Why I Would Have Voted For John Wolfe In The Arkansas Democratic Primary
In 2008 Tennessee attorney John Wolfe voted for Obama. I did too. But that isn't all we have in common. He's dissatisfied with Obama's first term-- but he doesn't want to go backwards into the Republican nightmare that is at the root of all the country's problems. His beef with Obama is that he campaigned as a populist and them governed as a corporatist. “What he did," says Wolfe, "was he brought in people who caused the crisis and made them his closest advisers: Rahm Emanuel, Bill Daley, Jack Lew. He basically institutionalized failure... He has such eloquence, intelligence, charisma, we can only emulate that. I would never even approach it, but he should have used that to rally people around an idea and push for something more. Instead, he just played it safe."
Previously Wolfe, who's running a "word-of-mouth campaign," won 3 parishes in the Louisiana primary. Tuesday "Uncommitted," the only alternative to Obama, won 41.2% in the Kentucky Democratic primary. And in Arkansas Wolfe managed to get 67,491 votes (42%) to Obama's 94,852 (58%). Wolfe did better than Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich combined (just over 47,000 votes).
Wolfe wasn't attacking Obama from the right-- the way corporate whores like Cory Booker, Lanny Davis, Harold Ford and Ed Rendell have. He's going after the corporatist gestalt that has more and more made the Democratic and Republican parties almost indistinguishable on everything but divisive social issues. The Weekly Standard isn't someplace to go for news but it's worth taking a look at their celebration of Wolfe and the hope that he would embarrass the president.
Some have dismissed Obama’s troubles in red states like Arkansas and West Virginia as inconsequential, but the previous Democratic president, Arkansas native Bill Clinton, won both states twice. Both states currently have Democratic governors, and Democrats have won several elections in these states in recent years. Wolfe says his underdog candidacy is the manifestation of a large number of Democrats’ frustration with Obama.
“Now the people have a choice,” Wolfe says. “I think that the people think Obama isn’t listening to them.” He cites the doubletalk by Obama and national Democrats regarding private equity and Wall Street bankers.
“He criticizes Wall Street during the day, and at night he goes into these luxurious soirees with the bankers,” Wolfe says. “He leaves those meetings with millions.”
Wolfe argues that if the government can get health care costs under control and institute stricter banking regulations, many of the country’s remaining fiscal and economic problems can solve themselves. He says he supports restoring the Glass-Steagall banking act of 1933 and opening up the credit default markets, as well as a single-payer health care system that he says would alleviate the costs by getting rid of the expensive, high-risk pools.
Next week Wolfe will be on the primary ballot in Texas. I wish he was running in California as well... in November.