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Empty Threats from the Left

Don't expect them to abandon Barack Obama.

1:31 PM, Dec 8, 2010 • By JAY COST
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Liberals are understandably grinding their teeth right now over Obama's tax cut deal. They are angry that he is not as liberal as they thought he was, or at least that he is not as willing to fight for his liberal beliefs as they would like. But when push comes to shove, they will be there full tilt for the president because they will detest whomever the Republicans nominate. One cannot win the presidential nomination in the conservative-dominated Republican Party without thoroughly antagonizing American liberals. Look, for instance, at how the liberals came to hate John McCain, who was much more conciliatory than whomever the Grand Old Party will nominate in 2012. All of the well-known Republican candidates (Huckabee, Romney, Palin) already bother the liberals, and if a currently lesser-known candidate wins the nomination, the left will come to despise him or her with all the intensity they can muster. 

And if hatred of the GOP will not be enough, watch Team Obama exploit the memory of the 2000 presidential election.  Al Gore would have won that election were it not for the candidacy of Ralph Nader, who ran as well as he did because of a belief among some liberals that there was no real difference between Democrats and Republicans. The Clinton administration looked too similar to the Bush 41 administration for those liberals, and many of them could not understand why they should support the heir to Clinton over the heir to Bush. Nader's 2.7 percent of the vote made the difference in Florida and New Hampshire, and swung the presidency to George W. Bush. It was just 10 years ago that the left learned that there was a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, and there is no way the Obama campaign will let them forget it. 

The left is going to do here exactly what it did with the public option during the health care debate. It is going to gripe about how Obama has been a massive disappointment, then dutifully fall into line behind him. By Election Day 2012 all of the liberals talking up a primary challenge today will see the choice on the ballot as though it is the Battle of Armmageddon, with President Obama valiantly defending the forces of good.  If he wins, they'll weep with joy.

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