Bernie Sanders: Let’s primary Obama

posted at 12:00 pm on July 24, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

President Obama is under attack these days from all manner of nasty conservatives who don’t care for his liberal, big spending ways. They seem to have found an unlikely ally, though, in the person of the only officially declared socialist in Congress… Bernie Sanders. (Emphasis in original.)

SANDERS: Brian, believe me, I wish I had the answer to your question. Let me just suggest this. I think there are millions of Americans who are deeply disappointed in the president; who believe that, with regard to Social Security and a number of other issues, he said one thing as a candidate and is doing something very much else as a president; who cannot believe how weak he has been, for whatever reason, in negotiating with Republicans and there’s deep disappointment. So my suggestion is, I think one of the reasons the president has been able to move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him and I think it would do this country a good deal of service if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting what is a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama is doing. [...] So I would say to Ryan [sic] discouragement is not an option. I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.

It’s hard to say how much impact this will have, because traditionally Sanders hasn’t enjoyed a tremendous amount of influence outside his own state. But it is a sign of growing discontent with the political arm of his party. For better or worse, Obama is offering up some spending cuts which will effectively take the legs out from under most of the advertisements congressional Democrats are planning on running next year.

It’s difficult to talk about “Republicans destroying Medicare and Social Security as we know it” during the campaign if the titular leader of your party has just forced a vote on you to cut it yourself. It’s even tougher to talk about the need to “tax the rich” so everyone can “pay their fair share” if your President cuts deals to enact even bigger tax cuts than his predecessor. (Cuts which he already signed on to extending.)

Sanders can’t very well run against Obama himself in a primary since he’s not a registered Democrat. (Though, in theory, he could sign up at any time this year and still do it.) I suppose he’s expecting an actual Democrat to step up to the plate and do it for the sake of stopping Obama from running to the middle in a Clinton like move to secure a second term. Even so, given the President’s currently tanking numbers, I don’t expect a long line of Democratic leaders to step up and attempt this.

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Go for it, champ.

thebrokenrattle on July 24, 2011 at 12:03 PM

That would be a blast to watch… but will not happen…

PA Guy on July 24, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Works for me! Someone do it, it would be fun to watch. BTW, someone probably already posted this, but Rasmussen has bho disapproval at -21, the lowest since last Nov.
L

letget on July 24, 2011 at 12:03 PM

But it is a sign of growing discontent with the political arm of his party. For better or worse, Obama is offering up some spending cuts which will effectively take the legs out from under most of the advertisements congressional Democrats are planning on running next year.

That’s interesting. It means, to Bernie (and his fellow travelers), that what is “right” and “left’ has little to do with ideology, but with electoral politics and who “wins” any particular political fight. It would be the same to him if the policy positions were reversed, as it sometimes is.

JeffWeimer on July 24, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Weekend At Bernie’s!

Maybe he can get Howie “Jet Screamer” Dean to run again.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Russ Feingold 2012!

ThePrez on July 24, 2011 at 12:06 PM

Stick it to The Man, Bernie!

Little Boomer on July 24, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I know a certain recently unemployed congressman who would be available to run, and he takes a nice photo.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Sanders can’t very well run against Obama himself in a primary since he’s not a registered Democrat.

Bernie’s a Socialist. This means Democrat and Socialist are the same thing.

I’m shocked!

Don’t forget that back when Obama was a Senator, he was rated most liberal, and that included Bernie Sanders.

zmdavid on July 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Leftists truly believe Obama is too Republican for their tastes. Mind boggling. I guess that explains why Obama thinks he is moving to the center ala Clinton.

txmomof6 on July 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM

zmdavid on July 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

And after all he has done since he became president, he is still not liberal enough for many leftist Americans. Scary, not Obama so much as those other Americans.

hawkdriver on July 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM

I think Castle is available.

“ducks”

bluemarlin on July 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Obama is a bland take-no-chances-unless-other-people-are-doing-the-hard-work type of guy. He’s not a leader, but just a vessel through which the left thought they could get all their pet projects passed, by endowing Obama with Absolute Moral Authority by virtue of his historic position.

But to get elected, Obama had to have a bland, beta-male personality, and that’s what’s driving the left crazy. People like Bernie knew Obama was lying to swing voters in 2008 about being a moderate; they just thought he was also lying to them about being a beta male. Now that he’s got push back from House Republicans on his and the left’s pet issues, he doesn’t have the stomach to either take on the GOP ideologically by presenting a plan of his own, or to tell his own side to pound sand and move towards a compromise deal the way Clinton did on welfare reform.

Obama can throw a tantrum about what Boehner did and get conservatives angry; but the left doesn’t want to see their president throw tantrums; they want to see him crush conservatives. They really expected him to come into office in 2009 and Hugo Chavez all of his and their enemies, and that’s why people like Sanders keep muttering about primary challenges. But when they look at the numbers and what would happen if the Democrats alienated their African-American voting block going into 2012, they figure out that primarying Obama in anything but the most toothless way possible would be as bad for them as a third party challenge on the right would be for conservatives.

jon1979 on July 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Hmm. Why does this suggestion sound so familiar to me? Oh Yeah!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_1980

mizflame98 on July 24, 2011 at 12:16 PM

whatever

rob verdi on July 24, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Is John Kerry available?

mizflame98 on July 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

A primary challenge for Obama could be the cure for Michelle Bachman’s migraines.

SlaveDog on July 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Ah, yes as they run out of other peoples money and the adults tell them their credit sucks,they insist that there is a way to keep spending, but the socialist fantasy comes to an end.

tim c on July 24, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I think Castle is available.
“ducks”
bluemarlin on July 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Shut yer gob hole, Mike Castle is my GOP dream candidate for 2012.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM

More smoke and mirrors. Bernie’s workin’ for the dems, trying to push the narrative ahead of 2012 that Obama is a centrist. Lefties do NOT believe Obama is “too conservative.” How the hell do people keep falling for this sh!t?

Rational Thought on July 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM

They have my blessing. Go for it !!

bayview on July 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM

He won’t be primaried – if they were smart they would – but he won’t be.

The sickness within the Dims is still too debilitating.

HondaV65 on July 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM

…if people started thinking about candidates out there to begin contrasting what is a progressive agenda as opposed to what Obama is doing…

Socialist unhappy Obama isn’t pushing a “progressive agenda”?
Hmmmmmmmmmmm!… why do progressives cry foul when they’re called socialists?

cartooner on July 24, 2011 at 12:28 PM

How the hell do people keep falling for this sh!t?
Rational Thought on July 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM

2008. 52%. More Americans know who the last Idol winner was than know the name of the first POTUS.

That’s how.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Gore/Manbearpig 2012!

RadClown on July 24, 2011 at 12:33 PM

I think Castle is available.
“ducks”
bluemarlin on July 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Shut yer gob hole, Mike Castle is my GOP dream candidate for 2012.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Castle/O’Donnell 2012!

fossten on July 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Sanders is a racist for suggesting it.

/

Seriously, it would be great because Obama would have to try and out-left the lefty challenger (based on Sanders’ assumptions). That wouldn’t play well for a sitting President in the current political climate.

But it will never happen.

mankai on July 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

hahahahaha!!! GO BERNIE!!!

csdeven on July 24, 2011 at 12:35 PM

It’s difficult to talk about “Republicans destroying Medicare and Social Security as we know it” during the campaign if the titular leader of your party has just forced a vote on you to cut it yourself.

Surely you’re not suggesting that Obama would advocate throwing grandma over the cliff? Could there be a new sit-com in the making called The Bernie and Nancy Show—How Socialism Really Works in America?

Rovin on July 24, 2011 at 12:36 PM

I know a certain recently unemployed congressman who would be available to run, and he takes a nice photo.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

You sly dog.

BTW In what world has O moved to the right? His game is smoke and mirrors, bolstered with bloviating.

onlineanalyst on July 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM

RadClown on July 24, 2011 at 12:33 PM

ManBearPig/Starving Polar Bear 2012!

csdeven on July 24, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition.

Wish in one hand, crap in the other, and see which gets filled first.

petefrt on July 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

And after all he has done since he became president, he is still not liberal enough for many leftist Americans. Scary, not Obama so much as those other Americans.

hawkdriver on July 24, 2011 at 12:13 PM

I think, despite their claims, he actually has done enough to satisfy them, but they’re upset that it hasn’t worked.

HitNRun on July 24, 2011 at 12:41 PM

Is Hillary available?

No “sarc” tag…

Khun Joe on July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Lefties do NOT believe Obama is “too conservative.” How the hell do people keep falling for this sh!t?

Rational Thought on July 24, 2011 at 12:20 PM

My dad does. He’s 60, has a Masters in econ, and is a dyed-in-the wool Democrat. He thinks Obama’s somewhere between center and center-right.

I simply don’t understand how someone with a formal education in economics can a)think Obama has done ANYTHING right vis a vis the economy and b) can think he’s anywhere NEAR the middle politically.

Washington Nearsider on July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I think Castle is available.
“ducks”
bluemarlin on July 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Shut yer gob hole, Mike Castle is my GOP dream candidate for 2012.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Scozzafava is still available as well, I think she just consults for her husband and the Union.

bluemarlin on July 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Is Hillary available?

No “sarc” tag…

Khun Joe on July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

She did say that she will not serve two terms, AS Sec State that is! Who knows that would be pretty great drama.

bluemarlin on July 24, 2011 at 12:49 PM

No, no, no. Leave Obama where he is. I once hoped the Dems would primary him, but not any more. No one could do as good a job as Obama has done in getting Republicans elected.

RebeccaH on July 24, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Bernie Sanders/ Dennis Kucinich ’12!!!

portlandon on July 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Bernie Sanders: Let’s primary Obama
**********************************************
Huntsman?
Romney?

NMRN123 on July 24, 2011 at 12:52 PM

What’s scary is that the most liberal, the most socialistic and most communistic president America has ever had is TOO FAR RIGHT for Democratic congressmen. What’s even scarier is that the American people are still, more-or-less evenly split. Prime evidence that the welfare constituency is evolving and our greatness lies in the past.

MaiDee on July 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Castle/O’Donnell 2012!
fossten on July 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

What the….no no no.

Castle-Specter 2012

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Who could the find that is to the left of Obama?

huckleberryfriend on July 24, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I never understood why Norman Thomas would run against FDR…

steebo77 on July 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Washington Nearsider on July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Meaning no disrespect to your father but a Masters from a liberal college with liberal educators doesn’t make him a Master of anything. He just has a piece of paper from a bunch of Marxists and Socialists.

darwin-t on July 24, 2011 at 12:59 PM

It still blows me away that an openly declared SOCIALIST is a Senator. That is beyond an embarrassment for his state and every election he wins is a slap in the face to the country.

Shame on you Vermont.

alecj on July 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Next up to the plate is Evan Bayh.

Key West Reader on July 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Shame on you Vermont.

alecj on July 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Bob Newhart

Key West Reader on July 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Bernie Sanders is one of these loudmouthed types you sincerely wish would get hit by a meteorite, just so that you would know it took an act of God to finally shut the goof up!

pilamaye on July 24, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Bob Newhart

Key West Reader on July 24, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Larry, Darrell and Darrell

darwin-t on July 24, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Trotsky Blames Stalin.

News at ten.

viking01 on July 24, 2011 at 1:07 PM

what a racist this guy is…./

ted c on July 24, 2011 at 1:08 PM

Larry, Darrell and Darrell

darwin-t on July 24, 2011 at 1:06 PM

I demand Social Justistses. It’s “This is Larry. This is my brother Darrell. And this is my OTHER brother Darrell.”

You owe me five million pennies in social justice payments through the Barack Obama and Jesse JackTown Socialist Schools of Social Justistces.

/Snark

Key West Reader on July 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Lefties feeling “volcanic” is schadenfreudig to watch. It’s even more so to see them disappointed in their “messiah”.

He will go in history as their worst nightmare.

Unfortunately he’ll also be the land’s worst nightmare.

Schadenfreude on July 24, 2011 at 1:14 PM

What the….no no no.

Castle-Specter 2012

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM

McMahon/Angle 2012!

fossten on July 24, 2011 at 1:15 PM

What’s scary is that the most liberal, the most socialistic and most communistic president America has ever had is TOO FAR RIGHT for Democratic congressmen. What’s even scarier is that the American people are still, more-or-less evenly split. Prime evidence that the welfare constituency is evolving and our greatness lies in the past.

MaiDee on July 24, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Pressure from the left on little Bammie is a thing of beauty. It will make him even more likely to lose in 2012. Let’s hope there’s some kind of primary, any kind, just to burn up some of the mountain of legal and illegal cash that he is building up.

slickwillie2001 on July 24, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Castle/O’Donnell 2012!

fossten on July 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Well, that’s just fine, as long as we are willing to foreswear the First Stste’s crucial 3 electoral votes.

JohnGalt23 on July 24, 2011 at 1:25 PM

We need a better socialist in office.

As if socialism could be better…

Kini on July 24, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Even Bernie knows, on his best day, if he ran for president, the only votes he’d get would be from idiots in his own state.

GarandFan on July 24, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Let’s get Jimmy Carter to do it. He’s not doing anything, and he’s still eligible for a 2nd term! ROFL!!!

capejasmine on July 24, 2011 at 2:04 PM

Bernie Sanders may be the only honest pol on the left, he actually claims the “socialist” mantle…

Gohawgs on July 24, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Prime evidence that the welfare constituency is evolving and our greatness lies in the past.

That will change when the tree of liberty gets watered again.

single stack on July 24, 2011 at 2:12 PM

just a vessel through which the left thought they could get all their pet projects passed, by endowing Obama with Absolute Moral Authority by virtue of his historic position.

-
Exactly…
-

RalphyBoy on July 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Dems – The Bob’s Country Bunker of politics:

“We have both kinds: far left and extreme left.”

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on July 24, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Hard to believe after all we know that there are still enough people to vote in a socialist senator.

blue13326 on July 24, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Hard to believe after all we know that there are still enough people to vote in a socialist senator.

blue13326 on July 24, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I find it hard to believe that there are people that vote in members of Congress that are members of the Progressive Caucus, since ‘progressive’ is just a cutesy name for socialist.

slickwillie2001 on July 24, 2011 at 2:28 PM

O’s Not communist enough for Bernie….

Or is it just not fast enough?

truly frightening that people would actually vote either of them in a position of power.

golfmann on July 24, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Is Hillary available?

No “sarc” tag…

Khun Joe on July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

She’s too tired, despite her speech back in the day “Aam iN No Ways Tarred!”

p40tiger on July 24, 2011 at 3:18 PM

The One would love it if he were primaried from the left. It’d hardly cost him any money and he could appear to be somewhat centrist in comparison without changing a single policy.

edshepp on July 24, 2011 at 3:21 PM

It would be fun to watch, starting with Barry’s lighthearted but petulant dismissal of the challenge, through the having-to-respond when his base goes “You’re not taking our issues seriously!”, all the way up to his angry phase, however that may manifest, when he gets to the “I’m not taking this any more from you!” point.

eeyore on July 24, 2011 at 3:32 PM

The Colonel and Bernie!

Sanders/Sanders 2012!

Your chickens have come home to roost… deep fried.

ajacksonian on July 24, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Carter has my vote!

Peanuts and popcorn! Let the festivus begin.

docjohn52 on July 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM

Sheila Jackson Lee/Helen Thomas/Bernie Sanders/Dennis Kucinich

Any order…

Fallon on July 24, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I simply don’t understand how someone with a formal education in economics can a)think Obama has done ANYTHING right vis a vis the economy and b) can think he’s anywhere NEAR the middle politically.

Washington Nearsider on July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM

I can at least understand the latter. He’s failed to come through on a LOT of campaign promises, Obamacare was delayed and watered down, and neither of Bush’s wars showed any signs of ending for years. And those are just for starters. Remember, this is Chicago Jesus we’re talking about.

In the words of a mildly liberal friend “He’s come through on a couple big things and d@mn litte else.”

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 24, 2011 at 6:09 PM

I’ve been saying for quite a while now that Romney would make a fine JFK-style Democrat. Assuming the Democratic party’s center-right voters are still there (if presently outshouted), he might easily out-poll Obama.

PersonFromPorlock on July 24, 2011 at 6:26 PM

So my suggestion is, I think one of the reasons the president has been able to move so far to the right is that there is no primary opposition to him

He thinks the President has moved to the right. It’s almost as if these people have some kind of myopia

No the President hasn’t moved to the right these tools think the middle is the far right that’s how unhinged they are. They are so far to the left they can’t even see the horizon anymore. Their bead on reality is a bubble off center.

Dr Evil on July 24, 2011 at 6:35 PM

What a show that would be! I think it’s a superb idea, probably Bernie’s single good one this year.

tanarg on July 24, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Sanders should run. And as far left as that party has gone, he might win. Then he can name Cornell West as his running mate,

curved space on July 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

When you’ve lost Bernie Sanders………………?

franksalterego on July 24, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I know a certain recently unemployed congressman who would be available to run, and he takes a nice photo.

Bishop on July 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Umm, this chap you’re thinking of — is he a recent widower, by any chance? If so, he does have very Presidential hair.

Sanders should run. And as far left as that party has gone, he might win. Then he can name Cornell West as his running mate,

curved space on July 24, 2011 at 7:24 PM

No, no, the other way around! Imagine the stickers: “Cornell/Sanders 2012: The Chickens Come Home To Roost!”

Mary in LA on July 25, 2011 at 1:17 PM