Rather: Obama will face primary challenge if he caves on taxes

posted at 2:55 pm on December 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Dan Rather warned today on MSNBC that a deal to extend all of the current tax hikes would create a demand for a primary challenge to Barack Obama from the Left in 2012. Big progressive contributors to the Democratic Party have already concluded that Obama won’t fight for his principles, Rather told the “Lean Forward” network, and that the Bush-era tax rates would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Actually, Rather offers a more complicated down-homish colorful metaphor, but essentially says that the Left is so shocked, shocked! that this lifetime backbencher provides no leadership that they will actively recruit someone with those qualities for the 2012 cycle (via Eyeblast):

Rather’s hardly the first to notice this, of course. Frank Rich argued this weekend that Obama was a victim of Stockholm Syndrome as an explanation for Obama’s lack of leadership, which has more than enough silliness in it for rebuttal, including the claim that the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 were the single greatest contributor to the deficits, even though tax revenues went up afterward and that government didn’t own the money in the first place. But Rich’s silliness inspired much more poetic and incoherent flights of fancy from Clarence Jones at the Huffington Post yesterday. Jones, an MLK Scholar at Stanford, paints Obama as the new LBJ and wonders aloud who will be this generation’s Eugene McCarthy:

It is not easy to consider challenging the first African-American to be elected as President of the United States. But, regrettably, I believe that the time has come to do this. …

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist nor have a PhD in political science and sociology to see clearly that Obama has abandoned much of the base that elected him. He has done this because he no longer respects, fears or believes those persons who elected him have any alternative, but to accept what he does, whether they like it or not.

It is time for those persons who constituted the “Movement” that enabled Senator Barack Obama to be elected to “break their silence”; to indicate that they no longer will sit on their hands, and only let off verbal steam and ineffective sound and fury, and “hope” for the best. …

The pursuit of the war in Afghanistan in support of a certifiably corrupt Afghan government and the apparent willingness to retreat from his campaign commitment of no further tax cuts for the rich, his equivocal and foot dragging leadership to end DADT, his TARP for Wall Street, but, equivocal insufficient attention to the unemployment and housing foreclosures of Main Street, suggest that the template of the 1968 challenge to the reelection of President Lyndon Johnson now must be thoughtfully considered for Obama in 2012.

Jones’ column has to be read in full to really be appreciated.  He manages to reference HUD, McCarthy, and Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In the Wind” (lyrics from which he quotes in its entirety) in order to make his point, which is apparently that it’s 1968 all over again.  He wants the old New Left to rise again to push another President out of office, but unfortunately for Jones, the old New Left is what put Obama in office in the first place — and it was the unpopularity of the old New Left agenda that has crippled his presidency.  He was their best hope to make the case for the hard-Left agenda; there is no substitute, no one to put a handsome face and a bright smile on government control of production and distribution.


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Obama will run for re-election because he’s more comfortable campaigning than governing. It will give him something to do with the last two years of his term. (That and golfing.)

Peri Winkle on December 6, 2010 at 4:36 PM

every one of em will back him in 2012

rob verdi on December 6, 2010 at 4:40 PM

the Left is so shocked, shocked! that this lifetime backbencher provides no leadership that they will actively recruit someone with those qualities for the 2012 cycle

Wait for it…..wait for it……

What a bunch of RACISTS!

GarandFan on December 6, 2010 at 4:42 PM

The Left will steadily retreat to their tyrannical redoubts of executive orders, regulatory fiat and the courts. They’ll increasingly disdain congress. I don’t think Boehner and the rest of the GOP naifs will even cause Obama to break a sweat.

The real issue will be if and how the GOP recognizes this and ratchets up the fight accordingly, really takes on Obama, exercises true congressional clout and creates serious constitutional conflicts.

I don’t think they will.

I don’t see anybody in a position of power in the GOP with proactive ferocity, i.e., with core principles that steel them for battle with these Leftists. Michelle Bachmans exist, but they’re marginalized in the party. They’re seen as mild embarrassments, crazy cousins. The center of the GOP is shot through with accommodationists, compromisers, deal-makers. This quality is far more important to them than going through hell, risking media ridicule and rage, for a principle and a good end.

We’re not there yet. Just not there yet.

rrpjr on December 6, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Oh boy … do we get to accuse the left of being racists and only doing this because Obama is a black President?

RonDelDon on December 6, 2010 at 3:27 PM

========================================================
How can it be racist?He is half white.

docflash on December 6, 2010 at 4:47 PM

That loony lib who wrote a similar column a few days ago offered a list of potential candidates to the left of Barry. I favor the Alan Grayson/Maxine Waters ticket, if only for the comic relief it would offer. Although the Al Sharpton/Susan Sarandon ticket could also be fun.

AZCoyote on December 6, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Wait……..Was Blather’s editorial typed with superscript?

OmahaConservative on December 6, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Now who is the party of ‘no’?

tinkerthinker on December 6, 2010 at 5:27 PM

How can it be racist?He is half white.

docflash on December 6, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Well yeah, but that is it, they racist against the black half :)

RonDelDon on December 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM

The Left had the House, the Senate with 60 votes, and the Executive Branch for two years…

… and only now they crying because they didn’t do enough damage to this country?

Seven Percent Solution on December 6, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Dan Rather on Honesty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGsU8SBLcvI

William Amos on December 6, 2010 at 5:47 PM

This guy is totally screwed: he spent two years insulting and denying the “professional left” what he’d promised… and then breaking his campaign promises to the centrists who trusted him, i.e. the vaunted “Middle Class Tax Cut.” (An actual cut, not just the continuation of the Bush Tax cuts.)

Lesson: Chicago politics work when you have state and federal money to throw around to your friends. But at the Federal level, there no place to get the money from NQA… except China.

VastRightWingConspirator on December 6, 2010 at 5:55 PM

ConservativePartyNow-
Before I hit “submit” I thought about the Eugene McCarty situation and decided that it really is an outlier due to Vietnam and the drawn out primary schedule which would have called for LBJ to slog it out against McCarthy and RFK for 6 long months.

jjshaka on December 6, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Fox News breaking … deal has been struck….Obama will face primary challengers …..Obama caves to GOP pressure.

Skandia Recluse on December 6, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Fox News breaking … deal has been struck….Obama will face primary challengers …..Obama caves to GOP pressure.
Skandia Recluse on December 6, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Seems to me like the GOP caved. What did they gain?

Extension for 2 years so Obama can pimp the class-warfare beaches once again in 2012??

cntrlfrk on December 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM

…and more giveaway on Unemployment Insurance.

slickwillie2001 on December 6, 2010 at 6:12 PM

The use of “Tax Cuts” needs to be stopped. It is more like keeping the tax rates where they are. You either lower the tax rate, keep them the same, or raise them. So, you are not extending the Bush Tax Cuts, you are keeping the tax rates the same as they are today.

WoosterOh on December 6, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Dan Rather warned today on MSNBC that a deal to extend all of the current tax hikes would create a demand for a primary challenge to Barack Obama from the Left in 2012.

He has a memo to prove it.

halfastro on December 6, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I’m just a poster on a blog and I know this is just total BS. Anyone who’s thinking knows that if the Democratic Party nominated anyone other than Obama, black voters would stay away from voting in the millions. Result? A Republican President. Rather is just a dumb ass clown. Why did he even show up again. Shouldn’t he be playing shuffleboard in Houston?

Hummer53 on December 6, 2010 at 6:52 PM

I’m just a poster on a blog and I know this is just total BS. Anyone who’s thinking knows that if the Democratic Party nominated anyone other than Obama, black voters would stay away from voting in the millions. Result? A Republican President. Rather is just a dumb ass clown. Why did he even show up again. Shouldn’t he be playing shuffleboard in Houston?

Hummer53 on December 6, 2010 at 6:52 PM

That’s only true if Bammie fights to the end, and/or doesn’t credibly endorse the eventual winner.

slickwillie2001 on December 6, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Oh and by the way, the winner could offer Bammie the VP position, -it’s really more his style with respect to workload.

slickwillie2001 on December 6, 2010 at 7:05 PM

progressives to Obama: ‘That’s it. I am drawing a line right here and you better not cross it because if you cross this line, I’ll… why I’ll…

Draw this line! And you better not cross it and make me draw yet another line.’

perries on December 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM

I think he loves the adoration and will not be willing to give it up. I think Michelle feels the same way.

alwaysfiredup on December 6, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I think she’s in it for the free chow.
If she were offered a Never Ending Feed Bag at Denny’s to drop out, she’d do it.

justltl on December 6, 2010 at 8:12 PM

Bammie can now make more as ex-President than in office, Bill Clinton style. I don’t see lifestyle keeping them there, and from what I have heard, M’chell hates it. That’s why Bammie has to give her things to do, like the food police czar stuff, so he doesn’t have to listen to her whine.

slickwillie2001 on December 6, 2010 at 8:28 PM

I say, if Rather didn’t back up his argument with a fraudulent memo, his heart isn’t in it.

Basilsbest on December 6, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Prediction: Within 12 months progressives will be demanding Obama produce his birth certificate.

Basilsbest on December 6, 2010 at 10:48 PM

Prediction: Within 12 months progressives will be demanding Obama produce his birth certificate.

Basilsbest on December 6, 2010 at 10:48 PM

I’d pay to see Olbermann say that!

Dino64 on December 7, 2010 at 5:05 AM

Who cares what this lack of character individual thinks? He’s proven himself to be below par as an America – defying his constitutional responsibility and instead, pushing lies to destroy Bush. He’s been trained in the leftist revolutionary think/speak of the Sixties and like all good Marxists that have influence -he’s loaded with capitalist dollars that he’s gleened from being against the system that made him rich.

Sad – but if he thinks the government has an unlimited moral right to other’s money.

I suggest we take all of his for starters.
Let those that propose – pay through the nose.

Don L on December 7, 2010 at 6:12 AM

Are we really giving a hoot now what Dan Rather has to say?

kens on December 8, 2010 at 2:15 PM

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