If Obama fails to secure a second term as president, and I think it's quite likely he will be a one-term president, it will be largely because he's lost the support of his liberal base.
He's not likely to win over any Republicans, conservatives or members of the tea party. They despise him as a person and president; that has been evident since he was sworn in. So extreme is their disdain that they have not even attempted to disguise their hostile rhetoric in the cloak of patriotism.
And he can't rely on support from progressives. They don't even have a party to represent their opinions. They are dedicated more to an ideology than any particular candidate. If the Republican candidate offers a more progressive agenda than Obama they'll back him/her over the Democratic incumbent.
Obama has lost the good faith and trust of the American liberal. His campaign promises appealed to the goals of the liberals. He envisioned an America where everyone would be welcome to share in our prosperity and freedom. He promised greater governmental transparency. He pledged to undo most of the damage done to our image and economy during the Bush years.
Once elected, he failed to follow through on those promises and pledges. He didn't close Gitmo, he didn't immediately end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", he didn't put an end to tax loopholes enjoyed by the wealthiest of our citizens. Transparency in government never saw the light of day. Federal powers to snoop and spy on American citizens weren't curtailed, they were expanded. In many ways he became more "Bush" than Bush himself had been.
If Obama can't win back the hearts, and more importantly the minds, of liberals before the campaign gets well underway, where are liberals to turn? Certainly not to any Republican, conservative or tea party candidate.
The Republican party and their followers in the conservative and tea party clans have shown that they don't share the same vision for America that liberals do. They are beholden to and do the bidding of corporations and the wealthiest among us. They support big business because big business supports them. When was the last time a middle-class person dropped a check for a million dollars into a Republican's campaign chest?
It most likely won't be another Democratic candidate. Who else besides Obama can the Democrats hope to put into place before the 2012 election season kicks off? Not to mention how much credibility the Democratic party has lost in the recent debt debates. The only way they could have capitulated even more would have been to offer Obama's resignation on the spot. The Democratic party has been effectively neutered, primarily by their own inaction and inability to stand up to the opposition.
We could be seeing the end of a liberal perspective in American politics. In the near future we may no longer have a counter opinion to those voiced by the more conservative elements in our government. We may well be witnessing the end of governmental checks-and-balances. And where there is but a single party, a single ideology, a single candidate with any real hope of being elected, we no longer have a representative democracy.
I'm not saying liberal ideals are always the most beneficial for our country. The liberal ideals of caring for even the most destitute citizen and trying to ensure that no one goes unfed, unclothed and uncared for have to be paid for, and yet Democrats are loath to suggest an increase in taxes even for the wealthiest among us. The Democrats are as afraid of pissing off the money merchants as the Republicans are, and for many of the same reasons. Yet taxes are how we Americans pay for the services we receive from the government, from the local level to the federal. To suggest that we can receive benefits without having to pay for them is the height of folly.
So where do liberals turn for a champion for their liberal ideals and goals? I honestly don't know. But I do know this country needs at least two parties in power. We need opposing opinions and debates over proposed spending. We cannot afford to become a one-party country, not unless we're willing to scrap the Constitution and invent a new corporate-sponsored image for the nation.