I wrote earlier about the potential for a Democrat challenger to Obama in the primaries, and expressed hope that such an unlikely event would come to pass. Well, I suppose this falls under the "careful what you wish for" category. According to reports, liberal groups are insisting that they will challenge Obama in the primaries. And we see the names of the usual suspects: Ralph Nader, Cornell West and Brent Blackwelder.
Make no mistake: this is NOT what we wanted. I wanted to see a legitimate and strong candidate (a la Hillary?) step up and wrest the nomination from Obama, thereby splintering the loose affiliation of special-interest groups that comprises the democratic party. Instead, the notion of throwing far-left fringe candidates that are not merely has-beens but never-weres into the primaries could actually serve to strengthen Obama, and I suspect these folks know it. Sure, running a far-left candidate does accomplish the purpose of smacking Obama upside the head and reminding him of just how far left some of his base is. But it also suggests to the middle - the independent voters - that Obama isn't as far left as some might have them think. It makes Obama look like a moderate. If the far left thinks he's too conservative, and the conservatives think he's too liberal, could it be that he might be perfectly moderate? Of course he's not, but the left is trying something here: if you can't move the ball down the field, try moving the field under the ball.
The left knows a few things: first is that a far-left candidate cannot get elected in a country that leans right. Second, they are never going to vote for a republican candidate. Third is that no matter how much Obama has ignored or failed to implement their agenda, he's still the best thing they have - right now.
Think of this as an opportunity to give Obama the straw man he has employed non-stop for the past 3 years. Obama will get to do 1-2 debates, look presidential by comparison, and spin the wins into signs that the public supports him.
This is not the challenge we have been waiting for.