Will the left wing destroy Obama?

I’ve been following the trajectory of some of the more hard left lefties on this board and out in the broader world concerning Obama with a mixture of fascination and incredulity. I remember when the left turned on Clinton (welfare reform) and even on Carter (budget cuts) and was wondering how it would play out for Obama between those two extremes. In the case of Carter, the left turning on him was a fairly small thing, but since he wasn’t able to move towards the center and capture those centrist votes it was significant, and he was a one term wonder. With Clinton I think that the left turning on him just galvanized his move to the center, which he made his own, becoming one of the more popular presidents in recent history.

So…what trajectory will Obama follow? (obviously all this assume one agrees with the basic premise…that the hard left is or will turn on Obama. I think that it’s already happening and is fairly apparent, but if you disagree then I’m good with you discussing that in this thread as well). Will he become a one term wonder, and so we’ll get a Republican president as a replacement? Or will he move towards the center, make it his own a la Clinton and win his second term?

Here is a CNN article I was looking at that got me thinking about this. A couple of things from the article:

So…thoughts? Will the hard left end up destroying Obama, or will he turn his back completely on them and move towards the center? Or is there another possibility?


Define “left wing”, and give us some examples of powerful left wingers. Do you think President Obama is currently a left winger?

I doubt it - it was all the Republicans’ fault when the Dems controlled all three federal branches; it will be their fault when they control two.

Plus the hard left just isn’t that influential. Who are they going to vote for in 2012 - Nader?


He wasn’t really elected as a “far left” candidate. I certainly didn’t support him thinking he was a radical leftist. If anything he was a bit to the right of Hillary on some issues.

I guess my question would be, what would it look like if the left wing destroyed him? They don’t come out to vote for him in 2012? That seems highly unlikely to me, particularly considering the potential GOP nominees so far, and the extremely slim chance of there being a more liberal option.

Well, on the board, there are “hard left lefties” such as John Mace.

OK. So how would John Mace destroy Obama? And why would he want to do so?

The left will bitch, but in the end, what can they do?

No, the left wing will not destroy Obama, no more than the LW could destroy Clinton – or really wanted to.

Stick to their principles and vote third-party, like they did in 2000, which is why they won’t do it in 2012.

I think it’s more likely that when push comes to shove, they’ll still find Obama beats the alternative. He shouldn’t take those votes for granted but it’s not as if he’s done nothing to satisfy the left - he’s repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, stopped supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, and got the health care bill passed, for example.

It depends on who the Republicans nominate. Someone inoffensive and mild, the hard left may just stay home in droves. Palin? They’ll exhume and reanimate corpses and drive them to the polls.

I don’t think there are any Republicans the hard left thinks are mild or inoffensive.


“Hard left”. Who are they, exactly?

The best the left can hope for is a credible primary challenger to push Obama their way a bit. I doubt that will actually happen. What will happen is that the voters will be faced with whatever ridiculous nonsense the Republican candidates have to promise to get the nomination, compared with the conspicuous sanity of Obama, and will unenthusiastically stand by their man.

I expect the GOP nomination circus to be highly entertaining.

Well, the left wing is obviously folks from the political left in US politics. I’m really talking about the ‘hard left’…the real ideologues, the fervent believers, equivalent to the hard right wingers in US politics. I don’t know how powerful he is, but the example in the OP is Dennis Kucinich…I’d say he fits the bill for a hard left winger. On this board there are plenty of examples of folks attacking Obama for not being left wing enough, or for selling out or whatever…most of those folks probably fit the bill for ‘hard left’.

Not at all…I think he’s a left leaning centrist (‘left leaning’ as defined by my concept of where the US political center is…to me he’s just a centrist, with some of his positions being left of mine, while others are perhaps to the right).


Lenin, Lennon, Kanye West, Barbara Boxer, Big Bird. You know, the usual suspects.

One can always hope multiple-choice Mitt will change all of his fervently-held beliefs to something more convenient. Again.

For the purposes of this discussion, much of the SDMB. For these boards, there are no moderate Republicans.


That’s not true at all, Shodan.

Scott Brown is a moderate Republican. Mitt Romney used to be one. Dick Lugar would probably count as one. Murkowski as well, possibly. I think most of the liberals on this board would agree on those (emphasis on most).

The problem isn’t that there are no moderate Republicans, it’s that they are pariahs in their own party, and none of them have a chance in hell of being nominated for President.

If Mr. Obama moves further to the centre he will disappear into the void.

The Leon Trotsky of our times.