Not "Obama's Challenger" but our challenges
Quoting from Bruce Dixon's response in mail to my "Jesse Jackson 2012" concept:
Nader and Gravel are too damn old, though I really love Ralph. I voted for him in 2000, 2004 I think, and 2008. Having been in a rollover accident in 2004 I credit the man with literally saving my life. If it had not been for the seat belt I would not be alive today.
... Jesse is old and tired, he made his choice to subordinate movement-building to joining the Democratic party establishment a long, long time ago.
For me, the talk about primarying Obama is empty noise. How many of the folks talking that crap can primary their state representative? This is the kind of dead-end "community" the internet fools people into imagining exists. The practice of electoral politics is both art and science, and the lazy thinking that says somebody will ride in running for president and that some presidential campaign will organize the people in your city or suburb or town is bullshit.
Running XY* for president is no substitute for talking to your neighbors and making local issues out of job creation and privatization and the carceral, warfare and national security states.
What political campaign season is, for organizers, is a time when people are expecting the conversation about all these issues to be brought to them, and when they really WANT opportunities to discuss the issues. Our media and political system does not, of course, afford them said opportunities.
Screw the presidential. I am looking for candidates for state rep and state senator and county commissioner and stuff here in Georgia. That's where you have to start. It's a step you cannot skip,
What I'd say is that Ian is right: It's necessary for the left -- "as we understand" the left, which includes people like Hayden, Hamsher, Sanders, etc. -- to take Obama down, and TO BE SEEN TO. It's existential; if the left can't or won't do that, then there is no left to be seen.
At the same time, I agree with Bruce (and with DCBlogger, who's been saying the same thing) that "primarying your state rep" is a heck of a lot harder and a lot more important.
Here at Corrente, we've already been able to give a platform to at least one candidate and several activists. I hope we can keep sharing "experience, strength, and hope", but what I hope even more (and don't know how to do) is that we end up with 2, 20, 2000 Correntes all doing their bit in parallel; a structure a lot more resilient and much less susceptible to capture than the "one big site" model that brought us The Obama 527 Formerly Known As Daily Kos.
NOTE * Or even XX.