Does Obama Face a 2012 Challenge from Within the Ranks of the Democrats?
posted at 10:33 am on September 7, 2009 by Howard Portnoy
Rasmussen Reports writes that the growing unrest among far-left Democrats could lead to a result that just a few months ago would have seemed as unthinkable as it is rare in presidential politics: the challenge of an incumbent president from within his own party. That very subject was the focus of a discussion between Keith Olbermann and Eugene Robinson this past week on Olbermann’s MSNBC show:
Robinson said Obama needs to be careful how he handles the health care reform issue and the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Olbermann said the president has “compromised on everything so far and as self-defeating as it may be, the progressive caucus and progressives would abandon him if necessary, if this was to be the policy of this administration into 2012. If it’s necessary to find somebody to run against him, I think they’d do it, no matter how destructive that may seem.”
How likely is such an internal revolt within the Democrat ranks? If the Rasmussen survey is any indicator, the will of the people would seem to suggest it’s “on the table.” A poll conducted at the end of July revealed an even split on the question of whether Hillary Clinton would challenge Obama for the party’s presidential nomination in 2012. That poll was conducted before Obama seemed to abandon the public option, which now has people like Olbermann and Robinson all wee-wee’d up.
This level of dissension with the Democrat ranks would almost certainly spell the Balkanization of the party into moderate and liberal parties, to which I say, “Bring it on.” Understand, this is not a reaction to all the silly in-your-face jubilation that emanated from the arrested-development wing of the Democrat Party, which declared last November that conservatism was officially dead. I see this instead as a much-needed course correction in the American political process, which in recent decades has been threatened by the rise of identity politics and statism as guiding forces among many Democrats — the current president included. Much as people who subscribe to these beliefs would like to live in a country guided by them, the United States of America is simply the wrong address. The country is, has long been, and is destined to remain center-right in its overall political outlook.
Cross-posted at Zombie Contentions