Battle lines are being drawn. Finally. The Obama tax cut deal was a betrayal too far. And now Dump Obama has become part of the national dialogue big time. First there were a few squeaks. Then columns by Michael Lerner Save Obama’s presidency by challenging him on the left, and Clarence Jones Time to Think the Unthinkable: A Democratic Primary Challenge To Obama’s Reelection, among others. On the New York Times front page, Matt Bai of the Times wrote a skeptical piece Murmurs of Primary Challenge to Obama (demoted from its original title Talk on the Left of a Primary Challenge), in which he tellingly concludes:
should the president’s progressive critics warm to the idea, it might not take a particularly credible primary challenge to weaken Mr. Obama’s chances for re-election. It might only take a challenge designed to do exactly that.
This was followed by the inevitable counter-attack, from the likes of Ed Kilgore and David Broder, plus any number of lesser lights, touting three points:
(1) The tax cut deal was a masterful stroke – stimulating the economy and ensuring Obama’s re-election in 2012; and
(2) No “serious” challenger would dare risk their credibility and prestige by entering the primaries, the ultimate proof being that they haven’t done so yet.
(3) A primary challenge would only serve to harm the very Democratic Party that we all hold so dear.