"I think it would be a good idea if President Obama faced some primary opposition."
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (HT: New York Times)
Sometimes I’m masochistic enough to wonder what Leftists think. There is some logic to that. The Left, like the poor, will always be with us. The obvious way to ascertain what Leftists think is to talk to an unabashed leftist who speaks his or her heart without mendacious calculation. Thom Hartman was good enough to do so and Thinkprogress shares some of the deepest thoughts of Senator Bernie Sanders.
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…
As it currently stands, Sanders feels like Obama has betrayed the Progressive Left. This is not a logical response. Sanders feels the intense frustration that a lot of Progressives feel about how things have changed since 2009, when they owned 2/3 of the Federal Government lock, stock and barrel.
However, Sanders and others of his ilk, stormed into power in 2006 and 2008 in waves. They expected to close Gitmo, end wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, tax The Iniquitous Rich, nationalize American medicine, naturalize by fiat 10 million illegal aliens, and regulate carbon dioxide under laws similar to those we used to ban lead paint. The Progressives wanted all that and probably 10,000 other ideas that would scare the average tax-paying American into become a tax-paying Canadian, Mexican or Australian instead.
Could Obama do this? No he couldn’t. Now Bernie Sanders is mad and wants to use Barack Obama as a blame toilet. If someone would just explain all of Bernie Sanders’ brilliant ideas to the stupid ‘Murican Peebles, they would all be enacted into law by now. In Sanders’ warped and ineluctable mind, this should have taken days; not weeks.
Of course Sanders has a problem here. He isn’t a Democrat himself, and would look like a carrion bird if he suddenly became one just to grandstand on the same debate stage as a sitting Democratic President. Before Sanders can get his way, and mount this quixotic primary challenge to force Barack Obama a little further to the port side of Che Guevara’s poltergeist, he needs to find someone to bell the big, fat cat.
This is where I think Bernie, and many other like-minded Progressives are stuck. Ralph Nader has been consigned to the 9th circle of Progressive Perdition for taking several thousand votes in Florida that would have presumably gone to Al Gore back in 2000. Fresh off of losing a Senatorial Election in 2010, Russ Feingold has been bruited about as a challenger to Mein Obama. According to Feingold’s top staffer (why do guys in the private sector need top staffers?) this particular dog ain’t gonna hunt.
“Senator Feingold is not running for president in 2012. Any suggestion he is thinking of running, planning to run, or interested in running is untrue," said Mary Irvine, Feingold's chief of staff. "Senator Feingold is a strong supporter of President Barack Obama and wants to see him reelected in 2012.”
Thus, it looks like Barack Obama will not face condign rebellion amongst his disordered liberal ranks. However, the possibility keeps on getting floated around by deeply frustrated Progressives. Of course we ALL know who Barack Obama really doesn’t want to see again in the primaries. Is she tanned, rested and ready?