Unanimous Conformity in the Senate

Sen. Wayne Morse

Norman Solomon: Every living senator voted Wednesday to approve Gen. David Petraeus as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. Call it the unanimity of lemmings – except the senators and their families aren’t the ones who’ll keep plunging into the sea.

The New Normal: High Unemployment

Norman Solomon: With unemployment so common that it’s widely seen as a long-term fact of life, a tacit fatalism has seeped into political discourse and the mass media. In short, what should be unacceptable has gained acceptance.

From Great Man to Great Screwup: Behind the McChrystal Uproar

mcchrystal

Norman Solomon: For months, the McChrystal star had been slipping. A few days before the Rolling Stone piece caused a sudden plunge from war-making grace, Time Magazine’s conventional-wisdom weathervane Joe Klein was notably down on McChrystal’s results: “Six months after Barack Obama announced his new Afghan strategy in a speech at West Point, the policy seems stymied.”

Israel and Harman in Tandem: From High Seas to Airwaves

Vietnam vet, author, and antiwar activist Ron Kovic with Marcy Winograd

Norman Solomon: When Israel attacked the Gaza aid flotilla, Congresswoman Jane Harman was engaged in a parallel assault. Israel’s government relied on the efficacy of violence; Harman’s campaign was counting on the power of paid media. In both cases, the targets were advocates of human rights for Palestinian people.

When the Leaders Lead, the People Have Sorrow

marcy winograd

Norman Solomon: In sharp contrast to Jane Harman, Marcy Winograd would not just instantly join the Progressive Caucus — she would immediately be one of its most intrepid and resilient members. Anyone who has ever worked with Marcy is sure that her progressive commitments are unshakable. That’s why Democratic Party power brokers are doing all they can to defeat her.

Kagan in Context: Shafting Progressive Values

Elena Kagan

Noman Solomon: If President Obama has his way, Elena Kagan will replace John Paul Stevens — and the Supreme Court will move rightward. The nomination is very disturbing, especially because it’s part of a pattern. The White House is in the grip of conventional centrist wisdom. Grim results stretch from Afghanistan to the Gulf of Mexico to communities across the USA.

Who Let the Blue Dogs Out?

Norman Solomon: It’s one thing to support a Blue Dog Democrat in a general election against a Republican. It’s quite another thing for members of the Progressive Caucus to defend a Blue Dog Democrat against a primary challenge from a genuine progressive Democrat. In the case of the Harman-Winograd race, the best grassroots response from progressives around the country will be to strongly support the Winograd campaign between now and Election Day, June 8.

War Politics: Numb and Number

Senator Wayne Morse

Norman Solomon: While the escalating disaster of war in Afghanistan keeps setting deadly blazes, the few anti-war voices on Capitol Hill usually sound like people whispering “Fire!”

Dollars for Death, Pennies for Life

Helmand Refugee Camp (photo by Fardin Waezi)

Norman Solomon: While commanders in Afghanistan were launching what the New York Times called “the largest offensive military operation since the American-led coalition invaded the country in 2001,” the situation in Haiti was clearly dire.

Don’t Call It a ‘Defense’ Budget

war and liberty

Norman Solomon: As new sequences of political horrors unfold, maybe it’s a bit too easy for writers and readers of the progressive blogosphere to remain within the politics of online denunciation. Cogent analysis and articulated outrage are necessary but insufficient. The unmet challenge is to organize widely, consistently and effectively — against the warfare state — on behalf of humanistic priorities. In the process, let’s be clear. This is not a defense budget. This is a death budget.

Democrats Boosting Right-Wing Populism

Lost-wheel

Norman Solomon: For a year now, leading Democrats have steadily embraced more corporate formulas for “healthcare reform.” In the name of political realism, they have demobilized and demoralized the Democratic base. In the process, they’ve fueled right-wing populism.

Flares in the Political Dark

Scream

After a year of escalation in Afghanistan, solicitude toward Wall Street and the incredible shrinking healthcare reform, we ought to be able to see that the biggest problem among progressives has been undue deference to the Obama administration.

Mr. President, War Is Not Peace

Nobel-War-Prize

Lofty rationales easily tell us that warfare is striving for the noble goal of peace. But the rationales scarcely intersect with actual war. The oratory sugarcoats the poisons, helping to kill hope in the name of it.

The Next Phase of Healthcare Apartheid

Public-Option

The official position of the California Democratic Party is unequivocally in favor of single-payer healthcare. And yet Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did what she could to sabotage the single-payer position of her own party in her own state.

Hope for Health Reform Fading

public-option

The White House showed a white flag last weekend, discarding its commitment to a “public option” that would compete with private health insurance. Since then, despite efforts to backtrack, the signal keeps flashing: Obama won’t go to the mat for a public option after all.

When the Dead Have No Say

soldiers

Apparently, escalating the warfare is much more attractive to Washington’s policymakers than actually challenging the main supporters of the Taliban in Afghanistan — the Pakistani government.

The March of Folly, Continued

tuchman

To understand what’s up with President Obama as he escalates the war in Afghanistan, there may be no better place to look than a book published 25 years ago. The March of Folly, by historian Barbara Tuchman, is a chilling assessment of how very smart people in power can do very stupid things – how [...]

A Progressive Challenge to Jane Harman

Jane Harman and Marcy Winograd

There are many reasons why progressives will mobilize behind the campaign of Marcy Winograd, who announced on Monday that she’ll challenge incumbent Congresswoman Jane Harman in the 2010 Democratic primary. Some will speak of Harman’s pro-war record. Some will recall her support for warrantless wiretapping, followed by her irony-free indignation when it turned out that [...]

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