Progressive Independence

Michael Kwiatkowski

Michael Kwiatkowski
Ohio, United States of America
May 18
I'm a Green Party member in Ohio, and active on several blogs that include my own. This year I am helping to spread the word about Green and other Third Party candidates for public office.

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NOVEMBER 30, 2011 9:58AM

The Obama Primary Challenge That Is

Rate: 1 Flag's news editor, Steve Kornacki, lamented yesterday that "Obama won't face a credible primary challenge", going on about how the closest thing to a liberal challenge he has comes from Republican candidate Buddy Roemer.  While it is true that many liberals aren't seeing any "viable" candidates materialize on the left, Kornacki isn't telling us why that is: the failure of supposedly liberal pundits to report on candidates who are actually running.

And therein lies the catch-22 bloggers like Kornacki can't seem to escape from.  They complain about Obama, but they refuse to use the public voice they've been given to alter the political landscape.  Pundits influence public opinion simply by reporting on someone or something.  And they pass up opportunity after opportunity to do so when they fail to do their journalistic duty.

Because there is a Democrat trying to get himself on the ballot to challenge Obama from the left in next year's primaries: Aldous Tyler is seeking the nomination to run for president as a liberal Democrat.  His platform hits all the right notes, including opposition to war, taxation of the wealthy, a sustainable energy policy, cleaning up the environment, and restoring and protecting the safety net, among other positions.  Tyler also favors heavily regulating Wall Street and corporations.

So why aren't supposedly liberal bloggers and pundits giving Aldous Tyler any coverage?  Kornacki writes that "[t]he depths of liberal despair over his presidency are often overstated", meaning that bitch as they might about Obama, far too many who claim to be liberal aren't dissatisfied with his policies enough to want to be rid of him - and having so thoroughly bought into the Big Lie that Republicans are just so much worse than any Democrat no matter what the evidence disproving that notion, they fear that any challenge might weaken Obama to the point that the GOP nominee might manage to cheat his way to victory next year.

But it's Obama's fault that he is even in such a precarious political position in the first place.  Having made big promises only to cold-bloodedly refuse to even try to deliver on so much as one of them, and after literally adding insult to injury by dissing his party's official base, it's no wonder that his campaign is looking a lot more like Al Gore's and John Kerry's lackluster, doomed efforts than, say, Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election drive.  So coming out of a primary challenged beaten up and vulnerable isn't exactly a legitimate excuse not to cover challengers, especially ones from the left of the political divide.

Isn't it time to break the self-imposed media blackout on left-wing challenges to Obama?  If Democrats are truly fed up with him, and are seeking alternatives, it only makes sense for those blessed with public voices, such as Steve Kornacki, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, or Ed Schultz to use their gifts to report on people like Aldous Tyler.  The media might lament the lack of candidates, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.  They only need to be reported on objectively, so voters can render their own decisions.

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It is eleven months until the next election. There will be no primary challenge. Get real. I hope you would check your opinions for factual information. Most of what you have written here is totally false. Let me guess -you get your information from MSNBC, Huffington Post, Young Turks and Hamsher, right? There are other sources from the Left with more enlightened, accurate information-try the People's View if you are open to new information. Don't trust any talking heads from the supposed base-the corporations control them too.
I'm sorry but Mr.Tyler doesn't have a snowball's chance in Florida so why get the snow-making machine out? As a progressive with a passion for health care reform and regulated markets, President Obama has met few of the criteria I hold for high performance. But he's done okay, if just okay, under the circumstances and deserves four more years far, far, more than any of the bozos on the right. So please don't start with the kind of rhetoric that gave us W's initial win. Voting for president is strategic, not a matter of "in your heart you know he's right"--for you.
To Mr. Klingaman, you don't know if a candidate has a chance of winning until elections start taking place. And the point of the op-ed here is that supposed liberals are complaining about a lack of candidates while ignoring the ones who are running. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. As for Obama's job performance, I highly recommend Glenn Greenwald, FireDogLake, Huffington Post, and Black Agenda Report, among other sources, to get a wider understanding of just how closely Obama adheres to the far right policies of his immediate predecessors.

To Mr. Spudman, it's a bit early to tell if a primary challenge will fail to materialize. As I've pointed out, there is at least one Democrat actively trying to mount one. If Aldous Tyler can't get enough signatures to get on the ballot in enough states, that's the end of whatever liberal and progressive activists had to push Obama to the political left. But if he does get enough signatures, then there will be a primary challenge. It will simply be a matter of how successful or how much of a failure it ends up being — and it's practically guaranteed that the corporate-owned media won't cover this.
Oh, and Mr. Klingaman, so-called "strategic" voting is what got us eight years of Bush-Cheney. Voting for right-wing Democrats who then run tepid campaigns with Wall Street cash isn't cutting it with voters anymore. Last year's midterm elections should have taught you that.
You are the real one, Michael, not the lemming Team Dems and those faux progressives who assert that Obama is okay being the lesser of the evils. Bullshit and denial. And yet they dominate the national conversation. The nightmare of what our democracy has become has most of the citizenry still clinging to denial and American exceptionalism. If you can't handle reality, spin and re-frame it and stay myopic. [r] libby
Excuse me, but I voted for Keith Ellison in the mid-terms. That's a vote I'm quite proud of. The math you don't get is Nader = Bush X 8. A third party to left of Obama, who is not "right wing" by any measure, despite his failings, Gitmo, etc., is handing over the keys to Romney. And if you think Aldous Tyler is the answer, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow.
Nader did not hand Bush the White House. Thank Katherine Harris, Jeb Bush, John Ellis at Fox Noise, five SCOTUS judges, and Ken Blackwell for those two Bush terms. Also be sure to give credit to Al Gore and John Kerry, the former of whom couldn't even win his home state and the latter of whom couldn't throw in the towel fast enough in spite of massive evidence of vote fraud.

Obama is a right-winger regardless of whether you choose to believe it or not. His every policy has been either a continuation or an expansion of Bush-Cheney policies. Salon's own Glenn Greenwald, among others, has written extensively about this. You might also want to read the Washington Post and New York Times once in a while; those newspapers' editors and pundits gush over Obama's wholehearted embrace of neocon foreign policy. There simply is no credible evidence to suggest that Obama is even remotely liberal.

My point is that so-called liberals bemoaning that they see no "credible" primary challenger coming forward doesn't hold up when you consider that they refuse to even objectively cover candidates who, like Aldous Tyler, are running. How do you know he's not viable if no one ever reports on him, or if you never take a long hard look at his campaign?
pragmatism uber alles? the pragmatists are sure to stay on the winning side in POST-MORALITY AMERICA, even if there is genocide and torture and economic terrorism. the media will help distract and justify and rationalize in union. the pat put-down to Green leafletters anywhere ... "but you won't win. nyah nyah." That's because the pragmatists too cool for school have no moral only political vision or more gamesmanship shallowness. Obama deserves to be primaried. Attacking dufus Repubs is not going to get us there and will just give him the old default cakewalk to be the continuer in chief, Bush with a mask.