The "Hillary for VP" post below -- it's really an "Obama must go" post -- evinced some pretty strong responses, both public and private. Now I'm thinking: Is it possible?
Can we really allow ourselves to think this way?
We would have all of one month, maybe a little more, to do it -- to mount a "Dump Obama" movement within the Democratic party.
The tipping point for me was this story
about former Democratic congressman Charlie Wilson of Ohio (no relation to the guy who inspired the movie Charlie Wilson's War
). He's trying for a comeback. His opponent is the man who bested him in 2010, Republican Bill Johnson.
What startled me was his method of attack: Wilson, the Democrat, attacked Johnson, the Republican, for supporting Barack Obama. The support concerned the issue of free trade. (Obama's under-discussed policies in that area will, in the end, do far more harm to this country than will the alleged political sins that Republicans prefer to talk about.)
"I am disappointed that Congressman Johnson supported President Obama's free trade agenda this year. These agreements will ship even more of our jobs overseas," Wilson told WTRF-TV.
In conservative-leaning districts like Johnson's, Democrats will have to increasingly distance themselves from the president if they want a chance to win. We've started to see that with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., retiring Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif, and a handful of other Democratic elected officeholders. But expect that trickle to become a stream if the president's approval ratings don't tick upwards.
They won't tick upward. The economy will likely get worse -- soon -- due to the strains in the Eurozone
. Obama simply cannot win. Whether you like or dislike him is immaterial: He can't win
(Romney and Obama are statistically tied in the polls
-- but those polls don't take into account the strange dynamics of the electoral college, which gives an advantage to the red states. Romney's numbers will rise once the party makes a firm decision that he's the guy.)
And yet the Republicans have become so unbelievably vile that this country cannot reward them with control of the House, the Senate and the White House -- an outcome which now seems likely. In the comments section of the afore-linked story, one reader notes that Wilson's opponent, Congressman Johnson, went on a right-wing talk show and claimed -- insanely -- that Democrats are "not only hostile to the Christian faith, they’re hostile to America, period." (Other readers supported Johnson's absurdity.) That's but one example; one could cite a million more.
A form of political rabies has infected the GOP. The choice between Democrat and Republican has become a choice between a bad dog and a mad dog.
At this time, we can improve this situation only if we insist on a new top
dog.I propose a sudden, serious "O must GO!" movement.
Even if it fails, as it very well might, an attack on Obama from the left would help to rewrite this country's political narrative. Right now, the Republicans want the country to believe that Obama's alleged "socialism" has alienated the public. We must undo that bizarre ideological framing. Creating a new narrative is even more important than is making sure that Barack Obama does not have another four years to sully the Democratic brand name.
So I'm asking readers for ideas:How can we convince the Democratic leadership to call on Barack Obama to step down from the 2012 race?
I want practical suggestions; further complaints about Obama's failed presidency are unnecessary (though understandable). We really need to find a way to bell this cat. So far, here's what I can come up with:
1. We need a mailing list. A BIG one. Right now, I know nothing about compiling such a thing. Do you?
2. We need an "O must GO!" web site.
3. We need a presence at Occupy Wall Street protests. The two movements -- "O must GO" and OWS -- cannot and should not become too closely linked: There will always be OWSers who still support this president, and there will be anti-Obama Dems who believe the propaganda about "smelly hippies." (For example, I imagine that quite a few Dems in Charlie Wilson's neck of the woods think that way.) Still, some
linkage would certainly be helpful.
4. This must be a movement -- a rebellion, if you will -- within
the Democratic party. All third party fantasists will only alienate the party movers-and-shakers whom we are trying to reach. If all you want to do is bellyache about how much you hate Democrats ("They're all in the pay of Wall Street!"
), don't bother commenting at all. This is no place for you.
5. This must NOT be a "Draft Hillary" movement. Sorry, but many foolish Dems still despise the Clintons; the stench of the 2008 propaganda campaign lingers. Right now, the movement must be identified as anti-
Obama, not pro-
That said, Hillary supporters will understand that she can have a chance to step in only if Obama does the same honorable thing that LBJ did. The Dems can't win without the working class in places like Pennsylvania; right now they hate Obama and love Hillary
6. Unpleasant thought: We would have to make nice with the Kos Kids and the D.U. crowd, even though they will never apologize for their abominable behavior in 2008. Yes, they screwed up royally -- but by this point, most of them have seen Obama for what he truly is.
You don't form a movement by turning people away at the door.