PJ Tatler has a run down on the growing rumors that Obama may quit – pull an LBJ and back out of running in 2012. I don’t think this will happen.
First off, the only people on the Democrat side who might suggest this – Lieberman, Bayh, etc – are not the sort of people Obama will listen to. Locked in to his array of sycophants, Obama is not about to allow some outsider to tell him that the game is over and its time to go home. I can very much see some sensible Democrats wanting to do this – there is a chance with Obama on the ticket that a defeat in 2012 will turn in to an epic, blow out loss – but I can’t see any way for such people to reach Obama.
Secondly, and this ties in to why there won’t be a serious primary challenge, to move against Obama is to risk the Democrats’ hammer lock on the African American vote. This isn’t just about the 2012 Presidential election – this is about whether or not liberals can retain any power to influence American policy. A defeat in 2012 would be bad for them – but there is defeat, and then there is crushing loss. Defeat is Obama out and the loss of 20 House and 5 Senate seats. Bad. Means GOP controls things for at least two years. Lots of conservative reforms can be implemented…but the chances of a major overhaul of the FDR/LBJ settlement are small. Crushing loss is Obama out and the loss of 50 House and 15 Senate Seats. Horrific. Means GOP has the power to pretty much do whatever it wants…every liberal program is on the chopping block. Just can’t be allowed to happen.
But that is what would happen if the Democrat party – by calling on Obama to quit or engineering a serious primary challenger – were to be perceived by African American voters as having betrayed Obama. Its not that they would vote GOP, but that they would stay home on election day. Without high African American turnout going 90%+ for the Democrats, the horrific scenario becomes a reality. Of course, the Democrats might endure the horrific loss, anyway, but why make it a certainty by stabbing Obama in the back? For good or ill, Democrats have Obama for 2012…in 2008, they jumped on his bandwagon presuming that he could initiate 50 years of liberal rule. It hasn’t worked out that way. Even if Obama manages to win in 2012, he has completely failed in that promise…but if the liberals want to have a future in America, they have to ensure that 2012 doesn’t work out as a blowout loss. Easier to keep losses to a minimum with Obama than without.
I could be wrong about this – there might be a revolt of the remaining moderates in the Democrat party. More than likely, though, there won’t be…and if there is, it will work out as a quixotic, third party alternative…which would help sink Obama, but wouldn’t destroy the Democrat party for the next 20 years. That will all be as it may – none of us get a say in how Democrats do things. Our job is to work for the blowout victory no matter what they do – because right now we have that chance to really do it: to win so much power that we really can dismantle the Welfare State.
So, let’s just get out there and do it..