Ron Paul is waiting in the wings — TRUST.
Back in January, a little story caught my eye that hasn’t really gotten a lot of attention: the creation of a progressive-libertarian alliance between Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. At the time, I thought (and argued) that our progressive betters would attempt to bleed liberal support from President Obama in favor of Ron Paul and Ralph Nader.
To disaffected liberals or “emoprogs” (and there are not as many of them as the Professional Left and media would have you believe), Nader is all that’s green and holy and progressive. And while Ron Paul is all that’s libertarian and batshit crazy — and holds positions that are anathema to most progressive ideals, to boot — he is staunchly anti-war, and pro-weed legalization. This, of course, appeals to so-called progressives.
When I posted about this unholy progressolibertarian alliance back in January, it seemed to me that there was a problem with this new exercise in “transpartisanship” (to borrow a recently-coined term from Jane Hamsher); a lingering and pesky problem for our Progressive Betters. That problem, of course, is The Blacks™.
You see, The Blacks™ just love them some POTUS, and how in the hell could any nascent transpartisan progressive-libertarian alliance succeed if upwards of 80 percent of “Afro-Americans” support President Obama?
There has, of course, been noise of Cornel West becoming the Great Brown Hope for the white progressives. A black” in”, if you will; a way to reach black folks and potentially transfer some black support away from President Obama and to this new Alliance.1 But there was no serious talk of Cornel West joining any such doomed-to-fail effort; and so I waited for the other shoe — the third shoe — to drop.
Well, today, the third shoe dropped with a resounding “Pffft!“:
Liberal activists and academics displeased with the Obama administration’s handling of several issues popular with progressives say they are seeking candidates willing to mount a primary challenge against President Obama next year.
The group, led by consumer advocate Ralph Nader and scholar Cornel West, said it faults Obama for the escalation of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, for extending tax cuts first enacted by George W. Bush and for his actions during the recent debt ceiling negotiations.
The group said Saturday it is seeking six “recognizable, articulate” candidates who would not mount serious challenges to Obama, but “rigorously debate his policy stands” on issues related to labor, poverty, foreign policy, civil rights and consumer protections.
The group’s efforts come as Democrats are growing increasingly pessimistic about the country’s direction. Fewer than three-quarters of Democrats approve of Obama’s job performance, and less than a third believe the nation is headed in the right direction, according to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
But Obama is building a formidable reelection campaign that is easily exceeding quarterly fundraising goals and is on course to raise more than $1 billion. Campaign aides last week defended the president’s slipping approval numbers by noting that more than a year before the election, he is attracting thousands of volunteers and small-dollar donors.
Nader said Saturday it is “very unlikely” he would challenge Obama, and that he is gauging the interest of former lawmakers and governors, academics, authors and labor leaders.
Sure, Ralph. I’m sure you’re out there pounding the pavement looking for a potential candidate. I’m sure you have no plans to swoop in and “take one for the team” by offering yourself up as a candidate to primary President Obama, on the off-chance that you find no one else up to snuff.
Tell me true, Ralph. What does Mr. West think of the following statements which you made about President Obama?
“There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American. Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.”
“I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law. Haven’t heard a thing.”
“He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician. He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.”
My guess is Mr. West doesn’t mind, given his statements regarding President Obama:
“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He is just as human as I am, but that is his cultural formation. When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening. And that’s true for a white brother. When you get a white brother who meets a free, independent black man, they got to be mature to really embrace fully what the brother is saying to them. It’s a tension, given the history. It can be overcome. Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”
“Brother Barack Obama had no sense of gratitude, no sense of loyalty, no sense of even courtesy, [no] sense of decency, just to say thank you. Is this the kind of manipulative, Machiavellian orientation we ought to get used to? That was on a personal level.”
So what’s next for this “alliance”? Ron Paul.
Just you wait.
1 Ten bucks says the “group” is actually the New Progressive Alliance. Just a hunch.
UPDATE: Seriously, this fucking guy? This guy who wondered on the night of President Obama’s election whether Obama would be an “Uncle Sam for the people or an Uncle Tom for the corporations”? The guy who applied the phrase Uncle Tom to President Obama and then defended those statements on Fox News? This guy who got called out by Fox News for racist language?
God speed, asshats.
[cross-posted at Balloon Juice]