Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Stupid Waste Of Time And Money

Image credit: Wikipedia/Jeanot

Eli reminded me of this little gem today:
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.

Liberals seeking primary challengers to Obama
I added that emphasis, because that's why this is such an utterly daft waste of effort. What is it about progressives that makes them want to lose?

Did Ned Lamont's challenge to Joe Lieberman change Lieberman? Not one bit. He's still the same neoconservative toady he always was.

Did Bill Halter's challenge of Blanche Lincoln change the way the Democrats do things? Not one bit. After winning the primary, Lincoln went on to lose the general election, mostly because she was a corrupt and utterly useless Senator.

Primary challenges don't change the candidates who are challenged. If anything, they'll become more beholden to the wrong people, who will be the people who can bankroll their campaigns. The basic fallacy of this sort of effort is that the people you're challenging are philosophically opposed to what you want, or they're corrupt. Neither trait is going to change if they almost lose an election. They didn't get into politics to serve you.

If you want to send a message to the President, use this form. He won't find it any easier to ignore than a deliberately useless primary challenge.

Only defeating these people will change things. Any primary effort that isn't aimed at defeating them is a complete waste of time and energy. It will produce nothing, because nothing is all it's designed to produce. If you want to defeat Obama in favor of someone who is a liberal, sign me up. But don't ask people to waste their time and money in an obviously pointless endeavor.

No comments: