At the moment, the President is so vulnerable that even the most optimistic of liberals must be having doubts about President Obama’s reelection chances. In many ways it does seem that his prospects for reelection are dimming each day. With increasing bad economic indicators, high unemployment numbers, low consumer confidence, and nothing to show for his effort except for a national debt that he brought up to crisis levels, no one is willing to suggest that Barack Obama is the person best suited to lead America in the right direction for the next four years. This is reflected by numerous national polls which demonstrate that President Obama is now at the lowest approval ratings that he has ever seen. On Monday Rasmussen reported that the President is approved by only 22% of those voters who are currently not yet committed to him or any particular Republican candidate who is running for President.
With the writing on the wall, President Obama has even realized that he must really work some magic to turn both the economy and his approval around. Yet his latest attempt failed to pull any rabbits out of the hat and was nothing more than a regurgitated version of his previous stimulus packages which only achieved the first ever downgrading of our national credit rating. After his big roll out of this plan before a special, nationally televised, speech to a joint session of Congress, most people simply yawned and asked themselves……. “didn’t we hear him say this before?” And now that President Obama has fired his big guns with his new jobs bill, it would seem that he has nothing left in his arsenal.
Oh sure the President can continue to position himself through an attempt to wage class warfare. And he can try to position himself in a way that will allow Republicans can be blamed for the economy because of their lack of support for his jobs plan. But such maneuvering still won’t help him. At some point people see through the posturing and at some point they will not deny where the buck stops and why it is not making its way in to their pockets.
That is why there are some who are beginning to wish that President Obama would decline the nomination to a second term.
This suggestion recently appeared in of all of places, The Chicago Tribune, one of President Obama’s hometown newspapers. In 2008, Barack Obama was the first Democrat that the paper endorsed in its 161-year history. Yet in the particular article, columnist Steve Chapman wrote;
“Obama might do his party a big favor. In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket.”
Chapman who supported Obama also noted the following;
“Former White House spokesman Bill Burton said that unless Obama can rally the Democratic base, which is disillusioned with him, “it’s going to be impossible for the president to win.” Democratic consultant James Carville had one word of advice for Obama: “Panic.”
Then there was a Monday morning article that appeared in the Washington Times which had the headline Liberals Vow to Challenge Obama in Democratic Primaries. According to that piece, so-called progressive leaders and more than 45 liberal leaders (both terms mean Democrats) want to recruit six candidates to challenge President Obama for the nomination in order to give a greater voice to liberal positions on everything from the military to poverty.
So it would seem that no one is really pleased with Barack Obama. His base feels he has not gone far enough, his opponents believe he has gone to far and those who are in the middle just don’t approve him of anything that he’s done. Such a situation does make it look as if Democrats would be better off running someone other Barack Obama in 2012. With him at the top of the ticket, not only do Democrats improve their chances of losing the White House, they will find themselves likely to lose control of the Senate and unlikely to gain any ground towards retaking control of the House. This would be a trifecta for Republicans that would set liberals back for a decade or more and spark the type of talk about the Democrat Party that Democrats themselves brought up regarding Republicans in 2008. After taking control of all three federal legislative branches, many on the left claimed that the G.O.P. was going the way of the Whigs.
Such setbacks could leave an incredibly negative legacy that will truly damage the progressive, liberal Democrat agenda. For that reason, the question of stepping down has to be at least considered. When President Lyndon B. Johnson saw his base divided and his popularity pummetting, not only considered not seeking reelection in 1968, he took advantage of not running.
While history still questions exactly al the reasons why Johnson decided not to run for reelection, it is clear that he was not entering the ‘68 campaign in a position that would have allowed him to win any popularity contests. He was even receiving a significant challenge from liberal Eugene McCarthy. Although Johnson did not actively campaign against McCarthy in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, McCarthy still embarrassed Johnson by coming within 7 percentage points of defeating the incumbent President. But by that point in 1968, it was too late for Democrats to turn their electoral fate around, regardless of who they ran at the top of their ticket. By November, not only did Democrats lose the White House, they lost seats in the Senate and the House. From the look of things now, President Obama will be costing Democrats far more seats in 2012 than they lost in ‘68. And to make matters worse, the losses will be so severe that the G.O.P. will be able to repeal the President’s single self described, greatest accomplishment….. socialized healthcare.
No matter how you look at it, President Obama is doing no one any good. He is not helping his own Party and more importantly, he is not helping America. Which is why WorldNetDaily columnist Joseph Farah offered his own unique strategy. Farah suggests that Sarah Palin challenge Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination. He writes that “the idea would be for Palin to win the Democratic nomination with mostly Republican and independent votes.”
By getting Republicans and Independents to change their Party affiliations so that they can vote in Democratic primaries and caucuses, Farah believes Palin could beat Obama or at the very least, cause him to spend some of his ample war chest before the general election. According to Farah,
“Personally, I believe most Americans would lose interest in the Republican contest and focus their political money, time and energy on the Palin-Obama race.” He adds, “I think it’s a sure-fire recipe for saving America by making sure Obama is not even a viable option in the general election. He might be forced to run as a third-party candidate, a write-in or not at all! “
While Joseph Farah’s Rush Limbaugh-like 2008 launch of Operation Chaos which compelled Republicans to vote for Clinton over Obama in the Democratic primaries, such a scheme for Palin is unlikely to work. But Democrats should be able to turn to someone other than Sarah Palin to save them. Right now President Obama is a rudderless ship steering the United States into the thick ice. Republicans are more than willing to change the course before the hull of our ship of state is pierced and the water starts filling in. And right now most voters agree with the need to change course. The only people who do not believe so are the diehard Democrats. Unless one of them is willing to admit that the ice is straight ahead and the wayward Captain must be removed from the helm, the American voter will be forced to do so in an electoral mutiny that will throw many Democrats overboard come Election Day 2012.
Of course there is always the chance that Republicans can simply blow their chance to prove themselves. They could get off topic and begin to make Barack Obama look like the rational candidate running. But the G.O.P. will have to really screw things up to do that. Still I do not past it past the ability of the Republican political establishment to shoot it self in the foot, However; is hoping that the other guy screws up more than you really a good strategy? It’s time for us to stop the hoping that President Obama wants us to keep doing and it’s time that someone start the doing that we need. Since 2008, Americans have moved far beyond hoping for change and are now demanding big changes. Whoever can prove that they will provide real change in 2012, will win. For Democrats, the best way to show that they are the the agents of change is to change the top of their ticket. But we all know that four more years of the same we’ve seen is not the kind of change that anyone is hoping for.
Until and unless a Democrat is willing to come forward and say “I must save the Party and the nation from Barack Obama”, only President Obama can spare us from any more of his failures. And while many may view the chances of President Obama declining a run for a second term as thin to none, they should remember that few anticipated Lyndon Johnson’s announcement that he would refuse the Party’s nomination for President in 1968.
Back then President Johnson, was delivering a speech regarding the war that was raging on in Vietnam. But at the very end, he shocked the nation with the following words;
“Believing this as I do, I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing in this political year.
With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.”
Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my Party for another term as your President.”
Given the seriousness of our national debt and budget problems, problems which our own Secretary of Defense defined as a national security issue, is it that hard to see President Obama do the same as Johnson? Can any one not see President Obama say the following after delivering another speech about the economy?;
“I have concluded that I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that preventing us from making the hard decisions that are required to reduce our debt and get our economy back on track.
With America’s working force sidelined, with America’s future being challenged right here at home and abroad, with our hopes and the children’s hopes for propsperity in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office–the Presidency of your country.
Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my Party for another term as your President.”
President Obama does not need to actually mean those words. He does not need to believe those words, but by saying them, he will give his Party a fighting chance in 2012 and as a lame duck President, he will create the opportunity for liberal leadership to come out of Congress,fill the void that he has created, and allow for a new voice to offer a viable liberal vision for his Party.
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