Skip to main content

Well, this ought to add feul to the fire:

There have long been rumblings that the liberal base is ticked off at President Obama, but the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party just put that frustration into writing: They've passed a resolution exploring calling for a primary challenge to Obama.

Passed last weekend, it says that the Caucus....

"...will begin the process of contacting other Democratic organizations, Democratic Party members and public organizations that share our views on the issues and which seek to alter the course of history by exploring other steps to effect a necessary change, including a possible primary challenge to President Obama."

Members of the caucus are not mincing words.  They are unhappy, and though the resolution is mainly symbolic, it reflects the mood of many of the members who believe that Obama has turned his back on Democratic values.

I think this resolution is very loud vote of NO CONFIDENCE for Obama.

You can read the resolution here:

3:11 PM PT: Almost immediately after I posted this diary, I received a call asking for some help so I wasn't able to stick around to respond to comments.  When I logged on a few minutes ago, the first thing that struck me was the way some of the people responding tried to turn this into a "black vs white" topic.  Jeez...sometimes the stupid just never quits on this site.

Let me be clear: There was no mention of the California Democrats wanting to primary Obama just because he was black; it wasn't in the resolution, and it wasn't in the article that I linked to...

At this point no one knows whether the California Democrats will pursue the resolution enough to select a candidate who will primary Obama; as I said in the article, I think their primary purpose was to give Obama a vote of no confidence with the hope that it will move him back to supporting traditional Democratic ideals.

Let's face it, the Democratic Party is split, and Obama bears much of the blame for that division.  What I fear the most, is an extremely volatile  and divisive Democratic convention in 2012.

I think it is best to have this discussion now and not wait until the convention, but as usual, when someone mentions anything that might be interpreted as being anti-Obama, the same tired people gang up and try to squelch any dissent.  That type of mentality is truly discouraging.

Originally posted to praenomen on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by California politics.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  Good luck (14+ / 0-)

      with getting black votes because if that happens your "liberal" nominee will NEVER be elected next year or in 20 years.

      •  I am not an Obama defender (5+ / 0-)

        But this comment is exactly spot on.

        "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

        by Ivan on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:55:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hear a lot of black callers on liberal (8+ / 0-)

        talk shows who are just as disgusted and maybe more so than others because Obama dropped them like a hot rock the moment he was elected.

        Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones can attest to the loyalty they got from our fearless leader when Fox News shined a light on them.  They are also acutely aware of the increase in dog whistle retoric being fired up by the Republicans.  

        If we mount a primary challenge, it needs to be from a labor perpective.  The unions have already thrown down the gauntlett and said that Obama will not get their support unless he changes his ways.  Hispanics are not enthrauled with the support(lip service) he has paid to their agenda.  

        I don't think labor or the unions have anything to lose by mounting a primary challenge.  We aren't being heard by this president as it is.  Someone willing to go after the trade agreements and putting people back to work would be a message people could believe in.  

        •  Where did you hear Van Jones to primary Obama? (5+ / 0-)

          As for SHirley Sherrod, she is not a political activist, she is a citizen who was smeared by a rightwing zealot because of the color of her skin. And she never to my knowledge call for a primary challenge against Obama.

          And you need to get that Liberal Talk Show hosts or callers as you call it don't speak for all AA.

          Does Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and their callers speak for all the white voters? I guess not. Same goes for AA.

          Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

          by LaurenMonica on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 11:20:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did not say Van Jones or Shirley Sherrod (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep, praenomen, CherryTheTart

            were calling for a primary!  I said:

            Shirley Sherrod and Van Jones can attest to the loyalty they got from our fearless leader when Fox News shined a light on them.

            Once the media questioned them, they were gone.  Shirley Sherrod had to tender her resignation by phone because Vilsak wouldn't wait til she got home from a trip.  Then when they found out the truth of what was said, it was "we're sorry you can have your job back".  BS.  The lady has some class and she's gone after that nasty P**ck that set her up.

          •  true (0+ / 0-)
            And you need to get that Liberal Talk Show hosts or callers as you call it don't speak for all AA.

            then again, neither do AA blog commenters.

        •  Sure, you hear a few loudmouths (4+ / 0-)

          among black super-progressives, but I guarantee you that 90 percent of the black community would look at primarying Obama as a stab in the back and sit out. Most of them don't feel Obama "dropped them like a hot rock." Most understand better than some here do what he is up against.

          This is a totally bad idea in the REAL WORLD where we want to win a few things.

          Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

          by anastasia p on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 12:56:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You may be right, I don't have a way of (0+ / 0-)

            gauging the other 90%, I only know there are many AA's who feel they have been let down.

            By the way, have you seen where your girl Jennifer Brunner has endorsed Kasich's SB5 and praised him as some sort of visionary?


            Is this change we can believe in?

          •  Agreed with Most, Except the "Sit Out" Part (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens, etherealfire, tjcj

            The Black community would definitely not sit-out an attempt to primary Obama; instead, it would be viewed as another attempt by the White community to defeat him. And that is exactly what the Democratic party does NOT need.

            But if the attempt to primary Obama succeeded, then the Black community would in all likelihood sit-out the presidential election. And let's see progressives get a Democrat elected w/o the support of the Black community. Aint. Gonna. Happen. It would be worse than 1972, or 1984.

            Remember, 55% of White-Americans voted against Obama in 2008, and it wasn't just in teh South. And 60% of White-Americans voted for the TeaBigots in 2012. And the last time I looked, WI wasn't in teh South -  except in the Malcolm X sense of teh South being everything south of the Canadian border.

            I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party

            by OnlyWords on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 01:40:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Primarying Obama doesn't mean (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        running on birtherism or any other drooling rightwing personal-hate meme.

        Don't assume so just because the corporate media refuses to mention any opinions on Obama that aren't either personality cult or neoklan.

        "The creatures looked outside from pig to man... already it was impossible to say which was which." -- from Animal Farm by George Orwell

        by Brown Thrasher on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 12:18:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  they may be turned off (0+ / 0-)

        and they maybe turned off enough to damage a different dem candidate, but the ones who are that turned off, how politically engaged are they? i mean did many of them vote of engage in politics without Obama in it?

        I cant help but noticed that those blacks that hung around here before Obama became a candidate seem more aligned with other progressives, and are angry at Obamas.  Many of OFA supporters seem like political rookies, that were perhaps only interested in Obama because of ethnic solidarity.  I do not believe these people will be a force in politics 20 years from now, because I supspect they will drop off the seen when he retires.

        Also obama supporters maybe able to force him as nominee, they cant make anyone vote for him in the general election, so I suspect he will lose no matter what.  The most optimal option is to encourage him not to run again.

  •  All well and good, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anarchyintheusa, praenomen

    they need to get past the "explore the possibility" stage for anything meaningful to happen.

  •  PPP has Obama beating Dean and Sanders (6+ / 0-)

    in a Dem primary in VT. His approval rating is sky high there as well, 81/11 with Dems, 86/6 with those who call themselves "very liberal."

    If Sanders or Dean, probably the only two real "viable" choices for a primary challenge, cant gain traction even in their home state, I cant see them succeeding in a primary overall.

    •  That's not the point. If the Dems in WH/Congress (3+ / 0-)

      refuse to define who we are and what we want as a party then it's time we took that step for ourselves in a bigger way. The scare tactic of 'do you want the repubs to win' is DONE. They ARE winning, they HAVE been winning, FOR YEARS. We are constantly looking for long pass touchdowns, they are winning the way the game is really played: inch by inch. The scare tactic is just a slow death vs. a quick one. I mean does anyone actually think Obama is going to all of a sudden start fighting for us instead of compromising? Why should he? YOU ARE GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM ANYWAY. I wouldn't cater to the base either if I was him because most of us will show up to vote anyway, except we'll be really mad about it.

      Time to make a stand, and a primary threat is a start. There's no perfect time to do so, it will hurt no matter what, but at least it will be on our own terms. You want to die on your knees or on your feet?

      The choice seems to be between a party that will stab you in the back or one that will shoot you in the face. Nice choice. --'fat old man'

      by DoctorWho on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:50:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a idiots. (10+ / 0-)

    Welcome to 2000 all over again...

  •  Fools. All it does is weaken us. Besides, (7+ / 0-)

    who is waiting in the wings?  Anybody?  There ain't nobody else.

    Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

    by Fury on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:40:11 AM PDT

  •  More and more (6+ / 0-)

    I am thinking that this is the only way that we'll have a Democrat in the White House in 2013.  Again it would have to be a candidate with a populist message, promising change, but this time someone who truly has the best interests of the people at heart and one willing to fight for us.

    With no economic recovery in sight (in fact the opposite), with leaders in the Democratic party calling for cuts to social programs, more and more people falling into poverty, little help for the ones who have been there for too long, with the US pressuring to stay in Iraq, involvement in three wars -- this will be another "throw the bums out" election.  It will not be a good election for incumbents.  A new Democratic candidate is probably the best bet to keep the White House. The only other way to win is to win by default, with a crazy, over the top Republican opponent.

  •  I do not support the idea of a primary challenge. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    K S LaVida, liberte

    However, this diary had an interesting take on the idea.

    Seneca Doane just might be onto something, a process that could heal and unify the left, a non-challenge challenge that gives voice to liberal concerns.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:46:53 AM PDT

    •  Good idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hkpa, JTinDC

      We need to primary him, not to defeat him but to have a way for progressives to express their existence.  Obama's political handlers have been chasing the elusive drivers who are hitting the jersey barriers, stupidly assuming that there is a yearning for milquetoasty "moderation".  But the other side is going all-out for red meat, and getting out its vote.  So the symbolic primary is a useful tool.

  •  For the 100th time! (9+ / 0-)

    Johnson - 1968
    Carter - 1980
    Ford - 1976
    Bush - 1992
    Gore - 2000*

    These are all incumbents that had a primary challenge and went on to defeat. In the case of Gore, he had a serious challenge from the left. This is almost always a long term losing proposition for everyone involved, especially for the wing of the party that had the good intention of "making a statement" or wanted pull the party back to the left.

    Challenging Johnson gave us 6 1/2 years of Nixon. Challenging Carter gave us 12 years of Reagan & Bush I. Challenging Gore gave us 8 years of Bush II.

    Let's try learning from our history and avoiding these disasters again!

    •  People are more awake now politically than with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep

      Carter and Johnson.  What would happen if we primary Obama?  I don't know, but right now we have two Republicans in the race.  Obama and the other Republican.

      •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
        People are more awake now politically than with Carter and Johnson.

        Is that how the TeaBigots won the 2010 midterms because

        People are more awake now politically than with Carter and Johnson

        Me thinks somebody is need of a reality check.

        The Obama is a Republican meme really has no traction in the real world because more Americans think Obama is too liberal than think he is not liberal enough. Also.

        BTW - Most Democrats approve how Obama is doing his j-o-b. Including those Democrats who self-id as liberal. So just where are you gonna find this great white hope to challenge Obama? Right. I forgot. Nader.

        I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party

        by OnlyWords on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 12:35:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Peple need to stop making this cheap (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OnlyWords, etherealfire

        ignorant statement: "We have two Republicans." Apparently, you have no clue at all what the term "Republican" means TODAY — the only metric that matters. NO, we do NOT have "two Republicans." Some people around here need to stop broad-brushing because that nearly always leads to cynicsm and disaster.

        Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

        by anastasia p on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 01:09:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We HAD to primary Johnson (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We got Nixon because Humphrey insisted on picking up LBJ's mantle and supporting him to the bitter end, when he had very little support left.  Johnson had lost it big time.  It was Daley and the hippie-punching right wing of the party that gave it to Nixon.

      Obama needs to be re-elected, but he also needs to know that the public is not off to the right of Ronald Reagan, and being just a teeny to the left of GW Bush is not the way to win against somebody perceived to be a teeny to his right.

  •  it's time to concentrate on the House and Senate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, OnlyWords, Brown Thrasher

    personally I believe the President will lose in 2012. But he might win so there you go. We don't know.

    But, more importantly I think, we need to have both branches of Congress on our side. Honestly, every day I wonder, will this be the day the House passes "The Confederacy Won the Civil War Bill"?

    And with our Senators you never know if they might just go ahead and agree! But if we control both branches at least that type of bill will never come up.

    "Things are never so bad they can't get worse" - Dallasdoc

    by Shahryar on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 10:51:40 AM PDT

    •  Personally, I think it's reckless & defeatist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      etherealfire, christine20

      to make this statement without even knowing who the Republicans will run. Especially when you say "But he might win." It's this wavering spinelessness that we decry in our elected officials - and then WE do it.

      Jennifer Brunner for Governor of Ohio 2014

      by anastasia p on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 01:11:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck. Because they will be needed more than (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 11:16:01 AM PDT

  •  Yawn. (6+ / 0-)

    May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back.

    by GlowNZ on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 11:21:53 AM PDT

  •  Alan Grayson would be a good place to start. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brown Thrasher

    Unlike Senator Flag Pin this guy sounds like he means what he says.

  •  I'm glad the progressives did this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mint julep

    I was beginning to wonder if I am still a democrat

    The caucus, according to a spokesman, hopes that "Obama would rework his priorities to respond to the needs of working class Americans in order to get progressive support in 2012."

    Read more:

    This is more of a symbolic gesture, but as a working class Democrat someone better start standing up for me, or I will stay home.

    Not that it will matter, CA district 6 is dark blue. But you can forget about any of my time or money unless Democrats become the party of the working class again. And soon.

    by Hkpa on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 12:08:41 PM PDT

    •  That's it. Stay Home. (4+ / 0-)

      Worked so well in Wisconsin last year, didn't it. Oh yea. Worked really well for Alan Grayson too.

      The people in WI now know that there's a big diff between Dems and Repubs. But if you cant tell the diff, then perhaps it's best if you did, in fact, stay home.

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party

      by OnlyWords on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 12:47:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll be glad too (0+ / 0-)

        I am well aware of the difference between a Republican and  a Democrat.

        I have been represented in the house very well, CA6 has not been a disappointment, in fact, Woolsey has been stellar and I will miss her.

        But the fact remains, The Democrats need to convince me that they are the party of the working class. They used to be, but now I am not so sure.

        by Hkpa on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 01:04:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I attended the caucus... (3+ / 0-)

    and I generally agreed with what was being said.  But when a man stood up and recommended that the party find a candidate to primary President Obama, I got up and walked out. Instead of laying the blame for this crazy congress at the feet of our President, we should lay just a bit of that blame at our own feet. Who gave him this crazy congress...we did, in part.  So rather than casting blame, we should get off our sorry asses and elect a congress that will work for us instead of against us.  IMHO  

  •  I suspect that, if anything, a challenge will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    strengthen Obama's chances for re-election.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 12:40:17 PM PDT

  •  But.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the liberal base is ticked off at President Obama
    Well, yeah, but....  Obama is a moderate conservative.  He is governing somewhere to the right of Nixon.  The sticking point is that if he has a major primary challenge, both Democrats lose and we get a Republican president.  Which would be worse?--Obama for four more, or one of the Republican mental midgets we now see?  I'm going to hold my nose and support Obama.
  •  a bad idea, strategically, IMO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, liberte

    there's far more to be done with senate and house primaries or challenges to GOP incumbents, with the potential to control the legislation that gets sent to obama (or that opposes a republican president, should obama lose) than to blow the immense amount of money and organizing energy on a pyrrhic primary of obama.

    even if you're pissed at how he's done as prez, it's a poor use of resources. better to take back congress with a more left dem caucus and then force him to veto or sign decent legislation.

    •  Now we're talkin'! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      I live in OR-01 and David Wu just resigned, effective today. That means that there will be a primary on Nov 8, and a special election on January 31. Right now there are 3 Dems and one Rep declared. I'm seriously worried that no other Republicans will get into the race-like a nice teabagger!  I don't want Cornilles-who ran against Wu and lost 41.9-54.7 in 2010 to be able to run unopposed for the next 3 months!

      Though, this seat is D+8 and all 3 Dems are good, this seat is important to set the tone for 2012, after Wisconsin.

      I really don't appreciate your incivility and rudeness. Armando 7/23/11

      by liberte on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:12:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is one Californian willing to donate $500 (0+ / 0-)

    To any progressive candidate willing to primary President Obama. It will take about 2 million more liberals like me to match Obama's war chest. I don't think any Democratic candidate has a chance in hell of beating Obama, but as a liberal I am a sucker for lost causes. The best thing about Obama is that he will be better than any GOP candidate and can't run again in 2016.

    It is impossible to introduce into society a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder." Frederic Bastiat

    by california keefer on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 08:36:52 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site