A.J. DiCintio
Pundits woeful on Obama primary challenge
By A.J. DiCintio
December 11, 2010

It's amazing how so many political reporters and commentators write and talk a blue streak about a 2012 primary challenge to Barack Obama without offering a word about the disastrous double whammy such a challenge would deliver to the Democratic Party.

For example, early this year even the accomplished Peter Roff (usnews.com) reported simply that Democratic defeats in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts created "chatter" that Hillary Clinton might leave her cabinet position "sometime in the first term . . . [to] position herself to challenge Obama in 2012."

In contrast, Matt Bai did a lot better in a recent NYT piece whose headline spoke of "murmurs" even though Bai wrote of a somewhat louder sound: a "bubbling up" of primary challenge talk "on liberal blogs and e-mail lists."

Yet, nothing from him regarding what's unique in Obama's situation.

To his credit, however, Bai had some excellent things to say about the incipient rebellion, for instance, when he reported that Michael Lerner believes a primary challenge intended to shove the president all the way back to his old (but not forgotten) leftist self represents a "real way to save the Obama presidency."

Yes, whether Bai intended it or not, he began his piece by transcending talk of a mere intra-party squabble to provide readers with a profound insight into the shocking disfigurement of reality caused by the perfectly parochial filter that is a sine qua non of every liberal mind.

Moreover, Bai continued to do right by his audience when he opined that the administration is currently unconcerned about a primary challenge because "there seems to be no perfect vehicle out there" — unlike McCarthy and RFK in '68, Reagan in '76, Edward Kennedy in '80, and Pat Buchanan in '92.

And when he offered up this observation:

"It probably isn't coincidental that none of the last four American presidents to face primaries while seeking re-election — Johnson, Ford, Carter and George H.W. Bush — survived to serve another term."

Finally, the nation heard from Dan Rather, a person whose mind is so mucked up from his obsessive diving into "bubbling" mud pits that he couldn't even master the role of the buffoon whose fraudulent ridiculousness "evening news" shows attempt to disguise with the honesty, strength, stability, and security implicit in the word "anchor."

But that didn't keep the failed Oz from appearing on MSNBC to bluster only that if the tax compromise "goes through," Obama is "almost guaranteed to have a serious challenge in a Democratic primary for president in 2012."

So, what are the elements of the Democratic double whammy that, apparently, has got the tongue of so many pundits?

Well, Matt Bai mentioned the first, which is that a primary challenge to a sitting president is likely to render him a lame, sitting duck his opponents will blast into retirement.

To that conclusion, Bai should have added these two points:

. . . because (enlarging upon Lincoln's borrowing from Jesus) a house divided against itself cannot stand up to the relentless bombardments that come with the interminably long, impossibly arduous American style presidential campaign.

. . . and because the majority of independent voters, an extremely skeptical bunch by nature, almost never put their trust in a house divided, even if it does manage to stand, however wobbly.

The second half of the whammy duo is the never discussed Big One, whose stunning bigness can be explained by this brief syllogism:

Major Premise:

Barack Obama is the nation's first black president. (Despite what the gifted novelist Toni Morrison said when she suffered a particularly nasty attack of what Pink Floyd termed "a momentary lapse of reason.")

Minor Premise:

While 90% of the black vote typically goes to a Democratic presidential candidate, 94-96% of it went to Obama.


Therefore, if Obama were to suffer the humiliation of being defeated in a primary challenge — even by the insufferable chameleon who is the wife of the impostor first black president — the reaction of (real) black voters would not just guarantee a Democratic loss in the general election but possibly create the first permanent escape hole in the psychological dike that keeps American blacks from exercising free, open choice with respect to which party (if any) they wish to identify and which candidate they deem deserving of their votes.

The electrifying nature of the second whammy tells us all we need to know about why liberals can speak blithely about a primary challenge to Obama but can't manage to bubble up even a murmur about its implications.

As for the silence on the right, most of it is likely explained by the respect conservatives give to the maxim that counsels, "If what the other guy is doing results in goodness all around, don't wreck things with too much blabbing."

© A.J. DiCintio


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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A.J. DiCintio

A.J. DiCintio posts regularly at RenewAmerica and YourNews.com. He first exercised his polemical skills arguing with friends on the street corners of the working class neighborhood where he grew up. Retired from teaching, he now applies those skills, somewhat honed and polished by experience, to social/political affairs.


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