California banned offshore drilling after a Unocal oil rig began leaking off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. The US Senate banned offshore oil drilling off most federally controlled waters in 1980. Bush I grudgingly banned offshore oil drilling off Alaska, the west coast and the North Atlantic. Then, just before leaving office, the Chimperator lifted the presidential ban and urged Congress to write new legislation. Congress did nothing.

It was President Obama who undid decades of preservationist policy by lifting the presidential ban that protected 85% of the nations coastline. 22 days later, we had the greatest manmade ecological disaster in history. Obama’s timing couldn’t have been worse.

Worse still, the president is seen as being slow to react. Listening to BP instead of taking charge of the situation and being more forceful. He’s described as lackadaisical and naive.

This president WILL NOT win re-election.

Notice I’m not even assessing the fallout because Obama officially did not support the public option. Or backlash from the Wall St. bailout. I’m saying that, given a very upset base, a very upset populace in general and a faux pas of epic proportions regarding offshore drilling, this president is toast. Could you imagine ANY president able to bounce back after something like this?

The question facing democrats – and by extension progressive democrats – is who do we want to run against whatever Republican oilman is up for election in 2012? If that person is Obama, we are going to be stuck with a Republican in the White House.

I asked who should primary Obama last week and these are the best candidates that people suggested:

Elizabeth Warren.
Howard Dean.
Alan Grayson.
Russ Feingold.
Dennis Kucinich.

The progressive community needs to start hashing out just who they are going to get behind. As some mentioned last week, we could – and probably should – begin a "Draft Candidate X" campaign. Even before we know which one is going to agree to run.

So I’ve started this diary to get some momentum going. Get people discussing possible candidates and possible ways to start raising money for a progressive presidential candidates campaign.

Oh, and I promise this time not to bite anyones heads off, but let it be known that if all you’ve got to post is that it won’t work, we’ll never win, this can’t be done, then I’ll view you as an enemy corporate combatant who’s opinion is not worthy of respect. There, now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll step aside and let better minds than I have at this discussion.