The Progressive Congress of the California Democratic Party recently called for a primary challenge to Obama. Vishay Prashad:

The Congressional Black Caucus’ Chairman Congressman Emanuel Cleaver called the “debt-ceiling” deal a “sugar-coated Satan Sandwich.”…
On July 30, while this “agreement” was being discussed, the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CDP) passed a resolution in support of a primary challenge to Obama. The meeting of the Executive Board of the CDP took place in Anaheim, not far from Disneyland, and it was in one corner of that larger meeting that the Progressives took their stand. As far as I know, this is the first officialindication of a part of the Democratic Party calling for a primary challenge to Obama.

http://www.counterpunch.org/prashad08022011.html

No doubt, many ‘adults in the room’ will decry this terrible ‘abandonment of civility’ on the part of a few progressives. I find it interesting that such ‘adults’ don’t discern ‘abandonment of civility’ in the outrages perpetrated now with blazing effrontery by political power holders, as suggested by this list of particulars …

Tension filled the room when Caucus Chair Karen Bernal read out the resolution. It included sharp criticism of Obama’s willingness to sell out the liberal agenda, including the “unilateral closed-door budget offer to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, thus endangering the New Deal and War on Poverty safety nets,” and his “willingness to extend the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and bail out big banks withoutending the foreclosure crisis that displaces American working families.” Obama’s signature policy initiatives were not spared in the resolution, including the “health insurance bill that enriches private insurance companies while ignoring growing support for single-payer health care or robust public options.” Anger at the foreign policy of the Obama administration (including “illegal secret CIA drone attacks and unauthorized wars”) came alongside frustration at the continued assault on civil liberties (Patriot Act, FBI raids of anti-war progressives). The list goes on and on.

http://www.counterpunch.org/prashad08022011.html

I myself come at this from an entirely different point of view, of course. I wonder why, considering such a devastating, and yet very partial, list of grievances against Obama, any progressive in their right mind would only want to primary him?! Do they want to tickle him or beat him? And what is perhaps more important to observe is that it is only now, with barely over a year to go until the election, and only a few months before the first primaries, that many progressives are even beginning to consider such a weak move as a primary challenge to Obama. Of course they know that ANY election assault from the Left against Obama, and certainly any primary opposition, is doomed at this point. It had to start long ago to have any possible viability.

So the question is, why do so many public progressives CHOOSE TO LOSE, and why do so many progressive and lefty citizens put up with this? Why are you afraid to win, people? In so many walks of life, this is the most important question, and nowhere more than in politics. The worst people want to ‘win’ so badly they’d trample their grandparents to do it. The people, most of us, who actually cherish life, and care about the future of humanity, and live in compassion, or try to … we cannot find it in ourselves to want to win. And so we go on playing the role of victims, and the beating goes on and on and on and on, and we cry out plaintively, and we make feeble efforts to defend ourselves, but we remain afraid to stand on our feet and wrest the club from the hands of our tormenters.

It is, in some ways, a cultural and psychological problem, and we cannot continue to ignore it.

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