Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Kevin K. is right to be appalled by this MyDD post, in which Jerome Armstrong seems to be practically rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of (in his words) "Crash and Burn Day for the Democrats":

Fallout: Of course this mid-term result is more a rejection of the Democrats, and specifically Obama politics, than it is an embrace of the Republicans. The Obama loyalists will say they are reality-based and that Obama wasn't on the ballot. White liberal intellectuals imply that any potential Democratic '12 challenger is being racially divisive.

No, schmuck, not (primarily) racially divisive -- divisive as in a suicide mission that will serve only to weaken Democrats more. Or is saying that somehow playing the race card by definition, through some mechanism I can't grasp?

(I'll grant that President Obama won't be a very strong candidate going into 2012, unless the economy improves or he learns how to counterpunch. But I see no challenge scenario that doesn't weaken him further and help the Republicans.)

A challenge (in the primaries or third party or both) is going to happen, alas -- you can take that to the bank. The only question is who gets to play Nader this time. Back in May, TBogg found a Firedoglake commenter rooting for Russ Feingold to run if he loses his reelection bid, and now he says he's seeing that genius idea surfacing again. I could easily see that happening, with Jerome A.'s backing.

But here's the dumbest thing Armstrong says:

Probably the thing to be most hopeful for in 2011 is that, because its Obama's war in Afghanistan, we can help push Republicans to join Democrats in not funding Obama's war.

Oh, please -- you've got to be joking.

Maybe the Pauls will demand withdrawal (I'm not sure Rand will), but what other Republican is politically tone-deaf enough to challenge the GOP brand, with its heavily reliance on guns and flags and eagles and the sense that the identity of the good people and the bad people is easy to grasp and only effete liberals with their effete liberal nuance can't figure out who deserves to be killed and who deserves to kill? Is Armstrong nuts? Who's going to back this? All the people who rail endlessly at Obama for "bowing"? All the people who hate the "Ground Zero mosque"? All the people who think Obama is a secret Muslim jihadist and anti-colonialist? Is this going to come before or after Grover Norquist and Jane Hamsher emerge from a confab with a secret bipartisan plan to bring Goldman Sachs to heel?

Republicans are just waiting for Obama to try to withdraw from Afghanistan. Then they'll pounce -- from the right.

Oh, and Jerome, I think you're wrong about this, too:

Lieberman, seeing CT go red, "in the interest of Connecticut (himself)" will caucus with the Republicans as an Independent, giving the GOP the Senate majority.

The link shows Connecticut's GOP candidate for governor leading by (according to the Real Clear Politics poll average) a whopping 1.7 points. (This while Democrat Dick Blumenthal leads Republican Linda McMahon by 8.7 in the Senate race.)

Two problems: Um, Jerome, you do realize that Connecticut currently has a Republican governor, don't you? (She's a cancer survivor, as is her husband, and she chose not to seek reelection.) A lot of Republicans have served as governors recently in states that have been very blue in presidential races -- New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey.

Beyond that, I'm just offering my hunch: Lieberman won't switch because his right-wing buddies like the fact that he's a "Fox News Democrat." Fox, in particular, loves having guests who echo its ideas but can be ID'd as Democrats -- Dick Morris, Doug Schoen, Tammy Bruce, Lieberman.

Oh, and besides, the Republicans' victory plan for 2012 is to say that the continued failure of the economy is the fault of the all-powerful Democrats, who still control the White House and Senate. (Along with the media and Hollywood and academia, of course.) So I don't think they care all that much about having a Senate majority -- yet.


UPDATE: Writing about a possible primary challenge for Obama, The Wall Street Journal's John Fund mentions Hillary Clinton (though he says she's not going to turn on her boss, and I agree), then names Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich as people who might really step up. His headline is "Obama's Next Worry: A Restive Left Flank" -- but I think Obama has to worry about the left and right-center, in the general election as well as in the primaries. An AP stories suggests that Mike Bloomberg is getting the itch, either to run or to be kingmaker/financier to a third-party candidate:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent who has considered running for president, declared Monday that an independent has a better chance at succeeding in the White House than a Republican or a Democrat.

The billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent mayor toyed with a third-party run in 2008 but ultimately abandoned the idea. He has said unequivocally he won't run in 2012, but during a forum at Harvard University on Monday he endorsed the idea of an independent in the White House.

"I think actually a third-party candidate could run the government easier than a partisan political president because the partisan political president -- yeah he's got half the votes, but he can't get the others -- whereas the guy in the middle may very well be able to get enough across the aisle," Bloomberg said....

I think there could be four or five big-name candidates in 2012, Obama, the Republican, Nader, Bloomberg or his sock puppet, and (if Romney or nother non-tea-friendly candidate wins the GOP primary in a split vote) a 'bagger candidate like Tom Tancredo. It could get ugly.

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