Obama is toast. We need a progressive presidential candidate
As has been pointed out on the frontpage of this website: California banned offshore drilling after a Unocal oil rig began leaking off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. The US Senate banned offshore oil drilling off most federally controlled waters in 1980. Bush I grudgingly banned offshore oil drilling off Alaska, the west coast and the North Atlantic. Then, just before leaving office, the Chimperator lifted the presidential ban and urged Congress to write new legislation. Congress did nothing.
It was President Obama who undid decades of preservationist policy by lifting the presidential ban that protected 85% of the nations coastline. 22 days later, we had the greatest manmade ecological disaster in history. Obama's timing couldn't have been worse.
Worse still, the president is seen as being slow to react. Listening to BP instead of taking charge of the situation and being more forceful. He's described as lackadaisical and naive.
This president WILL NOT win re-election.
Consider the following facts that are bound to become widely public if Obama wins the Democratic Primary:
Obama/Salazar intervened last year to allow BP to drill at Mississippi Canyon Block 252, where tens of millions of gallons of oil are now polluting the Gulf of Mexico.
The actual exploratory drilling was approved by the Obama administration on April 6, 2009.
Within days of the 2009 approval, the Center for Biological Diversity and its allies won a court order vacating the Bush Five-Year Offshore Drilling Plan. Rather than use the court order as a timeout on new offshore oil drilling to develop a new plan, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar filed a special motion with the court to exempt approved oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. He specifically identified BP's operation as one that should be released from the vacature.
So the system actually worked, and offshore drilling had been shut down around Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, but then...
Obama/Salazar intervened in court to start drilling again, in April 2009, without further evironmental review, exactly where Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank.
And in that comment section it is pointed out that:
During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant and is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records.
These facts are going to hang around Obama's neck like a noose. The general publics backlash is guaranteed to be aimed directly at him. We're facing the reality of a Republican back in the White House if we don't defeat Obama in the primaries.
Notice I'm not even assessing the fallout because Obama officially did not support the public option. Or backlash from the Wall St. bailout. I'm saying that, given a very upset base, a very upset populace in general and a faux pas of epic proportions regarding offshore drilling, this president is toast. Could you imagine ANY president able to bounce back after something like this?
The question facing democrats - and by extension progressive democrats - is who do we want to run against whatever Republican oilman is up for election in 2012? If that person is Obama, we are going to be stuck with a Republican in the White House.
I asked who should primary Obama last week and these are the best candidates that people suggested:
The progressive community needs to start hashing out just who they are going to get behind. As some mentioned last week, we could - and probably should - begin a "Draft Candidate X" campaign. Even before we know which one is going to agree to run.
So I've started this diary to get some momentum going. Get people discussing possible candidates and possible ways to start raising money for a progressive presidential candidates campaign.