An Anti-War Challenge to Obama in 2012: The Case for Alan Grayson

Alan GraysonI will admit to total ignorance of Alan Grayson’s merits, but I’d love to hear input from Disinformation’s readers about any viable alternative candidate for the 2012 nomination.  As a starting point, this bit from Mark Pinsky at Politics Daily:

Current Beltway consensus holds that the 2012 race, like 2010, will be a referendum on the economy. But what if, instead, the war in Afghanistan, which Barack Obama has embraced, deteriorates dramatically, requiring a delay in the scheduled troop withdrawal or, worse, forces another escalation? Might Democratic anti-war sentiment — until now a sleeper issue — turn rebellious?

Already, national polls show a plurality (Pew) or a majority (Quinnipiac) opposed to remaining in Afghanistan, with the margins of opposition rising. A Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted Dec. 9-12 found that 60 percent of Americans believe that, “considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States,” the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting.

The practical goal of a liberal Democratic primary challenge would be less to wrest the nomination from Obama than as a vehicle for policy transformation. That is, to rally the liberal base in forcing the president to speed departure of U.S. military forces and, in the process, pressure him back to the left on economic issues.

With early caucuses in Iowa and the New Hampshire primary, the primary schedule would favor such an effort, even one that is largely symbolic. Both are states where anti-war sentiment tends to run high, and where there are relatively few African-American Democrats, who make up the core of Obama’s support.

A number of well-known Democratic names have been suggested, but all so far have demurred. So who would be crazy enough — or just foolhardy enough — to make a kamikaze run against Obama?

More at Politics Daily

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  • Hadrian999

    it takes a leap of faith that his anti war talk will be more genuine than obama’s anti war talk.
    with his record for supporting Israel i doubt he would be serious about cutting back on the “war on terror”
    or working towards real peace in the region

  • Hadrian999

    it takes a leap of faith that his anti war talk will be more genuine than obama’s anti war talk.
    with his record for supporting Israel i doubt he would be serious about cutting back on the “war on terror”
    or working towards real peace in the region

    • Liam_McGonagle

      Yeah, that’s a tough one. A lot of my favorites are Jewish, and have to deal with this issue in a way that I personally don’t. Kind of a good tie-in to the Danny Schechter article on Helen Thomas.

      Here’s my list of “untouchable issues” for any potential candidate:

      1. Israel
      2. Tax equity
      3. Real Financial Reform
      4. Universal Health Care

      I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few, so your alls’ input would be greatly appreciated.

      Anyhow, the quick response would seem to be “Congratulations–you’ve just made the whole discussion moot, Liam. No #@%# wonder nothing worthwhile ever gets done.”

      But then again, maybe the more rewarding response would be to brainstorm ways to take the poison out of these topics, and make them discuss-able.

      • Hadrian999

        say one word about limiting the perpetual growth of military and intelligence funding and you are automatically a far left radical

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

          Or, ahem, far right :)

      • 5by5

        I would simply add “American Poverty” to that list of forbidden topics..

        You’ll see the media speak volumes about poverty in other countries (when they bother to consider reporting on foreign countries AT ALL) – especially countries in Africa, because it reinforces the “black=poor” and therefore somehow inferior meme, while completely ignoring the First World’s role in keeping them in that position with things like IMF loans.

        And you’ll hear some politicians pay lipservice to “the Middle Class”, but basically no one speaks about the American poor, save for John Edwards (and say what you will about him, but frankly, our best Presidents have been adulterous pricks in their private lives, which is perhaps one reason why they’ve tried to make up for it in their public lives). The last people of any sort of political power who spoke about helping the poor of all races both in the inner cities and in rural areas like Appalachia were Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy — whom you’ll note are both now very dead.

        Class warfare began a long time ago with the shooting of anyone in the political spotlight who dared honestly confront it.

        Now, it’s much easier to just assassinate their character than to kill them outright. Which is why a guy like Grayson gets lumped in with true wackjobs like Carl Paladino or Michelle Bachmann, even though what he says is perfectly reasonable, and supported by objectively verifiable facts.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Yeah, that’s a tough one. A lot of my favorites are Jewish, and have to deal with this issue in a way that I personally don’t. Kind of a good tie-in to the Danny Schechter article on Helen Thomas.

    Here’s my list of “untouchable issues” for any potential candidate:

    1. Israel
    2. Tax equity
    3. Real Financial Reform
    4. Universal Health Care

    I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few, so your alls’ input would be greatly appreciated.

    Anyhow, the quick response would seem to be “Congratulations–you’ve just made the whole discussion moot, Liam. No #@%# wonder nothing worthwhile ever gets done.”

    But then again, maybe the more rewarding response would be to brainstorm ways to take the poison out of these topics, and make them discuss-able.

  • Honu

    I like Grayson. He has proven to walk his talk for the most part, at least what I’ve seen. He gets alot of flack because he’s “radical” left but to me he just speaks the common sense that every other left leaning politician is too afraid to say. Because he speaks strongly, when he gets something wrong or says something that’s proven to be an exaggeration, he gets equally strong reactions where other politicians who conflate a position get little reaction or flat out passes. Overall I completely believe in his passion and where he stands on most issues. I’d vote for him. Plus he’s entertaining as hell.

  • Honu

    I like Grayson. He has proven to walk his talk for the most part, at least what I’ve seen. He gets alot of flack because he’s “radical” left but to me he just speaks the common sense that every other left leaning politician is too afraid to say. Because he speaks strongly, when he gets something wrong or says something that’s proven to be an exaggeration, he gets equally strong reactions where other politicians who conflate a position get little reaction or flat out passes. Overall I completely believe in his passion and where he stands on most issues. I’d vote for him. Plus he’s entertaining as hell.

    • Liam_McGonagle

      I 100% agree that anyone worth supporting is going to be seen as “far Left” of the current gang of do-nothing benchwarmers.

      Any thoughts though about the list of “untouchable” issues that get a person labelled “far Left”? I set it up a bit as a response to Hadrian’s insight.

      • 5by5

        Well let’s see… since Obama is much like Clinton in that he’s merely a moderate Republican, and since moderate Republicanism is now described as “socialism” by the corporate media, to be considered “far left”, you merely have to be in the real center. Liberalism has always been the center of the American political spectrum. It only seems that it’s “far left” now, because the political elites have moved somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.

        • Honu

          I agree with you 5by5. Bill Maher was the first person I heard publicly say this. What the media and the right think is radical left now is really what Reagan policies were and which is pretty much how Obama is running things. Pathetic. It makes me sad that my political views would be considered insane radical far left and extremist when all my views have sound, grounded thought behind them and what passes for conventional wisdom these days and certainly more right wing mainstream republican positions clearly have no sensible reasoning behind them.

          And to Liam: Well, I agree that speaking out against Israel is not going to be a popular thing to do but I’m not sure it’s a lefty thing. I think it’s kind of across the board understood that America can’t criticize Israel. For the right it’s because the religious nut cases want Israel to exist so the second coming of their nonexistent saviour will occur and for the left, well we just have a tendency to speak out against corruption and inequality wherever we see it.

          Tax equity may be an untouchable issue for reasons I’m not clear about. I remember Steve Forbes running for President on a flat tax platform though and he’s pretty republican. Even though I’m a left wing type, I believe income tax is unconstitutional.

          Financial Reform is probably alot more of a left wing thing but that’s probably a perception only in the political arena. I think the majority of all Americans are for hard financial reforms at this point. It’s one of the reasons I know for sure that Obama is a tool of the powers that be that there’s been no legislation pushed by his admin. to clamp down on the machinations of the financial industry much less criminal investigations.

          Universal Health Care is definitely perceived as a lefty thing only because the media and the far right have painted it as socialist. Of course the same people who criticize it would benefit from it and really, it’s not the government taking over healthcare. The insurance companies are actually still running the show. They just have to insure everyone now without bias. Is this really the definition of a government takeover? And if the right is so freaked out about government takeover, where’s the outrage over paved roads, fire departments, police departments, libraries, national parks, the military and garbage pickup? All tax payer funded and very socialist according to their definition.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I 100% agree that anyone worth supporting is going to be seen as “far Left” of the current gang of do-nothing benchwarmers.

    Any thoughts though about the list of “untouchable” issues that get a person labelled “far Left”? I set it up a bit as a response to Hadrian’s insight.

  • Hadrian999

    say one word about limiting the perpetual growth of military and intelligence funding and you are automatically a far left radical

  • 5by5

    Well let’s see… since Obama is much like Clinton in that he’s merely a moderate Republican, and since moderate Republicanism is now described as “socialism” by the corporate media, to be considered “far left”, you merely have to be in the real center. Liberalism has always been the center of the American political spectrum. It only seems that it’s “far left” now, because the political elites have moved somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.

  • 5by5

    I would simply add “American Poverty” to that list of forbidden topics..

    You’ll see the media speak volumes about poverty in other countries (when they bother to consider reporting on foreign countries AT ALL) – especially countries in Africa, because it reinforces the “black=poor” and therefore somehow inferior meme, while completely ignoring the First World’s role in keeping them in that position with things like IMF loans.

    And you’ll hear some politicians pay lipservice to “the Middle Class”, but basically no one speaks about the American poor, save for John Edwards (and say what you will about him, but frankly, our best Presidents have been adulterous pricks in their private lives, which is perhaps one reason why they’ve tried to make up for it in their public lives). The last people of any sort of political power who spoke about helping the poor of all races both in the inner cities and in rural areas like Appalachia were Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy — whom you’ll note are both now very dead.

    Class warfare began a long time ago with the shooting of anyone in the political spotlight who dared honestly confront it.

    Now, it’s much easier to just assassinate their character than to kill them outright. Which is why a guy like Grayson gets lumped in with true wackjobs like Carl Paladino or Michelle Bachmann, even though what he says is perfectly reasonable, and supported by objectively verifiable facts.

  • Rooti

    I will not vote for Obama again but would consider voting for Grayson or Ron Paul. The wars are the issue, the main issue, and any serious anti war candidate will receive traction from both sides. The media will continue to distract the public with other issues, specifically the economy, but the war spending relates directly to the economy and any good anti war candidate can make this point clearly. Judging from Grayson’s work in
    Congress he may even pursue some real justice against the banksters and perhaps the liars that got us into the wars. Obama has been and continues to be a total waste of time, time we seem to be running out of rapidly.

  • Rooti

    I will not vote for Obama again but would consider voting for Grayson or Ron Paul. The wars are the issue, the main issue, and any serious anti war candidate will receive traction from both sides. The media will continue to distract the public with other issues, specifically the economy, but the war spending relates directly to the economy and any good anti war candidate can make this point clearly. Judging from Grayson’s work in
    Congress he may even pursue some real justice against the banksters and perhaps the liars that got us into the wars. Obama has been and continues to be a total waste of time, time we seem to be running out of rapidly.

  • Honu

    I agree with you 5by5. Bill Maher was the first person I heard publicly say this. What the media and the right think is radical left now is really what Reagan policies were and which is pretty much how Obama is running things. Pathetic. It makes me sad that my political views would be considered insane radical far left and extremist when all my views have sound, grounded thought behind them and what passes for conventional wisdom these days and certainly more right wing mainstream republican positions clearly have no sensible reasoning behind them.

    And to Liam: Well, I agree that speaking out against Israel is not going to be a popular thing to do but I’m not sure it’s a lefty thing. I think it’s kind of across the board understood that America can’t criticize Israel. For the right it’s because the religious nut cases want Israel to exist so the second coming of their nonexistent saviour will occur and for the left, well we just have a tendency to speak out against corruption and inequality wherever we see it.

    Tax equity may be an untouchable issue for reasons I’m not clear about. I remember Steve Forbes running for President on a flat tax platform though and he’s pretty republican. Even though I’m a left wing type, I believe income tax is unconstitutional.

    Financial Reform is probably alot more of a left wing thing but that’s probably a perception only in the political arena. I think the majority of all Americans are for hard financial reforms at this point. It’s one of the reasons I know for sure that Obama is a tool of the powers that be that there’s been no legislation pushed by his admin. to clamp down on the machinations of the financial industry much less criminal investigations.

    Universal Health Care is definitely perceived as a lefty thing only because the media and the far right have painted it as socialist. Of course the same people who criticize it would benefit from it and really, it’s not the government taking over healthcare. The insurance companies are actually still running the show. They just have to insure everyone now without bias. Is this really the definition of a government takeover? And if the right is so freaked out about government takeover, where’s the outrage over paved roads, fire departments, police departments, libraries, national parks, the military and garbage pickup? All tax payer funded and very socialist according to their definition.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7IQWEDG6PFI5Y64PGEBKYDSIDY Mark

    Or, ahem, far right :)

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