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If Democrats want to keep the White House, they must offer voters a choice

Lambert posted on a post from Peter Daou about how Obama’s base is deserting him and will determine his fate in 2012.  By the way, Obama’s base is not necessarily the whole Democratic base, much of which was jettisoned in 2008 for Obama.  So, a lot of the Democratic base left Obama years ago, mostly because the DNC chose to exile us from the decision making process. The Obama base is just now catching up to us.  Says Peter:

Recent polls (including Gallup, which shows a double-digit decline among liberals) indicate significant erosion of support for Obama among groups who propelled him to victory in 2008, reinforcing the idea that reality is catching up with netroots criticism. This crumbling of support is typically attributed by pundits to the poor economy, but the problem is more complicated: it’s the poor economy coupled with the sense (fair or unfair) that Barack Obama has no convictions, no moral center, nothing for which he will take an unwavering stand.

That perception of a lack of convictions can’t be attributed solely to attacks from the right, since they can be discounted as partisan. It’s when the left makes that argument that conventional wisdom congeals.

The impact of these critics on the left will continue to resonate into the 2012 election and despite dashed hopes and demoralization among progressive activists, they, more than any other group, hold the president’s political fate in their hands.

I’ve bolded the part that represents how we, the Democrats in Exile since 2008 always saw Obama.  He was reluctant to refer to himself as a Democrat and the congressional candidates who ran with him that year also tried hard to obscure their party affiliation.  He was ethereal.  You could never pin him down on what principles he would defend.  The biggest clue of all was the way he ran in the primaries.  There wasn’t one envelope he wasn’t willing to push and he got away with it because the DNC turned on its own voters in order to secure his installation as nominee.  We are not surprised at the way things turned out.  Doubts arose almost immediately after his election and Obama’s true self was revealed not too long after that when he failed to put a plan to stimulate the economy based on Democratic party principles and policies.

So, now that the rest of the left is catching up with us, and have all become racists now, what can the Democrats do to keep the White House?  It must offer voters a choice.  It doesn’t matter what party voters belong to these days, they all want one thing- choice.  They don’t want Obama anymore.  They don’t feel that he’s entitled to a second term.  But they’re not thrilled with the Republican choices either.  What the country really wanted in 2008 was a Democrat.  That’s not what they got.

I keep saying that what voters really want is a larger than life, unibrowed, red meat eating, Atila the Hun style Democrat who will stand up to the monied interests and fight for the middle class.  Or they want someone they have shared a history with who they feel they can trust to do the right thing.  Whoever that person is, he/she has to have titanium balls and drive to do whatever it takes to turn things around even if that means they will only be a one term wonder.  By continuing to offer Obama, the Democrats are not giving voters the President they want or need.  The Democrats have turned learned helplessness into an art form.  What difference will it make if voters choose Romney or Obama if the resulting policies are indistinguishable?  Voters will have little incentive to turn out for Obama and the other downticket Democrats may suffer.

So, make Obama and offer he can’t refuse, get him out of the White House and get someone else to run.  If Hillary won’t run, get someone like Ed Rendell.  Give voters a real choice and make sure that there’s no funny business with the electoral process in 2012.  Look like you give a f^*), Democrats, and you can win this thing.  Give people no choice and you’re looking at soviet style stagnation.

45 Responses

  1. Here’s another funny commercial, this one from Ikea:


  2. I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.” – Barack Obama, “The Audacity of Hope”

    • IOW, tofu.

    • well at least he has that much self awareness. Now if he would only realize how completely lame he is as a leader, maybe he can be pushed to do the right thing.

      • Eh, what’s in it for him to do the right thing?

        • a chance not to further humiliate himself?

          • he’s not aware enoough to be humiliated

          • Exactly. If he could possibly be humiliated by what he does for the powerful , Obama would not be at 1600 PA Ave. That’s like number one job requirement today for a billionaire manufactured POTUS like himself . Obama only feels an ego sting when his underlings….that would be us….don’t do as he says instantly…when they even have the nerve to question him! .He does what’s he’s told to…why can’t we?

  3. I’ll never understand how people, who I guess their whole voting lives say they believe in fairness, equality, and claim to have principles, were so willing to support someone who lies, cheats, smears good people as racist, and defend it all every step of the way. THEN when he doesn’t give them what they want, they can’t figure out why.
    I know loving someone can make you blind, but those people were clinically insane! And frankly they should have to start taking some type of test before they’re allowed to vote again.

    But you know, to me worse than The ONE himself, and the DNC who aided and abetted him, worse than the media who I actually used to think had some people in it who were fair, worse than his cult followers who spewed more hate than I thought was ever possible from “my” side, (my former side that is) were those who DID see him for who he truly is, who may have not exactly known how bad an Obama White house would be but had enough trepidation about it to fear voting for him, yet in the end did so anyway. They didn’t really want him, they were willing to see what disgusting tactics his people and the DNC and RBC did to get him in there, and they saw our votes being disregarded like some newborns used diapers. And they STILL voted!

    That to me is the worst of all! None of us wanted another Repub in there after 8 long years of baby Bush, but damn, after the cheating they did to get him in there, how do allow you own side steal from you too??? And when you let them get away with it, who do you have left to turn to? Nobody will care then. Nobody will listen to you then. Why would they?

    Before Bill and Hill came along I used to view the Democratic party and well intentioned, but wimpy. They knew what was right, they’re hearts were in the right place, but they just lacked the aggressiveness and fighting spirit the Repubs had. That’s why I loved Bill so much, I saw the Clintons and tough as any Repub but without the evil. Well in 2008 we finally saw that there are times the Dems can be every bit as ruthless and conniving and cruel as any Repub, only they do it to their own side! Wish they’d just go back to being their wimpy but well meaning souls.

    In 2008 after the cheating and stealing in the Dem primary I thought surely enough people know it’s no longer about who “wins” in the fall election but about saving the party itself from the crooks who were trying to gain control over it. That they couldn’t be allowed to get away with it.
    I knew people were afraid of what would happen if they didn’t put him in there. But I so hoped people would do the right thing in spite of their fear. Sadly it didn’t happen and we’re all suffering because of it.

    I don’t know at this point it’s possible to restore the party. I hope to high heaven the way all this went down with Obama was just an anomaly and once he’s out of there, something like this can never happen again. But there’s so much healing that needs to be done, which until people admit voting for him was wrong, and treating their fellow Americans they way the did was wrong, and allowing their 11yr old kids decide who they should vote for was wrong (those people should also need testing before being allowed to cast another ballot BTW) I don’t see that party ever really coming together again.

    And if it doesn’t, I don’t know where we go from here.

    • Well said. But the left keeps fighting with itself. Karl Rove couldn’t gave done a better job at dividing us.
      So, we have to stay true to ourselves and what we believe is best for all of us and hope that the rest if the left drops their barriers and acknowledges that it can’t live without us. A new presidential candidate could potentially reunite the left.

    • Its very simple. The voters elected the one who would make it so they didn’t have to pay their mortgage or car payment or grocery bills ever again. Now that they are losing everything they say . “But, you promised!”

      The response has always been”*I* never said that, Babe, you just WANTED me to say it.”

      • I think we have to acknowledge that the number of voters who may have thought they didn’t have to pay for Rhett mortgages or cars after obama’s election are very few in number. I realize that that urban myth somehow justifies treating people like disreputable freeloaders and parasites but the vast majority of Obots who pushed him down our throats were self-described “creative class” and educated babyboomers reliving the 60s.
        You won’t hear the meme about Obama supporters eager to get a free lunch and dumping their house payments here on this blog because that would be inaccurate and unfair to a whole group of people. I don’t repeat that meme and don’t want others to repeat it here either. It stinks of limbaughism and glennbeckistan.

        • honk, honk

        • Not everyone is an eloquent public speaker. I saw the actual video clip which is the source of this myth and did not interpret it the same way. The lady who said that seemed to me to be to be looking forward to better times economically.

          I think overeducated white male 70s liberal-white-guilt types (I’m looking at YOU, Keith Olbermann, my brother and my ex) have much more to do with this débâcle than any poor person struggling with their mortgage, black *or* white. I won’t buy into this bullshit blaming the poor any more than RD will.

          • Amen ugsome! They are the ones who cried racism about every little thing, but patted our pretty little heads (bitter knitter heads?) and told us we were dreaming when we complained about the sexism.

          • I agree. That lady wasn’t for a hand out but reasonable gas prices and help for getting out of an underwater mortgage. Something I think both Hillary and John McCain promised to do.

  4. Need this on FB so I can share it with my “friends”.

  5. Off topic: The state of Georgia continues in its zombielike determination to execute Troy Davis, whose guilt is dubious, at best.


  6. We ,the voter, do not matter to those in DC. It matters not to both parties handlers who is in the WH….and all our political “leaders” care about is : is Wall St happy with them? Are the billionaires hurting?

    They do not want or need our broke ass…. or rather they foolishly believe they don’t . The idjigts don’t see that as soon as we are down the tubes, they are next. I don’t ask them to listen to our voices because it’s the right thing to do…but to protect themselves! …idjigts.

  7. And what if nobody challenges Obama in the primary elections because of the “party unity” crap? Then the Democratic Party would have Obama as their nominee..

    Because we only have a 2-party system here in the US of A and you choose not to vote or vote a 3rd party candidate that has no chance of winning, Obama might just win the 2012 election.

    Then you can just imagine what would be the result of that..

    • Um, if enough people vote 3rd party or write in a candidate because those are the only choices left to them and the Democrats lose, then whose fault is that? And if this country really has just a 2 party system, one of those party’s will have self-immolated in a Ill-advised game of chicken with its base voters.
      If a child persists in an undesirable behavior, how do you correct it? If you give in, they never learn.
      OTOH, if the party sidelines itself, then there will be a vacuum for the emergence of something new.
      You never get anywhere by playing it safe. In this case, we have a lot to lose initially. But to do nothing means losing indefinitely. I choose to not play by the party rules. The party must learn to respect its voters or it ceases to be useful to them.

    • Anyone who challenges Obama will be labeled a ray-cyst. A Republican I know who voted for Obama blames his problems on Bush and his Clinton advisors. She says if he isn’t reelected, it will be because of racism.

      I saw this from a Dem insider: “The CA Dem Party Progressive Caucus simply advocated for a primary challenge, and the reponse by the majority of other delegates was to delay re-certifying their caucus, leaving them in official limbo for the moment, and separated from their membership funds. Count on 0 having loyalists in every state ready to silence dissent through similar tactics.”

      Me thinks my former party is stuck with the one they carried over the finish line. I wonder how many will attend the former rock star’s rallies and swoon over Jon Favreau’s Faulknerian prose in 2012? Yes, who can…now that even the most ignorant should know more about the One? The letters to the editor in today’s S.F. Chronicle show that even more who bought the hype are catching on. What did the media sell us an awakened one might ask? The same media that sold Bush over Gore, Bush over Kerry, and the Iraq War. Didn’t you see the trend? Or was it hope against hope? Who other than an overhyped Obama could resuscitate the Republican Party?

      • The “R” word has pretty much lost all it’s effect on people. But yes Obama people will STILL throw it out there, because it’s all they’ve got.

        I posted here long ago about how it sickens me as a black person that he gets to go down in history with the distinction as being our first black pres. But he will NEVER have the honor of it…..not to me! Not just because he’s done nothing for blacks or ANYone other than his wall street backers, but because he didn’t earn it. He stole it! And in the worst possible way. I wasn’t alive in the 60’s but I know what people fought and died for, the “dream” people had is in no way shape or form realized through “the one!” It STILL makes my blood boil thinking about 2008. I didn’t watch him getting sworn in and I will never watch it.

        But I did want to point out though my above post when I said I hope Obama is an anomaly that won’t happen again, rereading it, I think there may be some who think I mean a black pres. getting elected. No I didn’t mean that. I mean the act of cheating that he and the DNC used to get him in there. But I do believe he’s made it near impossible for any other person of color to have a chance. And I guess that’s JUST fine by him. So he really is the ONLY one!

        It is true though that only a black (even a half black) person could have gotten away with this. Cries of racism against a latino or asian canidate, would have gone no where. Which is also why all this….what obama did, hurts so much. Like it or not, things are perceived different when those allegations involve a black person and the way in which people respond to those charges is different than any other.

        This is just me musing here now, but sometimes I think it was never about Obama. It was always about Hillary. I know the DNC hates the Clintons as much as ordinary folks loved and or respected them. I do think now they would have done anything to keep them out of the WH house, and it’s like they knew, with their popularity that wasn’t possible. Unless they found the perfect patsy, couldn’t be any other female candidate, couldn’t be another white male, no, but find a black one, who touches all the right points, acceptable to whites, skilled in resorting to any and all tactics to “win”, with no convictions of any kind save personal advancement without achievement, and a willingness to whip out that card no other candidate could have used at the drop of a hat, well…..it was a perfect fit.
        Split the party, and count on the Clintons not willing to be perceived as destroying the party to save their chances. Plus they had the added bonus of hurting the Clintons in the worst possible way. It must have been ever so sweet for them.

        They got everything they wanted with him. And we got screwed!

        • Bingo! You got it, trist – They were willing to do anything to keep Hillary out of office and they did indeed know that the only way to do that was to corner her – Hillary won those primaries – the nomination was indeed stolen from her. But how could she fight it without appearing racist – actually she did but the DNC and the MSM twisted every word.

          That is the main reason the story of what happened in Denver needs to be written by people who were there, who witnessed the lying, coniving and theft in person.

          What did they say (or do) that made Hill accept without going public what they did to her – no, to us?

          There is much at stake here and I know that many of you who come to TC were there – the story needs to be told, the wound needs to be exposed for all to see and understand. Because trist, there are millions of Americans who honestly don’t know they were duped and mugged in Denver.

          • Yeah, so many still don’t know. But I have the feeling most would probably look at it being just apart of politics, saying it happened, time to move on.

            Speaking of “move on” I wasn’t one to read political blogs before 2008, nor was I ever an activist. So I really didn’t know anything about them or others like them. But since then, I read enough to know people who own those sites, and participate are/were the ones who were most vocal during the outrage over the theft of the 2000 election. Which I believe actually lead to the creation of several of those sites. Again those are the people who spit nails over what happened, (the intellectuals who were tuned in.) And yet they became the ones who did the very same thing within their own party. I don’t know how you ever trust or ally with someone like that again. What’s to stop them from stabbing you in the back the next time their principles fly out the window the second another must have toy comes along?

            Yet as angry as I am with them, I guess I have to own up to my own blinders. Like with the media, as long as they were attacking the right, I viewed them as BEING “right” But as soon as the circumstances dictated they turned on Hillary and Bill like nothing before.
            I will always remember my official wake up call, the day that lead me to come online searching for someone ANYONE who saw what I saw, and could show me I wasn’t losing my mind. ‘Cause honest to god, that’s how I felt. It was 2 days after the “fairytale” comment, when the media FINALLY got it’s chance to smear Bill as a racist. And I remember watching MSNBC and every show host that day was asking the same question in the exact same way (obviously it was an official talking point from on high) of all their guests. “So what do YOU think about Bill Clinton’s racist comment”? They all asked. Not DO YOU think it was racist. No, it IS racist and every chance we get we will implant that notion into the minds of our viewers. There was only one guest that actually said something back to whomever it was interviewing her via phone; Maxine Waters. Though she obviously ended up towing the party line too. But she said “I know what you all are doing, (meaning MSNBC and their race baiting) and you all need to stop it.”
            Yeah, they really got the message huh?

            After that, my eyes finally opened, and everything changed. I finally saw it all for what it really was. And as we all know, it just got worse from there. The attacks on Hillary, and her supporters. I still feel like crying about it. And no, not even I was spared being called the R word, or uncle (though I guess it should have been auntie) Tom, because I didn’t do my duty as a black person or bow down over the punch bowl and drink deeply of the koolaid. I swear there were days I thought I was living in the twilight zone.

            And those people, and I mean ALL of them, no matter what we say to them, no matter how many of them finally wake up to the fucktard that’s sitting in the Oval office, they will never truly understand what they did. Not just to us, but to relations in this country and to the process of elections themselves. The damage, and the hurt they caused, I honestly don’t think I’ll ever…”get over it” and part of me never wants to.

          • Matt Stoller: “From 2008 to 2010, according to Gallup, the fastest growing demographic party label was former Democrat. Obama took over the party in 2008 with 36 percent of Americans considering themselves Democrats. Within just two years, that number had dropped to 31 percent, which tied a 22-year low.” That couldn’t have anything to do with calling lifelong Democrats c*nts and r*cists, now could it? NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

        • Nicely put, trist. And much along my own thinking. While I have no doubt that an accomplished woman like Hillary Clinton – whether you like her/ her politics or not – would have paved the way for future female presidents, I too worry that Obama’s presidency will make it a lot harder for future black presidents. I expect a sort of “Tried that. Didn’t turn out too well” reaction.

          Just as I never got the impression that Obama cared, at all, about black people or their wellbeing (actually seems to avoid being seen with blacks – unless they are celebrities, doesn’t he? Remember the “beer summit”?), I neither got the impression that he himself was ever in any serious way subjected to raçism. There was that, fabricated I guess, story where he sort of denounced his grandma, the woman who brought him up, but apart from that?

          I’ve also wondered why he, as it seems to me, sort of “avoids” Martin Luther King. Wouldn’t everyone, despite raçe, only find it appropriate for a, the, first black US President to refer to him? Honour him? Wouldn’t you also expect him to make an effort to go see – and be seen with – Nelson Mandela? Instead of, a couple of years in, sending his wife and daughters.

          Whatever happened to the conversation on race that he promised, anyway?

          Much appreciate what you bring to the conversation though. Thank you.

  8. Pew 2008 Exit Poll: Independents tilted for Obama 52 – 44 percent

    Those voters are not going to vote for Obama in 2012.

    Politico: buried in the Journal/NBC poll is a contradictory nugget: Registered voters, by a 47 percent to 41 percent spread.

    I expect a Republican congress and a Republican in the WH. I don’t need a crystal ball to see what the future looks like.

    • I missed a portion of the quote:

      …buried in the Journal/NBC poll is a contradictory nugget: Registered voters, by a 47 percent to 41 percent spread, would rather have Republicans in charge of Congress.

    • Would you by any chance know of a poll – or statistics – that shows just how many Democrats left the party after, and due to, the machinations on May 31, 2008?

      Probably hard to come by, but it would be interesting to know.

  9. Everything RD wrote is obviously true, but Obama’s historical historicness (as our first president with a black father who had nothing to do with him) stands in the way, and I (unhappily) predict just as that was the key to his getting the nomination last time, it will prevent any serious opponent in the primaries this time.

    On the silver lining side, if Obama loses in November 2012, whatever Gopper wins will screw things up as well, and we’ll have another shot at real change in 2016.

    • I doubt we will ever have a chance for real change, short of an all out revolution. Every election seems to be more orchestrated by the international corperate and banking elite, and the people have less and less say about who our leaders will be. Our elections have been a sham for a long time now and I see no end in sight. Forget Hillary everyone, she knows that they will never let her win regardless of how well she polls with the people. She’ll never be the chosen puppet, perhaps because she wants to give the people a fair deal and the powers that be are too greedy to allow it.

      • I sadly agree. My question is which candidate will the “international corperate and banking elite” choose as our next president. I look elsewhere to contribute my time, energy and resources to the public welfare – largely locally.

  10. Thanks for the link. I think the key point (and Daou’s “canary in the coal mine” connects here) is that the margin matters, not the aggregates. “We” in the left blogosphere represent perhaps 20% of the electorate, about the size of the tea party, although without funding (taking the percentage of those who think Obamacare isn’t liberal enough as a proxy for the left). But that’s not what matters. Elections tend to be close: 52% to 48% is a decisive victory. So we can and do exert a disproportionate influence in that 4%, at the margin. In fact, we hold Obama’s b– fate in our hands. We just need to have courage and keep doing what we’re doing.

  11. KendallJ, I disagree: the “powers that be” are not all that smart and they can be beaten. They want you to think they are all-powerful exactly because they fear what can happen if enough people unite against them.

    • tdraicer, the “powers that be”, unfortunately are that powerful, as we have seen in at least the last 4 presidential elections. I agree that they can be beaten, but it would take a huge effort that requires the public to come together in a way we have not seen in modern times. That’s why I said, short of a revolution. The revolt would require more than the left, but would require the majority of the electorate to understand how these powers have highjacked our political process and to be willing to fight to reverse the takeover. I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

    • The powers that be look pretty smart to me…They got Bush installed twice and Obie of course….they certainly know people and play them like accordions ….but so many are getting hurt now, the hold is failing….and consequently their grip becomes tighter .

      It is going to take “the people” at this point since the political system is simply at the service of the billionaires intent on stealing the trillions. The government as we have known is just about gone …a super congress of 12 ? What’s next? Anything the powers that be want to pull out of their ass it seems.

      No one person can stand up to them even if they waned to. Hillary Clinton, with all her courage, was made to sit down and keep off the domestic stage….what chance has the rest?

      Rome went from a republic to Emperors, what’s to stop us from doing so? Actually we are there now. The last three Presidential elections were stolen and each time the process becomes more stream lined.

      I do not say it’s hopeless…but as you say , it will take a mass movement and TPTB’s very policies are creating it

  12. The most distressing thing to me is that as I read many comments from those of us who were battered and bloodied in 2008, I sense and I can certainly understand the feeling of futility that is felt. I can certainly empathise with that feeling, but I have also come to realize that is just what those is control of both parties would hope to accomplish. It seems that the DNC hopes democtrats will vote for this fraud of a president because the alternative is so repugnant. On the other hand, the RNC sees his incompetance as a road to the White House. If we fail to continue the fight, the Koch bros, et all win.
    good f

  13. Up ’til now most American have led a comfortable life. They may have groused about their corrupt government but they went along with voting for them anyway. That’s if they bothered to vote at ll.

    Now that they are in danger of losing their jobs and or homes, or know some one who is, they are starting to pay attention. Our mission is to educate them that the Keith Olbermanns, Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddows are not on their side. Let them know that the New York Times and the Washington Post are only good for wrapping fish. Direct them to sites like TC, Joe Cannon, and Bob Somerby’s Dailyhowler so that in 2012 their vote isn’t wasted on the latest corporate toady pushed by the print and broadcast media.

    • I think this is the point to be stressed in winning people over: self-interest. What BO wants to do strikes at the heart of the social safety net that all of us rely on, and letting him roll on is a threat to all of that. Voting against him isn’t self-indulgent, it’s self-defense. If enough of us do it and are seen to be doing it, maybe the party gets the message that our votes don’t belong to them but need to be earned based on service.

  14. And if no Democrat decides to run against Obama, then it may be time to support a Republican who is not bats**t crazy.

    The current crop of Republicans scare me with the exception of Huntsman. They are anti-science and want to pretend that climate change is not happening.

    If Huntsman is still in the race by the time Illinois has its primary next year and if no Democrat is challenging Obama, then I will take a Republican ballot and vote for Huntsman.

    The Republican party has gone too far to the right to cater to the religious right and the people who turn out for the Republican primaries tend to be hard-liners. So we end up with Republicans we can’t abide running against Democrats.

    And Democrats do not go for the jugular the way Republicans do with the exception of the Clintons. Heaven forbid that the Democrats take a page from the Clinton playbook and fight to win.

    • The interesting thing for me is why no Dem challenger to Obama has arisen. Historically speaking, BO is a pretty crappy president with a bad record and cratering poll numbers. Just as a matter of ambition and protecting themselves and their brand, parties faced with that kind of incumbent tend to generate primary challengers, even recently Buchanan in ’92 or farther back (probably a better example for Dems) Kennedy in ’80. Thinking even further back, Gene McCarthy gave it a whack back in ’67-68 when absolutely no one gave him a chance, but he drove LBJ from the nomination fight after NH and WI because Vietnam increasingly damaged him politically. What we really need is one guy/gal to start the ball rolling, say the emperor has no clothes, and build a safe space for Dems to admit that they don’t like the incumbent and want something better. Even a “draft x” campaign or a series of “favorite son” candidates designed to generate a convention fight would break the conspiracy of silence that stifles any honest dissent from the idea that BO is entitled to renomination regardless of how badly he’s done.

      • The challenger would have to be an American black male, not to be smeared as a racist, and then language would need to be nuanced. No woman need apply.

      • The interesting thing for me is why no Dem challenger to Obama has arisen…

        Because they like living and just as importantly to them, the money people will not pay for one.imo

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