Friday, March 11, 2011

Primary Challenge? Are You Nuts?

One of the things I'm seeing in the progressive blogosphere is this predominately vanilla flavored sentiment coming from some quarters of the gay community and the still disgruntled Hillaryites that President Obama should be primary challenged in 2012.

The reasons they give for it is because President Obama in their opinion isn't left wing enough or hasn't stood up for 'their issues'.   They contend a primary challenge will force him to the left and will 'strengthen the party'.   The other spin line I've heard it that it needs to be done to 'save the party'.

Excuse me?    Are you people that politically obtuse and stupid?   Or are you still upset that the prez  beat your precious Hillary in 2008 and like the Tea Klux Klan, you fauxgressives like your White House occupants melanin free as well?

A primary challenge is an asinine idea, especially when there's no declared presidential candidate right now in a 2012 GOP field that even conservafools admit is weak at this juncture.   The people they would dearly like to jump into the race in Sen. John Thune and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have said no to a 2012 run.

In addition, the GOP is doing such a good job pissing people off that we probably have an excellent chance of getting the 25 seats we need to retake the House of Representatives back from Boehner and the Tea Klux Klan.

So in the midst of these positive trends,  why push something that is only going to divide the Democratic party at a time when the GOP just overreached and pissed off the unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere?  The GOP is in the midst of a civil war between their moderate and batturd wings as well. 

And for you folks who are pimping this idea, did y'all check out the US history books and read about what happened the last two times a sitting president was primary challenged?

Ronald Reagan ran against President Gerald Ford in 1976 and the GOP nomination was in doubt all the way to the Republican Convention that August in Kansas City.   President Ford won by a narrow margin on the convention's first ballot to finally secure the nomination.

But after the Democratic convention ended he trailed Jimmy Carter by 33 points in the polls.   Aided by some Carter mistakes, the benefit of being the president during the nation's bicentennial year,  his strong September 23 debate performance and repeating the theme that Carter was too inexperienced and vague on issues to be president chipped away at the deficit and Ford pulled even.

But the October 6 presidential debate gaffe in which President Ford asserted that there is "there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford administration." combined with running mate Bob Dole's blunder in the vice presidential debate slowed the Ford momentum..  

Despite the fact that he won 27 states, Carter's near complete domination of the South gave him a 297-240 electoral vote win.   One elector cast a ballot for Ronald Reagan.

Fast forward to the 1980 presidential election cycle.  President Carter is now facing a primary challenge of his own from Sen. Ted Kennedy, California governor Jerry Brown, and Secretary of State Edmund Muskie due to the economic woes of the late 1970's, spiraling gas prices, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran Hostage crisis.

Carter manages to win 24 or the 34 primaries and pile up 60% of the delegates, enough to win on the first ballot at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in New York.   Kennedy refuses to concede and the result was a 1980 DNC that was a divisive and raucous affair.    In addition a summer of 1980 'Draft Muskie' movement fueled by a poll showing him running even with Ronald Reagan while Carter trailed by 7 points fueled the  'Anybody But Carter' forces in the party.  

In the meantime Reagan, who narrowly missed knocking off President Ford four years ago, handily won the Republican nomination over George H.W. Bush

Sen. Kennedy made one last ditch failed attempt to alter the convention rules and allow the assembled delegates to be released from their first ballot pledges and vote their consciences.    President Carter won the Democratic nomination on the first ballot with 2129 votes to 1149 for Kennedy.

It also didn't help that Republican John Anderson, correctly feeling Reagan was too conservative after he lost his attempt to get the 1980 GOP presidential nomination, ran an independent presidential campaign that pulled more Democratic votes away from Carter and hurt him in Massachusetts and New York.  

It set the stage for a 489-49 Reagan electoral landslide in which the Republicans got control of the Senate for the first time in 28 years by picking up 12 seats     They also picked up 34 House seats to whittle the Democratic majority down to 243-192.  With the help what we call Blue Dogs today, the southern 'boll weevil' Dems gave the Republicans aid and ideological control of the House for the first two years of Reagan's presidency     That election also started the shift of the 'Solid South' to GOP control.

Bottom line, both sitting presidents who were challenged within their respective parties lost in the general election.  Try that stunt this time and I can guarantee that African American voters will angrily sit out the 2012 election cycle just like y'all did during the 2010 one.

The country can't afford liberal progressive voters sitting out another election cycle.
As much as you fauxgressives hate President Obama, I think you'd much rather have him taking the oath of office for the second time on January 20, 2013 than a Republican.

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