How and why do I say this? Simple: who else are they going to support? Hilary? Hilary is part and parcel of the former junior senator’s administration; she can’t denounce him without opening herself up to questions about what she was doing in his administration. And where would this putative challenger gain his (or her) support? What parts of the Democratic base would be willing to challenge a sitting president of their own party? The labor unions? True, there has been little progress on card check, but the intervention that kept General Motors and Chrysler alive and out of bankruptcy also saved the UAW’s overpriced contracts with those companies and prevented the dominoes of disaster from racing through the industries that supply the big auto companies, something that I am sure the former junior senator’s minions will point out forcefully to any labor leader who wants to support a primary challenger. The expansion of the federal government continues apace, so the government unions will probably not vote against someone with a proven track record of bloating the government, and I think this may include the teachers’ unions as well, although they could go either way, depending on the circumstances. The blacks? Are you kidding? Any primary challenger who thinks that he’ll get the black vote away from the former junior senator from Illinois is deluding themselves in much the same way that the leaders of Europe’s socialist movement deluded themselves when the crisis came in August of 1914. Tribe trumps ideology; that is reality. The blacks will vote for their man and if our putative primary challenger did manage to unseat the One, then the blacks will sit the 2012 election out in protest; it may even give more than one black voter a reason to rethink his absolute commitment to the Democratic Party, which is always a good thing. And the rest of the limousine liberals on the East and West Coasts, the dwellers in the academic cloud-cuckoo-land, and the media and the chattering classes? There aren’t enough of these people to threaten the One, so in the end the hard left will swallow their ideological rage and tow the line.
The big question, I think, is whether the former junior senator from Illinois can swallow his rage. This is a unique situation for him, I think. He’s never been in a situation where he’s had to treat the Republicans seriously. Up to now, from his early days in politics to the White House, the GOP has been a curious abstraction to him, the way that any alternative lifestyle is an abstraction to those who don’t follow it. He comes from a safely Democratic state, a state where the Republicans know that they are in the minority and thus have to spend much time treating with the majority to get what scraps they can get. Whether he realized it before or not, Chicago-style politics only works in a one party state where there is no one to check the knife wielders. Come January 1st, that will not be possible. John Boehner does not need the One’s good will to flourish politically; the people of Ohio sent the future Speaker back to Washington to thwart the One and all his doings. Watching the former junior senator’s attempts to get what he wants from a now hostile House of Representatives should be very interesting and make for very interesting television. I’m still waiting for Olbermann’s head to make like Vesuvius, though; that promises to be entertaining.