obama and the Dems have done the unthinkable and rehabbed the GOP, which shouldn’t have even been able to dream of the WH for 16 years after Bush-Cheney.)

Still, even if the Dem will likely lose in ’16, in the long run I think we stand to accomplish somewhat more by running a better candidate and getting back on track that way than we do by waiting for the activist left to learn the right lessons from a loss in 2012 (where meanwhile the GOP would continue to reap the benefits off of Democratic dysfunction. ) Though again, that’s a relative thing. And, the idea that we could run a better candidate and work toward uniting the party’s grassroots back together again all assumes the most ideal of circumstances, which is probably not going to happen.

So whether Obama loses in 2012 or not, with either basic scenario that would play out from there, I don’t think the grassroots stand a great chance of taking back the Democratic party from the interests that prefer to pervert liberalism and turn it into a rhetorical tool to carry out more corporate welfare and privatization. It’s just that I think we stand to lose even more ground if the Obama loses in 2012 and the activist left flakes out all over again, repeating the same self-defeating patterns, leaving the Democratic party to take away the message that they need to swing even further right and be even more in bed with Wall Street–though, arguably, the Democrats would take that lesson away from the election outcome in 2012 no matter what.

Again, this is all basically an exercise in trying to sift out the bad options from the worst ones. And, it doesn’t change the fact that Obama and the Dems richly deserve to lose, especially if they can’t even compete with the odious people on the GOP slate right now (Mitt, Huckabee, Jeb, Newt, Barbour, etc).

I only have reason to vote against both parties in 2012 so far, and 2012 is not the same situation as 2008. Wall Street was invested in Obama in 2008, and the GOP was not invested in 2008 itself or in McCain. Whoever the GOP runs now, they will be all in behind that candidate most likely, and if Wall Street is hedging their bets between Obama and the GOP, then the Democrats may be the party in power, but the GOP in resurgent mode is actually the (marginally) bigger threat now (whereas in 2008, the Dems were the significantly bigger threat in terms of where Wall Street’s investment was).

My only choices in 2012 right now seem to be abstain the presidential line or vote third party. That’s where my thinking is at. 2 years is of course is a long time in politics, though, and we don’t even know the exact matchup, so I can’t say for sure where I’ll be on voting day. Pretty much the only thing I can say for sure is that, despite my skepticism about how likely her running again is, Hillary is the only one who’s already earned my vote if she ever asks for it again.


275 Responses

  1. The Romney vs. Obama stuff was originally something I’d written in a comment section. BB suggested I frontpage it, so that’s how this post came to be. I hope it makes a modicum of sense LOL 🙂

    • makes excellent sense

    • I’m so glad you wrote it up, Wonk. This is a really interesting post–provides a lot of food for thought.

    • Excellent Post! I disagree about whether or not Hillary could/would primary Obama (I hope she does and think she Might), but I love your take on this.

      • That’s pretty much where I am.

        I do think, though, that if the outlook is sufficiently grim, someone (maybe John Lewis) will pay Obama a late night call and tell him it’s time to hang it up, just as Goldwater did Nixon.

  2. Wow, I really enjoyed your post and I pretty much feel much the same way. It seems like we are always left with “bad” and “badder”! We are back to the lesser of two evils. That is a sick way to vote in this country! This country deserves better than that! Mitt’s cartoon btw is priceless!

    • I don’t think that’s true. I was happy to vote for Bill Clinton(twice) and Al Gore.

    • Thanks, Silent Kate. It usually does feel like the choice between bad and badder! I think the Clinton/Gore exceptions prove the rule. It’s just so typical that the progressives still think Bill is the one to hate, hated Gore when he was actually running, and now revere Gore from the sidelines now that they already denied him the presidency.

      • Wonk, that is the irony. There is even a movement, led by some of The Nation members to get Gore to run against Obama. And, I agree that the Obot boyz will never learn this lesson. They are so much more likely to repeat history.

    • we could always do a massive write in effort…not to win but to make a point. If you can not vote for Obama (and I can not vote for someone who exdploits racism, sexism and calls me a racist) then we might as well vote for who we want.

    • Kate,

      I owe you an apology for my comments on the thread yesterday. I do think you’re mistaken – but my response was completely uncalled for.

      • Thanks, you just need to know that I am always, and I mean always whining about my primary vote being stolen here in Michigan and given to Obama. I came to Hillary after Edwards. When I heard her speak in Southbend, Indiana I was blown away. I just loved her even though I had come from a negative point on her. I resented the Dems in power decision to give my Edward’s and all the other guys primary votes to Obama and then even steal votes from Hillary and give them to Obama. They didn’t want a revote because they knew people like me in Michigan would vote for Hillary! In fact that primary was set up for the failure it was by the Dems in power I believe to help Obama. I have been tricked just like countless others so please don’t assume I’m an Obot. I have no love for the man and did not vote for him. The first time ever….I didn’t vote for a Dem at the top of the ticket and I’m 55! I just hope things improve because our country is in dire straits! I want him to have some success because without it what’s to come of us all? If you check out my little blog you will see I am fairly liberal and not into Obama. http://www.ksvoboda.com/

    • The lesser of two evils is still evil. Why not go for it all?

      Cthulhu 2012!

  3. This is my thinking exactly. When people argue Obama will never win a second term, I always wonder if they remember someone has to beat him, and the Republican field is so weak. And, while Obama can make an issue of Romney’s flip flops, Obama’s flip flops have all been against the Left. Romney can’t make the most relevant argument against Obama. Also, with Repubs set to take over the House in the fall, Democrats should have more enthusiasm in 2012, if for nothing else, to stop the Repubs from taking over the whole damn thing. I won’t vote for Obama. I can not fathom voting for a Republican. I sometimes think there will be riots in the streets before either Party gets how far they have strayed from the concerns of regular Americans.

    • Every once and awhile they get up and do something…like the recent stimulus for schools voted on this past week. Must be the teacher’s unions still have some clout!

      • Teachers unions have clout? You must be joking. The entire race to the bottom policy is designed to greatly weaken teachers unions. They would never have needed to pass that small spending bill, if they had passed an appropriate stimulus bill last year, and they cut food stamps to pay for the bill, something the Obama administration wanted to do to pay for their race to the bottom policy from the start. I’m not impressed.

        • Actually, $12 billion was cut from Food Stamps to help school districts and Medicaid (state aid) Of the total $26 billion, California gets $2.5 billion.

          From McClatchy:

          “HD Palmer of California’s State Finance Dept said the bill will send $1.2 billion directly to schools and another $1.3 billion that can be used to HELP PLUG THE STATE’S $19 billion budget hole.”

          Everything changes , and nothing changes, eh?

          • Yea, & Arnold’s gonna take a large chunk and build a new Death Row at San Quntin. That ought to make it right & all, real value.

        • I’m a teacher and I know we don’t have any clout as we are the current union being bashed. I just thing “they” think this will secure their votes for November! That is simply what I meant by clout!

        • And the moral to this story is:

          When your Evil Stepmother hands you an apple, check for poison.

      • I don’t believe Romney will win against a more conservative candidate. I’m thinking Gingrich, and I’m not positive he cannot win against Oprecious. Not if the economy is in the dumps. I used to say that the one good thing about G.W. is that he had destroyed the Grand Old Party. That’s what happens with imperfect knowledge: all calculation can be way off. Who could have predicted that a Democrat would revive the GOP?

        • I don’t believe Romney will win against a more conservative candidate

          That is an interesting point. By 2012, the GOP base mood might find him not reactionary enough by a long shot …and nominate a more Tea Party flavored candidate…which would be perfect for Team Obama and its owners. They go to sleep dreaming of a match up along the lines of Obama / Huckabee

        • The religious right will never support Gingrich. Frankly, he has pretty high negatives among his own Party. I think Newt is most unlikely.

          • See, I don’t think the religious right will ever support Romney. I might be wrong here, but I think the Mormonism thing is going to be a big negative for him. Right or wrong (and I do think it’s wrong), but people want a Christian President (and many protestants don’t consider Mormons part of the club). I think even a Catholic would have a rough time of it these days.

        • Maybe Bobby Jindal? You gotta wonder about the gulf oil situation and how it plays out for him politically.

    • Can you imagine an Obama-Romney debate? That would just be exasperating. Somewhere Kerry would be watching and wondering why he alone was penalized for flipflopping.

      • God that would be painful. Of course like many others, the deciding factor would be the media treatment. And that would be determined by the oligarchy. So it could go either way depending.

  4. Excellent analysis, Wonk. I agree that no one will primary Obama. The possible candidates are all afraid of being called r@cist: exhibit A, Dennis Kucinich on health insurance reform.

    I was looking at the Green Party platform the other day, and I said to myself, “Wow, this is what many of us thought was the Dem. platform, until it turned out that it wasn’t.” If there’s any hope for the future working within a structure of different parties, I think it’s for disaffected Dems and Repubs to take over the Green Party and make it into a real challenger.

    Unfortunately, I tend to agree with Andrew Bacevich:

    “The Congress is a haven for narcissistic hacks, for whom self-promotion and self-preservation take precedence over serious engagement with serious issues.”

  5. I keep hoping that after all of Obama’s hair turns gray, he starts to go bald…

    I suspect it might keep him from running for a 2nd term just because he’s so disturbed by that.

    • This is precisely that speacial form of shallowness that can work in our favor.

      • I don’t think he’s worried about his graying hair… he just talks about it to elicit sympathy for how very hard he’s working.

        • yes, but I think balding may be one step over the line for him…


          (ya’ just can’t fix that with a bottle of Clairol)

          • LOL I always thought Obama was like rogaine or a red convertible for all the old male cynical bastards who suddenly went hopeydopey when it came to Obama.

          • Hey!

            I’m an old male cynical bastard, and I never went hopeydopey…

          • Then you’re one of the ones who stayed true! 🙂

            I was thinking about all the Bill Mahers, George Carlins (RIP), Michael Moores, Keith Olbermanns, Matt Taibbis, etc. who all made cynicism part of their shtick in their own ways and suddenly Obama came along and he was the hope they never knew.

          • Let’s not forget the hair and the height! That’s what made those jerks feel really good. When they saw the tall guy with hair win, they could fantasize that much more. 😉

  6. Here’s my thinking, if Obama the (not so) closeted Republican wins in ’12, then in ’16 it’s extremely likely that someone from the Republican party would win after that, likely taking us to ’24. To me that scenario likely means 24 straight years of corporatist Republican rule. I don’t think this country ever comes back from that.

    The alternatives in ’12 are a non corporatist Republican (not sure any exist), a moderate Republican (Romney), a crazy winger (Newt or Tea Party), or a woman (Palin, etc.). Any of those are likely the same as Obama except for the crazy winger choice. And any of those choices likely means 16 to 20 years of corporatist Republican rule.

    Just the numbers. I like the lower numbers of corporatist Republican rule. That gives us a slightly better chance of saving the country. And if there is a possibility of a woman, then that’s a plus.

    • Well, I did say that if Obama wins in ’12, the Republicans are likely to win in ’16. I’m not sure that it would necessarily take us to ’24, though. I think 2020 would be at play in a HUGE way if Republicans took the WH in 2016, and that we’d have 4 years of activism from the left in response already, so we wouldn’t be just on the sidelines until then. That’s just my gut instinct. The huge problem there is that the 4 years of left activism may lead to another “anybody but Hillary” type mindlessness and result in another (conserva)dud for the Democratic nomination.

    • To me that scenario likely means 24 straight years of corporatist Republican rule. I don’t think this country ever comes back from that.

      We’ve so far had 10 years of overt corporatist rule. I’m thinking another two and the country is toast for about 100 years. Look around the globe for some examples. We may have actually hit the limit, since we’re talking about America and there is no other America on the planet to save us from our “leaders.”

      • I was thinking this as well…if one is speaking in terms of us ” getting back” to what this country was even 10 years ago…forget it, we are toast already. I mean I don’t see how we can even stop the rampaging carnage , much less get back . The owners want all of the nation’s accumulated wealth of 300 years and they want it now.

      • I agree with both of you. I think DT’s point is that we can’t take 14 more years on top of what we already couldn’t take in the first place.

        • This is EXACTLY why I think Hillary will take the chance and primary Obama. I think she knows that she’d have no chance in 2016, and that we have no strong contenders coming up. I think her loyalty is to her country and she’ll take the hit if she has to if it means giving America a chance to avoid another decade or two of insane corruption.

          • this is my daily prayer…..may she hear it soon.

          • My guess is that she has seen enough and made enough of a contribution at the bidding other others. A senator is independent but needs to represent the voters of a state.

            I see her as resigning as SoS at an opportune time, retiring to her new farm, and then after a period of rest and renewal, re-emerging with her own style of NGO that is dedicated to helping women worldwide.

          • I see something similar to CB. I look forward to Hillary setting up her foundation whenever she is ready.

    • All long-range strategies are useless at this point. Think of the US as a cancer patient: we don’t have 8-20 years to find a cure. Something to break the cycle is needed NOW.

    • I don’t think Gingrich is “crazy”. I think he’s a very smart, cynical opportunist. He’ll definitely play to the wingnuts, but I’m not sure he’d make policy decisions on that basis once in office. He’ll do what’s best for Newt. Kinda like Obama.

      Barring a really severe foreign policy crisis (Pakistan/India war, Israel/Iran war, Chinese seizure of Taiwan, North Korea completely going off the deep end, etc), I think 2012 really is all about the economy. With tens of millions of long-term unemployed just waiting for the right demagogue to set them off, I think we have a very volatile domestic political environment. If there really is some sort of recovery (however mild) by 2012, I think Obama might very well be re-elected. If, on the other hand, we plunge into a deflationary spiral – well, I think we’ll see an awful lot of really ugly American political trends emerge (some of which we’ve seen before, like nativism).

      I don’t have a lot of hope right now.

      • My 2 cents on Gingrich. I see his best opportunities in 2012. He’s seen as a moderate, I know laughable, in the GOP. I think that given a bad economy, and a divided GOP, Gingrich is the candidate for the GOP, with Palin to satisfy the right. Obama would lose if the economy is as bad as I see it in 2011 and into 2012. But I suspect Gingrich is going to be a 4 year term president.

        • If a hasbeen is the best the GOP could do and Obama were actually unable to beat him (which I don’t think so… I think if it were Gingrich, Obama would win in a landslide)–well that would be the ultimate statement of how bankrupt the two-party system is.

          • … or how rigged the two party system is.

          • or as gxm reminded us somewhere on this thread… it’s really just a One Party system.

          • I could see a Gingrich/Palin ticket. Gingrich has a lot of support in the GOP establishment (and very close ties to Murdoch). I could see Fox News smothering any opposition on the right – and nominating Palin as VP would pull a lot of them back into the fold. Palin’s young enough that she could bide her time for the top spot.

            As for Gingrich being a “has-been”, I remember thinking that about Nixon.

          • Gingrich has been discredited though. He still holds influence within the GOP, but I don’t think he plays well to the broader electorate.

        • Maybe he’ll have an affair on his third wife, dump the wife and marry the girlfriend. History does seem to repeat itself with him.

    • You are so freaking depressing! My Republican aunt had a heart attack and died after Jimmy Carter was elected president. I hate to think what’s to come of us all. Jeez, I’m 55 right now by then maybe I’ll be the one that croaks for so many years of Republican rule! lol

  7. From the Christian Science Monitor:

    Can Prop. 8 supporters appeal?

    The judge didn’t stop there. He went on in his 11-page order to question whether Proposition 8 proponents still have legal standing to pursue the case.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown have both announced that they will not seek an appeal in the case. They also declined to seek a stay of Walker’s ruling.

    That leaves Proposition 8 proponents who are private citizens to pursue the case alone.

    According to Walker, to establish legal standing to litigate the case, the Proposition 8 proponents must be able to show a “concrete and particularized injury.”

    Since state officials regulate marriages, the governor and the attorney general have legal standing to defend Proposition 8, the judge said. But if the state chooses not to appeal, “proponents may have difficulty demonstrating [legal] standing.”

    The Proposition 8 proponents might overcome this obstacle, the judges suggested, by demonstrating how they – the private citizens supporting the marriage ban – would be harmed by the resumption of same-sex marriage in California.

    “The court provided proponents with an opportunity to identify a harm they would face if an injunction against Proposition 8 is issued,” Walker wrote. “Proponents replied that they have an interest in defending Proposition 8 but failed to articulate even one specific harm they may suffer.”

    The judge said there is nothing in the record showing proponents face the kind of injury necessary to demonstrate legal standing. “As it appears at least doubtful that proponents will be able to proceed with their appeal without a state defendant, it remains unclear whether the court of appeals will be able to reach the merits of proponents’ appeal,” Walker said.


    • we shall see… some moments I can’t see how they have any standing for appeal…

      but the emergency stay request they put in last night was so ridiculous (it was over 300 pages long when the limit is 20 pages) and so insulting towards Judge Walker, I almost expect the 9th circuit to take up the case just to send them to school)

  8. I hope it makes a modicum of sense

    lol! such modesty! It’s a great post and not just because I got a mention (blush)

    For Obama, I suspect the narcissism of Being President outweighs the pain of having to be held accountable for doing the work that comes along with that territory.

    like a moth to a flame…he cannot help himself. Thinking Obama will step aside,or not run , is like expecting a coke addict to know when enough is enough.

    and I agree with your two giant caveats

  9. We could do what Arthur Silber suggests:

    Withdraw our support.

    “I repeat once more: these horrors are now what the United States stands for. Thus, for every adult American, the question is not, ‘Why do you obey?’ but:

    Why do you support?

    Or will you refuse to give your support? Will you say, ‘No’? These are the paramount questions at this moment in history, and in the life of the United States. We all must answer them. Our honor, our humanity, and our souls lie in the balance.”


  10. Love that clip of Hillary. Okay, I love every clip of Hillary. But I do especially love that one. And it reminded me of this.

    “The President’s asking you to serve; and everything else is crap.”

  11. I do not think any Democratic pol currently is willing or has the guts to primary Obama.

    For one thing there will be not one dollar out there to do so…zippo. No money, no primarying . Simple

    Yesterday Kucinich announced he will not be primarying Obama, instead calling for party unity, and I am not the least bit surprised.

    well that tells us it’s over already. Usually Kucinich throws in the towel and his support to the party pick just before the convention. …last time it was in Iowa …now PR hound Kucinich isn’t even starting.
    This fix is air tight.

    • Dennis Kucinich was the FIRST candidate to hand over his delegates to Obama before the primaries were over and he also FOLDED on the supposed Health Care Reform.

      I am not impressed with Dennis Kucinich in the least as he didn’t even stand his ground on principles or on key health issues.

      • Indeed…but if he isn’t even starting that tells us 2 things: Hillary absolutely will not be running, or the likes of DK would be set into motion in order to help sink her And it tells us he isn’t even allowed to have some fun before caving…pretty air tight

      • At one time, I respected DK. Not anymore. He’s an ineffectual little patsy. Feh!

    • I think Dean is going to get into the ring.

      • Not sure if I could forgive Dean for getting hooked on KoolAid and brokering the primary vote give-away to Oprecious.

        Dean did do a lot of very good things when governor in health care and eduction.

    • Kucinich looks like the guys on the money–Monopoly money. He’s as phony as a three dollar bill.

  12. The Democratic Party taught me one thing and that is that women are welcome so long as they “SERVE” and do all the ‘little things’ for decades, but if they chose/get big ideas to run for POTUS they will choose the candidate with out a record and with barely a decade as a member of the party.

    When a party chooses to run with a marketing theme over hard work, loyalty, principles, and moral ideals it leaves the party members wondering why they belong to the party and WHO is really controlling the party.

    Any way, I still think the Democratic Party OWES Hillary R. Clinton her EARNED ROLL CALL VOTE FOR POTUS and VP which she was denied in 2008. She got the popular vote and is more popular today than in 2008. She will go down in history as the FIRST WOMAN TO GET THE POPULAR VOTE IN AMERICA and THE ONLY CANDIDATE DENIED A ROLL CALL VOTE!

    • ‘It’s way too soon, he hasn’t done anything yet’

        • Thanks for posting this little vignette.

          I thought Carter’s body language (face) was really interesting.

          I thought I heard him say, “I’ve already told you my choice…”

          Not sure.

          If he did say that, I wonder what it was, his choice

        • “and somehow has written two books that people like alot”

          Charlie, I’m still trying to figure out what occurred during that “somehow” time frame. After all, he wasn’t able to do it during his sabbatical in Bali.

  13. I agree that Obama has the 2012 nomination locked up, but I disagree that an Obama win in 2012 is the lesser evil. I wanted Obama to lose in 2008, and I want him to lose in 2012. If Obama wins in 2012, as you note, the odds are a GOP win in 2016. So 8 years of Bush, followed by 8 years of Obama, followed by 4 to 8 years of a Republican takes at least until 2020 before we might get a decent President. If Obama loses in 2012, we have at least a shot in 2016. For me the choice is clear-Obama must lose in 2012, and I’ll do whatever I can to that end.

    • I didn’t say it was the lesser evil. I just don’t agree that we are really going to fix our problems if Obama loses in 2012. Not only will another empty suit walk in, but I fear the left will move backwards from that, not forwards.

      • I disagree. And agree with tdraicer.

        The longer Obama sticks around, the worse off liberal politics will be.

        Not only internally (amongst the “professional left” HA HA), but also in regards to the general public.

        The longer Obama is associated with “liberal” (and “socialist” for that matter), the harder it will be in 2016 for liberals to make the case that support for conservative ideology is against the best interests of middle-class and working poor voters.

        How are liberals going to go about the business of “using our words” to make our case?

        If it’s true that voters generally support “liberal” policy positions (when not tied explicitly to the word “liberal), what are we going to do to convince voters?

        We’ve got to start doing the work. And the first step is getting Obama, and other so-called “liberals” out of the damn way. (Olbermann, Klein, Rich, Dionne, etc)

        • The longer Obama is associated with “liberal” (and “socialist” for that matter), the harder it will be in 2016 for liberals to make the case that support for conservative ideology is against the best interests of middle-class and working poor voters.

          I did discuss that very specifically in my post, though. But, as I said it hinges on the left learning the right lessons. The left right now doesn’t even understand that the WH is mocking them as a play for Independent votes and wants them to be all F you right now. I can just see how they will react to Obama losing, and it won’t be this happy ideal place where we end up with the great nominee in 2016. It will be a dark brooding place and we’ll end up with another creative class attempt to assert their authority over Bubba even more.

          • Growing pains.

            It’s GOING to get worse before it gets better.

            Liberals are 30-50 years behind conservatives in their messaging.

            I, for one, don’t have that long.

          • Wonk, where I disagree is who is the important “left” right now. Most people don’t read blogs, don’t subscribe to the Nation, and don’t have jobs. They really could care less what the blogger boyz have to say or whether they support O-zero.

            The liberal message is most at risk with the street liberals.

          • Do you really think we even have an organized “left,” I mean one that is actively involved in changing the nature of how the wealth is distributed and what it buys, not just invested in self-puffery and idle blogging?

            When I think left, I think Sarte and Simone de Beauvoir, and dock workers who liberated Poland from Soviet control. Not poseurs.

          • Well I call them the activist left most of the time–to distinguish from “the left”, but I’d already said it a bunch in the post up top, so I just shortened it here.

            I agree the progressives today are poseurs, but unfortunately they do have influence on left messaging today. Take for instance, the public option push. Jane Hamsher (who I think may have been more misguided than necessarily acting in bad faith) drove a lot of the public option push *AFTER* the rest of us on the left had already figured it was a bait and switch and had moved forward to opposing the mandate and pushing for a Medicare expansion. The public option push just ended up energizing activism on the broader grassroots left (such as it is) just enough to secure passage of the HCR mandate, but not any PO.

        • I don’t feel confident about making any sort of prognostication. Right now, there are nearly 41 million people on food stamps. God only knows how many people are really disemployed (I don’t even trust U-6 anymore). The lobbyists are firmly in control of “both” parties – and I’m not sure there are any third parties that have a chance of viability. Electoral politics may well have become irrelevant – we really need an FDR or a Lincoln right now, and I don’t think either party is capable of producing one.

          • Electoral politics may well have become irrelevant – we really need an FDR or a Lincoln right now, and I don’t think either party is capable of producing one.

            Yes, they are broken and only produce empty suits when what we really need is a leader!

    • Remember, the conventional wisdom in 2008 was that Hillary had it all sewn up and how did that turn out?
      I would really appreciate it if people refrained from making the statement that Obama has the primary won already. It can be a self fulfilling prophecy and absolves people of taking action. To buy into that mentality is extremely irresponsible to the millions of Americans who cannot wait another generation for the country to right itself.
      Don’t go there.

      • Great point.

      • Amen, RD

      • Prediction: Sometime after November, Howard Dean will ramp up the rhetoric, and at some point he’ll throw his hat into the ring. Following this, Hillary will quit over a matter of principle, and later on will join the Primary fight. She’ll fight it clean and fair, but she Will fight.

        On the GOP side, I really think Palin is a possibility. I can’t see Mitt or Gingrich getting it, and I think she can bring down her negatives and get her base behind her over the next year. She might wait, but I think she’d be better off going hard now.

        • Oooh. Yes, once a man decides to primary Oprecious, that makes it much easier for HRC to do so also — I am speaking just from a media perspective. Personally I think she should gracefully “quit over a matter of principle” (there are plenty between her and O) and start her campaign in the next year.

      • Fair point. Learned helplessness is really our worst foe. I hope you’re right, but I don’t think there has *ever* been a successful primary challenge to a sitting President. Yes, McCarthy and RFK managed to get LBJ to pull out of the race in ’68 – but I’m not sure we can count on that happening again (and you’ll note that McCarthy wasn’t the nominee).

        Frankly, the best I think we can hope for is Obama deciding not to run in 2012. I don’t think that’s impossible, but I do think it’s unlikely.

        • LBJ pulled out because his approval was in the toilet. Sound familiar? And McCarthy was the second choice. Hillary, in this analogy, is RFK (just like she was in the primary RFK debacle). RFK could have Won.

          • LBJ cared about his party and wanted it to have a fighting chance. I don’t think anyone could with a straight face say the same about Obama.

          • I don’t think Obama would want to lose. But I think someone else from the party winning would be even worse to him.

          • Dandy, you know that I HATE IT when you’re so relentlessly RIGHT about things. Dammit.

          • this is the crux of the problem where Democratic politics are concerned. Obama cannot be appealed to do something for the better of the party that won’t benefit him and his schmoozing of the elites. Stepping aside would be like the equivalent of dropping out of school. Not running would be like not fulfilling a proper milestone. He can’t not run it if he wants to be in the elite club, otherwise come to think of it he’ll be treated like the pariah that LBJ is treated like (even though his domestic legislative record is in a league of its own, that Obama can’t even dream of touching.)

          • Exactly. It’s not a normal situation, because Obama doesn’t give a damn about anything but himself. He can’t be appealed to or prevailed upon (and that’s assuming anyone in the party would care to, taking the chance that H would be the next logical choice. Whether the party elites are at that point is also completely up in the air).

          • Then let’s just hope that someone has some GOOOOOOD blackmail material. The kind that would destroy his legacy forever. It might be the only way he’d back down.

          • my guess is the Chicago machine has a lot of blackmail material to counter back with. And, whoever has the trump card on blackmailing Obama might be using it to control him. Something like that would help to explain some of the counterintuitive stuff about his administration–like why he was so lowkey about the oil spill for so long.This is tinfoil hat speculation, though. Who knows. I think it’s likely he really is that tonedeaf and cushy with the corporate influences, so nobody had to blackmail him to react so lackadaisically.

        • Johnson had the Vietnam War around his neck. Obama will have at least as heavy an albatross with Afghanistan/Iraq two years from now. Johnson had to deal with a broken party–as does Obama. The issue in 1968 was the Civil/Voting Rights Acts. The issue over the next two years will be women’s and LGBT civil rights because that, as much as the crooked finaglings of the Chicago Combine, is dividing the Democratic Party from the Democrats/Liberals in Exile as we speak.

          I think Hillary will have an excellent chance in 2010 if she’ll take it. Depending on how Obama exits (if he does) she may or may not draw as heavy an AA turnout as conventional wisdom deems necessary. I think losses there can be offset by gains from normally Republican women and from Hispanics, with whom she has been and remains wildly popular.

      • RD, you are totally dead on!

        Isn’t that the point though, they know it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. In 2008, so many Obots tried to lecture me (and us) on how party politics works (i.e., roll call vote), and they weren’t even active party members, much less been to a convention. They just took what the MSM took them as God’s word on how things work. And Axelrove knew that, and most cynically relied upon most liberals ignorance.

        • And, this is why I added the giant caveats. When I say I’m in the pessimistic camp, it’s not because I think the nomination belongs to Obama — that couldn’t be any further from what I believe. I just need to be able to prepare for the worst and then if things turn out better than I expect, no one would be happier about it than me. It’s not learned helplessness. My skepticism isn’t mutually exclusive from the fact that I’ll be the first person cheering on Hillary if she ran in 2012 or if another pol I could vote for primaried Obama.

  14. if the republicans were smart they would nominate a moderate woman for president. They do that and she will win the white house.

    • First they’d have to find one somewhere in the party.

      • Lol. I know others here are more open to Palin, but I agree, she is not a moderate.

        • BTW.. I was not talking about Palin, not sure where that non sequitur came from. But if you look at how she governed, she was pretty moderate.

          • I knew you weren’t talking about Palin in particular, but Palin is the woman most often talked about in relation to the Republican nomination in ’12, that is where that came from.

            Her governing record isn’t quite the radical right caricature that it’s made out to be, but that doesn’t make her a moderate. She was an iconoclast reformer and she’s populist. But, she’s tacked very hard right since then and I don’t think there is any reason to give her any more benefit of a doubt than I’d give someone like Obama for these kinds of political maneuvers. I like her moxie in dealing in a man’s world, I think the elites often use her as a distraction and good on her for turning that against the elites and making fools back out of them for it, and I’ll listen to her if she has something non-wingnut to say on a particular issue. But, that’s about as far as I can go with Palin. Death panels, calling Obama socialist, her views on immigration, asking all “good Muslims” to disown the mosque near Ground Zero, her views on choice, etc. They are all very far from “moderate” to me.

          • Death panels are real.


            They’re just called “Patient Decision Aids”

            When faced with either a) an expensive treatment that may or may not be successful, versus b) hospice, your friendly insurance company will instruct your doctor to give you one of their handy “Patient Decision Aids” to help you make an “informed decision” about which treatment option you should take.

            They hope you give up arguing for that exotic, expensive treatment, and take hospice as to leave your family something instead of bills.

            You don’t want to be a BURDEN to your family, do you?

          • Yes, but the term “death panels” was straight out of the marketing playbook of Betsy McCaughey. If Palin had supported a Medicare expansion and then had made her arguments about end of life counseling in a less inflammatory way, maybe that would have been more moderate. But, instead she was just like every other conservative calling Obama’s HCR government takeover. And, I’m not saying that is some huge deal for a conservative pol to do. But, those are the operative words–conservative pol. Not a moderate one.

          • Just pointing out that there is more to the Death Panel stuff than meets the eye.

            And if “liberals” had dealt with HCR in a responsible way, Palin would have been (and frankly was) irrelevant.

            Moderate, conservative, center, liberal are all pretty meaningless at this point.

          • “Death Panels” Sure Wonk she could have made her argument in a more nuanced and reasoned manner. Then she would have been flat ass ignored like everyone else.

            Sometimes, you have to use marketing hype to get any point across. Especially in the face of the HCR hurricane that was blowing.

          • It was effective for conservative politics, but paling around in Betsey McCaughey rhetorical land just isn’t middle of the road… that is right-wing territory. I don’t think Palin is dumb or just a tool of the patriarchy the way the Obots do. I believe she is her own woman and she has chosen to argue for a rightwing worldview. And, it’s her right to choose that.

          • Palin certainly governed as a moderate, but she’s not perceived as one. I could see Fiorina or Whitman taking a run at it. CEO experience gives them both credibility and either one could pick Palin for VP to reel in the “values voters”. An all-woman GOP ticket would be kind of interesting.

          • I used to find Sarah very interesting but not any more. This is my take on Sarah now. http://www.ksvoboda.com/?p=240
            If read it you’ll understand where I’m coming from on Sarah.

      • there are LOTS of them. Some of them are even pro-choice.

        • Examples?

          • come on , are you kidding? You really can not be that out of touch with the reality of women in America. Most republican women I know are moderate AND pro-choice. Despite appearances and the big mouth right, many women in republican poltics are also moderate and many are pro-choice. I am not going to make a list for you because I am sure that 1. your intenttion would to be to argue that they are not moderate using cherry picked positions and quotes and 2. I do not know who all of them are. They exist, the party should nominate one if they want to win in 2012.

          • TeresainPa, I think you make a very good point about pro-choice Republican women. At the voter level, I know many. But, at the national politician level, they seem to be few.

          • No, I’m not kidding. I’m asking you to back up a rather sweeping assertion for which I can see no evidence, though I would be happy to have some shown me.

            As it happens, I do know a handful of moderate Republican women–one is even an environmental activist and teaches in an inner-city school. But the Republicans would never nominate her because she IS moderate. She’s also Hispanic, which means her name and skin color are all wrong for the Texas Republicans. (Not to mention her new grandson. Might be a terror baby.)

    • Are you thinking Maine? They’ll never get the nomination.

      • they are one example of moderate republican women, but there are others and I was not suggesting who could get the nomination but rather than if the party was smart and really wanted to win, someone like the two senators from Maine should be the nominee.
        I am amazed that we are really arguing that there are no smart talented moderate republican women who can run. It reminds me of the argument that there are not enough women in PA to find an acceptable experienced woman candidate for the senate. It is all about perception and the old guys club’s willingness to share power. We should not be letting the republican party or the democratic party off the hook that easily.

        • The operative phrase is “who can run.” To run, one would first have to get the nomination, and I think Dario is right. The Republican notion of a woman “who can run” would be Kay Bailey Hutchinson–or might have been if she hadn’t lost the gubernatorial primary to Good Hair.

          • That is likely, sadly true. But I think the original premise was, if the Republican’s wanted to win, they’d do it. That’s valid.

          • go back to my orginal post and try again. You are arguing a point that I neither made nor am interested in making.
            However ANYONE can run. Let’s try again.

            “If the repubican party was smart they would nominate a moderate women (yes they exist) and if they did that they would win.”
            it is a very simple statement, I am not interested in going off roading with it.

          • LOL, I don’t know, off roading can be fun. 🙂

          • Teresa–I’m arguing the point that ,I’m making. Sorry if that gets your knickers in a twist, but allow me to quote you: “I am amazed that we are really arguing that there are no smart talented moderate republican women who can run.” You brought the “who can run” condition into the discussion yourself.

            No, Teresa, not ANYONE can run, not on the Republican ticket. That takes a Republican nomination and monetary backing. ANYONE can’t run independently, either, without a solid financial backing and grassroots support. required even for a write-in.

    • Why would the GOP want a moderate? I mean, someone who can pick up a few independents and centrists, sure. But first they need someone who can get out the base. And to be fair, right-wingers have as little clue as to what genuinely constitutes a moderate as progressives have as to what genuinely constitutes a liberal.

      And every candidate (except Hillary) does the same thing: they tack toward the base for the primaries and then back to center for the general.

      • the “except Hillary” made me smile. Hillary was the closest thing to a WYSIWYG candidate we were going to get… and the creative class railroaded her. For what? For someone they now claim is indistinguishable from Hillary? If he can’t do anything about anything, if America is so fundamentally ungovernable, why was it so important he win the nomination over Hillary? It makes no sense.

        • Not Ready to Make Nice is the unofficial Hillary theme song. It makes me smile and cry every damn time.

  15. this is a great post Wonk -thanks. As I read it I remembered something one of my colleagues said when O got the nominations for GE and Hill got the nod for SOS.

    ” Ah, so the Dems are going for the full monty – put a black man in now who has no desire to really work and will step out after one term and then they will put the first woman in office and claim to be truly liberal.”

    Maybe he had a point – certainly O has no love for this job – in fact he never thought it would be a job – he was just looking forward to the nice big house, his own plane and the puppy!

    • Thanks joanelle! Obama is probably looking forward to being in the elite President’s club in his postpresident life. and he’ll make lots of money, give lots of speeches, write books, etc. If he were to lose in 2012, he’d just go off on how he did all these noble things and wasn’t worried about being popular and how America can’t be governed and he can do more by revealing to us his wisdom having been in the presidency. BS his way through ex-presidentin’. Wonder if he’ll still need to lug totus around everywhere for that phase.

      • I wish he could get there without losing in 2012, though. Is there any way he could do that? Family health crisis causes him to step down? Spurious scandal accusations? Some massive global crisis that he wants to be personally involved in? I just wish there were some way to get him to get out of the damn way voluntarily without losing face (not that I care about him saving face, but if he can’t he won’t do it).

  16. I’m with the “toast” contingent. Sorry to be such a buzzkill but I think four years of Obama is four years too many. We needed someone with skill and passion and a keen grasp of the issues who wasn’t beholden to corporate interests (or at least knows how to play them) in the WH. But we didn’t elect her. We had our chance. We won’t get it again.

    I’m still banking on Jeb at the top of the Republican ticket. And he’ll beat the Big Zero. That’s been my story for the past two years and I’m stickin’ to it. I’m planning on voting Green, but if the Republicans put a woman on the ticket they’ll get my consideration.

    • The Bushes are toast. Broken. Kaput. Jeb fixed his destiny when he helped brother George in 2000.

    • From what I understand, the king makers tried to push Jeb for ’08 and said he would “win” (like dubya “won” in 2000). Then around ’06 they decided the stage was already set for ’08, and they would install him later. Who knows what they’re thinking is now and how things have changed, so ’12 may be too early again, but who knows. That will indeed be interesting. The next 6 months will be telling.

    • I’ve always thought a Jeb-Palin ticket would be most likely. Unless Lynn Cheney runs. Jeb knows Spanish, so he’s not your typically seeming anti-Hispanic republican. I have Latino family members who after living in the US legally for sometime, have completely changed their viewpoint on the illegal amnesty issue, and so have their friends.

      Aside from the economy and war, granting illegals amnesty is going to be a huge issue in 2012. And republicans have been steadily drumming up the meme that Democrats will steal the election, after granting amnesty to millions.

  17. I gotta say the two-party system makes our thinking so tortured I can hardly stand it. WTV, I feel your pain, but how long should we be trying to fit our moral and intellectual lives inside two of the tightest boxes our culture has to offer: the red one or the blue one? Gee whiz, boys, you can take your two-party system and shove it. If someone had the guts to run on a third party ticket, like Hillary, like Andrew Romanoff, and all the others we have loved and lost, we may not win but we would gain momentum and a sharper clearer voice that resonates with who we are and what we believe. Let’s start by dismantling the electoral college. Then let’s pass the Equal Rights Amendment. What else would we like to do? — uh-oh, I’m late for work. Thanks for the serious post.

    • we do not have a two party system, we have multiple parties and if the Green party or any other ever wants to gain power them they too have to suck up to donors and get the corporate media behind them.
      The problem is not that only two parties hold power. The problems is that we do not have an independent media.
      When people say they are going to vote green etc… I have to scratch my head and say “really? Who have they nominated lately that you would actually want running the country?” I would rather write in a person who could do the job.
      In this winner take all system only two parties can win any sort of power. Someday one of those parties might not be the reps or dems….but not much will change even then.

      • Have we elected a president who can “run the country” in the past 12 years? As opposed to “running the country into the ground,” cuz Bush and Obama have done a bang up job of that!

    • Not to nitpick but, right now, we’re stuck with a one-party system.

  18. The only way I see Hillary running in 2012 is if Obama drops out. I can picture him dropping out if a protest candidate embarrasses him in Iowa and New Hampshire because Obama would rather quit than lose.

    If he drops out the Democratic establishment would decide it’s Hillary’s “duty” to run, especially if Sarah Palin is doing well in the GOP races.

  19. Here’s another thing related to this issue. Firstly there are some here that made a protest vote in ’08, some that didn’t vote the top of the ticket, some that voted for third parties, some that voted to punish the Dems for their crimes (sort of protest, but maybe a bit different), some that voted for the “lesser of two evils”, that is, Oprecious, and some perhaps that actually saw McCain as less corporatist/conservative (could be true), among probably a few other strategies. All valid and all personal.

    Me personally, I could never vote for Obama no matter what. For the crimes committed in ’08, for the unabashed evil committed, I could never support the “new Democratic” party or Obama. Ever. I haven’t yet decided if I will make a protest vote or a third party vote or a non vote. If the Republicans put someone up who is halfway tolerable (less evil than Obama, which some are), then it may be a protest vote. On the other hand if the Republicans put up a batshit crazy candidate (I’d say about 50/50 chance), then I’ll likely vote for a third party candidate. But never, under any circumstances I could imagine, would I vote for Obama.

    • I’m voting Green. I don’t even necessarily like the Greens. They’re a bit too religious for me, if you know what I’m saying. But there has to be a stronger left and I’m going to throw my weight that way and hope we pull the country back a smidge

    • Never ever under any circumstances no matter what and who is running against him will I ever vote for him.

      Having said that…in ’12 I will either vote for Hillary (please run) or my write-in vote will be Dandy Tiger Pirate Extraordinaire.

    • It’s much too early to determine who/what to vote for.

      Lordy all the strange things that keep happening – never can tell what’s next.

  20. Greene Indicted
    South Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene (D) has been indicted on a felony charge of showing pornography to a college student, the Columbia State reports.

  21. Sadly like many here, I don’t see Hillary running again. The only scenario like myiq said would be if things drastically changed for some reason and Obama were out and the Dem party actually drafted her, almost by force. The chances of al of that happening, pretty close to 0. Not going to happen. So for ’12 it’s either evil, Dem party destroying, corporatist, GE/GS/Heritage Foundation Obama, or some Republican, who may very well be worse.

    But for me, I can’t add my vote to the final destruction of the Dem party and the country. A Republican no matter how horrible at least provides some possibility (albeit slim) of a resurgence of a real Democratic party.

    • who knows, someone might actually prove he is not american…

      okay okay, just kidding! = )

      Personally I am hoping for some ugly video from his past coming to light.

  22. I’m gonna have to go with “Hillary: back by popular demand.”

  23. I agree prospects either Dem or Rep are not pleasant to contemplate.

    One person on Repub side who shouldn’t be forgotten is John Huntsman, he whom Obama swiftly packed off to China.

    What do people here think of him?

    I mean, if there had to be a Repub who became Prez….

    • if there had to be a republican who became Pres, I would rather it be a woman.

    • Everyone always leaves out John Thune, but he sure looks the part and he did beat Daschle.

      • I was talking about John Huntsman, who really does seem moderate in the true sense of the word.

        He has a broader world view.

        I’m not wanting a Republican, but among Republicans, Huntsman is one who would not likely take the country into a deeper ditch.

        As for a woman, sure, but it depends who the woman is. I’m not for wanting a woman just for the sheer sake of that.

        • I am. I’m all for a woman for the sake of having a woman. Because at this point, it kind of looks like our options are between Asshat nominally from the Left and Asshat nominally from the Right. It might as well be a female Asshat. We’re going to end up with crappy corporatist policy either way, so it may as well be crappy corporatist policy with a vagina.

        • I know you were talking about Huntsman. My point is that John Thune would also be a good candidate.

  24. Great post, thanks.

    I can not vote for Obama–ever. Will just have to see what the alternatives are. I think they are already working on 2012–and I think the slap at liberals is part of their plan. Every move made by this WH is political, rather than good governing, and I think that is a problem for them.

    • The slap at the “professional left” was calculated. The journolistas have proved that they will lick the boot that kicks them.

      • I think they like being slapped and kicked myself. When I picture many in the media in PVC clothing and plug masks and handcuffs, it seems not out of place.

      • Was the move a winner? No. Checkmate.

        • The WH is getting the reactions from the left they want, so it’s working pretty well from that POV. Not sure this trick will really work with Independents as well as the WH would like it to, though.

  25. Predictions: Evan Bayh will challenge Obama
    Sarah Palin will win her party’s nomination

  26. CDS Alert!!!!

    For Michelle Obama, extravagance dents popularity
    By: Byron York

    After a widely admired start in the White House, first lady Michelle Obama’s popularity is falling and, if the current downward trend in her approval ratings continues, could touch lows not seen since the scandal-tainted days of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Scandal-tainted? They proved (after spending a gazillion dollars) that Bill lied about a hummer. On Hillary they got zip, nada, zilch.

    • that’s really lame, but it’s Washington Examiner… kind of expected from them.

    • If they keep saying it enough, doesn’t that make it true?

      • No. The Earth revolves around the Sun, even if the Pope says it’s the other way around. But I get your point. If enough people repeat the lie, the truth is hidden.

      • In the case of public opinion, yes it does.

    • Yeah, Hillary wouldn’t fix her name as a symbol on charitable events that the Sally Quinns expected her to lend her name to. She had her causes and recognized her limited time. When she was told that she didn’t have to do anything, it was a tradition and that the First Lady’s name was all that was needed, Hillary refused. She couldn’t put her name on something she hadn’t worked on (and I would suspect her participation had to be major).

      That made her very unpopular with the superficial Washington hosting crowd.

  27. I think Powell could run as an independent and either place 2nd…or win.

    Not a 3rd party candidate mind you…independent.

    • I think Powell has turned off the left with his “good soldier” behavior and the right with his vote for Obama…not sure who would vote for him. Bush and Cheney lied us in to war but Powell was their loud speaker. And he knew better.

    • Generally speaking (ha, not meant as a pun), I think the whole idea of a viable third party candidate could change everything. I don’t see Powell running against Obama, but there could be others.

      Like RD and others have said, it’s early and really nothing is inevitable.

      • Define viable.

        If we really want Obama to lose, then the people in open primary states should push for a moderate Republican (although I like Palin, myself) in the primaries, then support a left third party in the general campaign, and then vote Republican.

        • Someone who could either win or could take away enough votes of either candidate to make a difference. E.g., Ross Perot in ’92. If there was ever a time in recent history for a third party to win, this would be that time. Not that I think it’s in the cards given our owned, corrupt system (incl. media), but I can hope…

    • I don’t think Powell will run against Obama.

  28. New CNN Poll shows Obama would lose 2012 to “generic Republican” 45-50.

    The Republican wasn’t even named…..but Obama still lost by 5 points.


  29. Hillary, for the love of your country, primary that empty suit so America doesn’t have to suffer 4 more years of his damage.

  30. It’s hotair, but it’s not their video and the Dems are in trouble with the base voters,


    • Harry Truman was right: people really will vote for the real Republican everytime.

      • PT Barnum was right-er:

        “There’s one born every minute”

        • So was Mencken: “Nobody every went broke by understimating the intelligence of the American people.

          2008 certainly proved that.

          • In fairness to the American people, Hillary had the popular vote–but the DNC railroaded her. After that and the financial crisis, people weren’t going to elect the GOP again.

            With all the money and media backing that Obama had, it’s actually surprising he didn’t do better.

  31. I am not any more favorably disposed towards Nader and his followers than I ever was. That being said, I am now likely to vote Green in a lot of elections. Unless my new party Working Families actually fronts its own candidates and I like them.

    • If it ends up being Obama v. Romney, I’m writing in Bernie Sanders – and I’ll hum the Internationale while I’m doing it.

  32. You know, if the republicans were even semi-alert they should be able to make serious in-roads into the dem. camp. With the public so frazzled, this is prime time for a move. But, they are so stuck on ‘just cut taxes’ that I don’t think it will happen.

    • Well, the Repubs in office after 2006 are actually more right leaning than ever, and their base has movedfurther to the Right. Both of these factors make attracting Democrats tough.

      • When in doubt, the Republicans cater to their base while the Dems insult theirs.

        • Democrats just insult the entire electorate and then rationalize it as people voting against their interests. But it’s the Dems who time and time again fail to provide a real alternative to the Republicans, so the voters just try to do the best they can deciding between two bad choices.

  33. Wowsers, have you guys seen Charlie Melancon’s ad against David Vitter? I’t good.

  34. Great, great post, Wonk. You pretty much laid it all out there. The only place where I slightly disagree is I don’t necessarily see a worthwhile candidate emerging. But, stranger things have happened, who knows. We have to have hope, I guess.

    • Thanks Seriously. Actually my point was that I don’t see a worthwhile candidate emerging either–that that would be the ideal, but it won’t happen. So really trying to sift all fo this out is like finding a grain of hope and then holding it in your hand and it disintegrates.

  35. Folks no one is going to primary Obama from either side of the spectrum….I just feel it in my bones. He has some things the globalist’s want done and they will be unpopular and he’s agreed to do them for those vacations and money he will receive at the end.
    He has a mountain of money that no one else can raise, he has been foisted on us by those who hold our futures in their back pockets.

    I love that video of Hillary, to think we could have had her, instead we have a puppet.

  36. Excellent readng WTV thanks so much for this thoughtful piece. I’m going to have to think about all of your analysis.

  37. Wonk writes:

    I think Obama enjoys Being President. It is the “doing” part that comes along with Being President that he doesn’t like so much.

    Nice riff, but I don’t agree with the substance. (It’s a sophisticated narrative of D weakness, and I don’t believe the Ds are weak. I think they are doing exactly what they want.)

    For example:

    1. Normalizing 10% disemployment and the creation of a permanent underclass is doing, and not being.

    2. Supressing single payer and turning HCR into a bailout for big insurance is doing, and not being.

    3. Normalizing Bush’s executive power grab is doing, and not being.

    4. Setting up the Cat Food Commission after Congress refused to, and stacking it with anti-Social Security types, is doing, and not being.

    5. A new war in Afghanistan is doing, and not being.

    And before the inaugural:

    6. Whipping the Ds to bail out the banksters with TARP — which normalized and ratified the trillions that the Bush administration had bailed the banksters out with earlier in 2008 via the Fed and the Treasury, using methods that didn’t require legislative approval is doing, and not being.

    7. Normalizing Bush’s policy of warrantless surveillance by granting retroactive immunity to the telcos under FISA reform is doing, and not being.

    It’s important to abandon the idea that the Ds are weak, or clueless, or incompetent.

    Rather, they’re malevolent, working not just against your values and interests of “little people” everywhere, just like the Rs do.

    (It’s called the two party system for a reason. Two legacy parties, both of whom hate each other, but one system that produces results to those who own that single system. And whoever those owners are, it’s not us.)

    • Hi, lambert. I think this is getting into semantics, because I agree with you completely that the Democratic leadership isn’t fundamentally incompetent or weak, they fight for exactly what they want and wring their hands about everything else.

      But, in the bit you quoted I was talking about doing in a deeper sense–as in FDR type action, the action of a leader. Not the actions/inactions of a corporate tool who is further dispersing the mess that Bush-Cheney started.

      Consider it another way…

      FDR: Make me do it.
      Obama: Don’t make ME do it.

      “It” being all the liberal things he was elected to do.

      • Sure, but The Big O is doing other things, and very actively too.

        To us, sure, he’s saying “Don’t make ME do it,” but since the legacy parties aren’t electorally responsive, what else would he say?

        It’s important to make Obama a moral agent, and to consider him as an actor. He’s malevolent.

        You say “semantics.” I say “Know your enemy.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: