Election 2012: Will Sanders Challenge Obama?

Senator Bernie Sanders is suddenly emerging as the new “lion” of the Senate for the left, carrying the mantel for late Senator Ted Kennedy. The Senator from Vermont held the Senate floor for nine hours today to filibuster an attempt to renew the Bush tax cuts for the rich which President Obama, contrary from his previous stands is championing under pressure from the newly elected Republican majority in the House of Representatives.

America’s left has expressed vigorous opposition to what they view as President Obama caving in to  GOP pressures on the tax cuts. Strong oppositions were expressed in the House this week, and now, the only socialist in the Senate, Bernie Sanders, is taking the lead in opposing what President Obama called a pragmatic compromise. The left doesn’t buy the argument for the compromise, and most progressives and liberals view the deal made by President Obama as a betrayal of a key policy element  for real Democrats.

While Senator Sanders was holding the Senate floor in the hope to filibuster the bill, President Obama was hosting former President Clinton at the White House in an effort to show the media, and of course the country, that Clinton was fully supportive of President Obama’s controversial initiative. This, however, will have absolutely no impact to impress the left, but it is likely to have  the opposite effect. President Clinton is view by the left as a center-right corporate Democrat, which is exactly what President Obama has become despite his electoral promises.

Senator Edward Kennedy once said that “The Republicans are looking after the financial interests of the wealthiest individual in this country”. Republicans still defend the interests of rich Americans, and they are getting a substantial help from corporate Democrats such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Ted Kennedy also said, after Reagan’s landslide victory in 1980:“If the Democrats run for cover, if we become pale carbon copies of the opposition, we will lose and deserve to lose.The last thing this country needs is two Republican parties.”

The words expressed by Kennedy in 1980 apply well in our current context. Renewing Bush tax cuts for the rich does not make sense for President Obama  either pragmatically,  to control the looming budget deficit, or even strategically, if President Obama plans to be re-elected in 2012.

Tax cuts for the wealthy will make the budget deficit crisis more acute, and it will not stimulate the economy as it is currently sold to the American public  by the Obama administration. If nothing else, and just to be pragmatic, the only fiscally responsible way to deal with the budget deficit is a dual approach: Cut spending and increase taxes or face a situation of complete federal  insolvency in less than 20 years.

Strategically, for his re-election bid of 2012, President Obama has de facto lost whatever little support he had remaining on the left. Senator Sanders, despite his age, might just be the right candidate to challenge President Obama in a Democratic primary in 2012. It could  be in the context of a third party where Sanders could find some natural allies from real Libertarians such as Representative Ron Paul. Considering the “fluidity” and unpredictability of American politics at the moment a Bernie Sanders/ Ron Paul ticket in 2012 should not be ruled out.


11 Responses to Election 2012: Will Sanders Challenge Obama?

  1. Nancy December 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Ron Paul and Bernie? I think Ron Paul is against keeping those tax cuts from expiring.

  2. Ehsha December 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Something to consider when choosing a democratic nominee is that the President is the head of the executive branch and doesn’t directly influence congress, only pushes for his views. Democrats would still need a strong voice/leader in congress if they want to accomplish anything (which is questionable at this point). I’m sure Obama wouldn’t mind handing off some of that responsibility if his gray hair is any indication. Ron Paul for president makes more sense because his strongest opinions focus on things the president can actually change. There’s so much built up around the presidency these days, it’s insane.

  3. Sam December 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I admire what Bernie Sanders did today. It was historic. But the man has no desire at 69 to run for POTUS. And there is zero evidence of any hint of a Sanders/Paul ticket.

  4. Seriously? December 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Oh come on. Bernie has zero interest in running for president. He likes to make noise and rattle cages, as he has for the past 30 years he’s been involved in Vermont politics, but running for president is so far from his schtick.

    He’s quite comfortable where he is, and frankly, the dems need to him to stay in the Senate. He’s one of the few people in their caucus who will talk the talk and then actually walk the walk.

  5. Liam Fox December 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Bernie, as an independent, would simply get the ‘Nader’ treatment. Denied access to debates and barely covered by the corporate media in any other way than quick, disparaging comments. I think the consideration is an enjoyable one, from a ‘shake up the status quo” perspective, but unfortunately unrealistic. The corporate/political establishment simply wouldn’t allow it any viability. Besides, he’s identified himself as a Socialist, lol, that’s enough to give most Americans a coronary. And, if they were forced to pick between a socialist and a black man, many may go into seizures. The drain on the medical system alone could be catastrophic. The White House would be surrounded by an army of old white people in Huvarounds. The Capital would come to a halt and no work(not that any really gets done now) would get done except for a couple hours a day when they all run off to catch the Glenn Beck show. It would be chaos, I tell ya, Chaos! lol

    • Petra GHF December 11, 2010 at 7:55 am

      Your scenario of apoplectic Huvarounders is enticing……on the off-chance it could happen, I say, go for it, Bernie!

  6. Stanley December 11, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Dear USA people! I am Korean!

    1) Is the United States of America the Republian Party & Democratic Party?
    2) To dock why in like deformed person two political parties’ President
    make ?
    3) Knew truth that American President should be good if make good
    Korean President now.
    4) Because we do not die because of Presidents of South Korea and North
    Korea, we live.
    5) To front, do well American presidential election if want to live as is

  7. Stanley December 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Dear USA people! I am Korean!

    Do not trust Republian Party and Democratic Party
    Look for new party
    Beware the Wall Street cheating militaries
    American financiers know truth such as vampires
    Do not believe Christian religion

    If you do not anything then,

    The United States of America roted.

    Make a revolution if this and that is hard

  8. Rosanne December 11, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Bernie’s 9 hour speech had me cheering, just as when Grayson said the GOP plan was simply this: “Don’t get sick and if you do, die quickly.” Both speak the truth even when it’s unpopular and back it with with a VOTE.

    It has become apparent that the upper 2% are holding the majority of 98% in a headlock; if they don’t get what they want, they are prepared to make everyone else suffer. They have turned down healthcare for the 9/11 responders (shameful lack of patriotism there); they’ve turned down a measly $250 for the elderly to cover medicare costs; they dislike Pell grants and public education…they don’t want green energy jobs like Europe and Asia; the extent of their distaste for all things civic is so wide, it creates another country where they don’t have to report their taxes to the IRS (the “Nevada account”) and it rains money into their accounts day and night w/stocks set to make money in all seasons.

  9. deb December 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    FYI the colors on your text make it almost impossible to read.

    • Gilbert Mercier
      Gilbert Mercier December 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks, we had a technical problem on the site. It is fixed now.

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