You might have missed it amid the roar of Democratic rage over the past couple weeks, but someone said something interesting that disappeared in the din. Super-liberal activist Ralph Nader took a break from his eternal campaign to make the world safe at any speed to suggest that President Barack Obama may well have parked his proverbial Corvair in a very tight spot. According to Nader, a challenger to Obama is essentially guaranteed to emerge from the great mommy’s basement that is the holding tank for Democratic Presidential candidates: “I would guess that the chances of there being a challenge to Obama in the primary are almost 100 percent.”
While Nader didn’t let on to any specific inside knowledge about the identity of the potential Democratic mutineer, the fact that he’s dropping broad hints describe the development of further cracks in the Democratic monolith. A left-of-Friedrich Engels candidate in each election from 1996 to 2008, Nader may just be trying to boost back-catalog sales of his odd treatises. But his statement ought to raise a few eyebrows as 2012 looms on the electoral horizon.
As anyone who reads more than The New York Times knows, Obama’s Administration is staggering like a punch-drunk prizefighter. The man hailed by the Democrats as the next-best thing to a savior has disintegrated under the pressures of Presidential duty. Epic economic and diplomatic disasters, paired with the rise of well-organized conservative opposition groups, have exposed him as the neophyte he is, rather than the heroic figure he was touted to be.
Even on the left, the rumblings of dissatisfaction are growing louder. Democratic mouthpiece Bill Maher, who generally describes women in, ahem, less-than-gentlemanly tones, chaired an impromptu panel of fellow liberals on a subject which ought to give Obama real pause: Hillary Clinton 2012.
Maher suggested Obama has inspired little more than “buyer’s remorse,” a far cry from the now-laughable “Hope and Change.” He went on to opine that the current Secretary of State and erstwhile Obama primary challenger Hillary Clinton might have a leg up on Obama because: “She knows how to deal with difficult men.” Not to mention difficult interns in blue dresses.
Meanwhile, The Times offered another dim assessment of the President’s acumen. In his essay “What Happened to Obama,” Emory University professor Drew Westen suddenly discovered the same reality conservatives have been trumpeting since at least 2007:
Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted “present” (instead of “yea” or “nay”) 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues.
Welcome to the club, Professor; better late than never.
And consider the potentially impending candidacy of former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. While Gravel would likely be yet another mosquito on the windshield of Presidential politics (again), it’s worthwhile to note that he has collaborated with none other than Ralph Nader. Gravel’s possible entry is another solid indicator that Obama has lost the support of the tinfoil-hat brigadiers of the very far left, virtually all of whom were solidly in the Obama camp in 2008.
In 1980, incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced a primary challenge from then-Senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy, believing that Carter’s malaise-filled four years in the White House had opened the door for a run at the title, failed to swing the Democrats to his side. Kennedy’s candidacy severely weakened the already-teetering Carter Presidency and played at least a part in handing the Oval Office keys to the Republicans for the next 12 years.
I’ll admit there are a few Republican candidates who would hardly be my first choice for the highest office in the land (I’m looking at you, Jon Huntsman). But compared to Obama, even Huntsman is Teddy Roosevelt by comparison. It would appear some of the Democrats are starting to learn the same lesson.