The latest water boy to step up to the keyboard is Salon's Matt Stoller. You may never have heard of him, but he has quite a resume for such a young man; he has worked for the group that was trying to draft Wesley Clark into the 2004 presidential race...he worked for Simon Rosenberg's campaign to become chair of the DNC (Rosenberg never became chair)...he worked for Jon Corzine...he supported Ned Lamont...most recently he was senior policy advisor to Alan Grayson (Yes, THAT Alan Grayson). Let's say that Mr. Stoller is no stranger to failure.
Stoller writes, in a piece titled, "What Democrats Can Do About Obama," that the Democrat party should have other candidates challenge Obama in a primary. Seriously. He wants this. It gets better, though:
Obama has ruined the Democratic Party. The 2010 wipeout was an electoral catastrophe so bad you'd have to go back to 1894 to find comparable losses. From 2008 to 2010, according to Gallup, the fastest growing demographic party label was former Democrat. Obama took over the party in 2008 with 36 percent of Americans considering themselves Democrats. Within just two years, that number had dropped to 31 percent, which tied a 22-year low.
Why does Stoller want to get rid of Obama, exactly? For one thing, it's because Obama doesn't listen to Paul Krugman. The fact that no one listens to Paul Krugman (or that no one SHOULD) is lost on Mr. Stoller. But here are his words:
If would be one thing if Obama were failing because he was too close to party orthodoxy. Yet his failures have come precisely because Obama has not listened to Democratic Party voters. He continued idiotic wars, bailed out banks, ignored luminaries like Paul Krugman, and generally did whatever he could to repudiate the New Deal. The Democratic Party should be the party of pay raises and homes, but under Obama it has become the party of pay cuts and foreclosures. Getting rid of Obama as the head of the party is the first step in reverting to form.
Stoller works hard to make his case that a challenger is needed, if for no other reason than to make Obama take notice...of the fact that his party doesn't like what he's doing. I guess Obama ignores the polls, because the polls suggest that most of Americans don't like what he's doing. Maybe Stoller's right and it's really hard to actually get Obama's attention. But who to run against Obama? What candidate is out there who can step onto the stage and boldly shove the country's first minority President aside? What visionary leader can stride forth and put the nation back on track?
Tom Harkin?!? Stoller suggests Tom Harkin should get the ball rolling. The Democrats have passed on the magic of Tom Harkin as presidential candidate enough times already. There were enough dubious ideas in Stoller's piece before he suggested Harkin, but now it's clear: Stoller is in training for the Biggest Dope in America Who Holds a Degree From Harvard competition. Look out Shumer, Grayson, et al; Matt Stoller is entering the ring.
What I found really interesting about this piece was that it really illustrates the desperation on the other side. The left is increasingly viewing Obama as part of the right, which he most certainly is not. The right sees Obama as borderline, if not dyed-in-the-wool, socialist. Stoller cites a poll wherein 32% of Democrats want a different candidate!
Wouldn't it be wonderful if some other Democrats decided to challenge Obama in a primary! I would love to watch him trying to convince his party that he's liberal enough to continue as their candidate, and then have to switch to convincing the independent voters that he's not too liberal for them to support. Throw in the amount of fundraising that he would have to engage in and he wouldn't have time for his speeches.
Of course, this is all wishful thinking; it's not going to happen, but not for the reasons Stoller suggests. Quite simply the Democrats could never survive dumping the first african american president.
While the Republicans try to pick among the current candidates and keep one eye on the door for new entries (ones NOT named Palin), it's nice to see that across the aisle the opposition isn't enthralled with their choice either.