Is it time to run a progressive candidate against Obama? I think it’s way past time. Without a challenger from the left, the president will continue hobnobbing with and pleasing his corporate donors, and trying to find common ground with antagonistic and nutjob Republicans in Congress.
If Obama suddenly noticed Democrats jumping ship and sending support and money to a progressive candidate, the president’s comfort zone would lift, forcing him to pay attention to the people whose numbers and enthusiasm propelled him to his 2008 victory.
Who could seriously challenge the president from the left? Ralph Nader and Dennis Kucinich are right there on the issues, but have been there, done that. It’s time for new and exciting blood. I’d love to see Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Russ Feingold, or even Van Jones take on the president and make him rethink his options.
Without serious competition from the left, you can be sure the progressive agenda will be swept under the rug by the corporate media. So a progressive run against Obama would serve two very useful purposes: (1) force the president to pay attention to his liberal base, and (2) expose the rest of the country to policies other than right-wing and center-right.
Imagine a presidential candidate advocating pulling our troops out of the Middle East, major cuts to the military budget, Medicare for all Americans, and substantial tax hikes on the wealthy. I can assure you it won’t happen if our choices are Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney or the designated Republican teabagger.
Russ, Alan, Bernie, Van, are you listening? The sooner we start, the sooner President Obama and the American people will hear our message.
P.S. I just thought of one more name to add to the alternate candidate mix: Howard Dean. Although he had a presidential run as a Democrat in 2004, I’d love to see him run as an independent.