Primaries, Primaries and Primaries
The historic election of 2008 was as much about putting Barack Obama into office as it was about getting rid of George W. Bush and his lawless, hyper-partisan administration. There was incredible messaging being pushed out about "change" and "hope" and a people-powered agenda that would reverse some or all of the ills of the previous eight years.
Sadly, our man at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has not managed to deliver on much of anything that he promised. Whether it’s through an overabundance of caution or an honest belief that the "loyal opposition" will meet him half-way if he tries hard and speaks no ill of his adversaries, it’s not happening for the Americans who voted him and Congress into office over successive electoral cycles. The epic fails are beginning to add up in a way that soon no matter how many "wins" Obama can pull off his presidency will begin to look in retrospect like Jimmy Carter’s, and not in a good way.
The most effective tool right now in our toolbox as "netroots" activists is to find and work with likely candidates for office that will carry a progressive agenda forward, and push for things that are meaningful for progressives, and don’t have to be concerned with the myth of "bipartisanship". Sadly, as we look at a primary challenge for Blanche Lambert Lincoln, the wholly bought and paid for Senator from Arkansas it might be time to break with tradition and begin to look for a primary challenger for Obama as well.
Obama arrived with soaring rhetoric and a marketing machine second to none, sadly neither have translated into the kinds of change he promised at virtually every campaign event until the election. A choice of someone like Howard Dean would send a powerful message to the establishment Democrats who seem to be in charge of marketing our rulers to us… we would be supporting someone who was a successful governor, knows how to play politics on the National stage and seems to have the situational awareness to play the republican’s games, and win…as well as knowing when to hold’em and fold’em to get the people’s business done.
The 2012 election is going to be a coliseum-worthy Christians v Lions event on the republican side with the insurgence of the Tea Party crowd… they are going to go all Perot on the GOP, and cause havoc with the rank and file republicans, the more the establishment republicans try and co-opt them, the more they’ll fight to be "outside" the GOP agenda… one week they want to be in love with Moosilla and the next with Ron Paul’s spawn. I’m guessing that more than one "establishment" republican will try and claim the "Tea Party" mantle, before they are kicked to the curb for another TeaBagging heartthrob.
All that’s going to leave us with almost unheard of opportunity of being able to run a candidate against Obama, even though as the incumbent he’s the de-facto Democratic candidate for President. Primarying Obama might actually produce results, including demonstrating the lack of invulnerability within the Obama White House. He either has to start producing now on promises or watch his historic presidency limited to being a one-hit wonder.