Robert Letcher: Eighth, how can you act so angry and unaware on the world’s stage (it’s not yours or ours anymore—so you can’t just take it home), yet hope not to be dismissed as ugly Americans who can no longer think well and creatively enough to compete in anything except war games made with real wars?
Anthony Samad: I fell out of love years ago with the Democratic Party because of the way they disrespect black folk. Blacks “default” to the Democratic Party and get little (or nothing) in return. The Democrats think African Americans don’t have a choice but to vote for them, and they don’t have to work to keep their vote. And blacks often give their vote away before most Democrats can do something to earn it, thus earning the title as the Democrat’s “doormat constituency.”
H. Scott Prosterman: Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are pretty women who know how to work a crowd. They wink, they squeal, and say, “Goshdarnit;” and they don’t confuse tea with sympathy. Ole Miss had lots of pretty women on campus in the early 1960s when a major riot broke out over the admission of a black student, James Meredith. At the time, those women were big on both tea and sympathy, until Meredith showed up to enroll. Then, those cute, pretty, demure, Southern sorority girls picked up bricks & rocks, and helped in the effort to kill a few people and shoot more than 20 federal marshals. The next day they put their baby-dresses and hoop skirts back on, and went back to being sweet-natured Ole Miss sorority girls.
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.
Paul Hogarth: But with no real competition among Democrats to replace Schwarzenegger, progressives have been nervous that Brown will not excite the base. This left much of the weekend’s drama on down-ballot races, where competitive primaries meant candidates for Lieutenant Governor and State Insurance Commissioner sought the Party’s endorsement going into June 8th. And while there’s much controversy around that process, it’s a good thing for Democrats.
Joseph Palermo: Thanks to the resourceful dumpster diving of two CSU, Stanislaus students, Alicia Lewis and Ashli Briggs, the public was finally able to get a glimpse behind the curtain of Sarah Palin Land. Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Jerry Brown has promised a thorough investigation. These two young people should be commended for their civic mindedness and citizenship.
Caitlin Frazier: To many attending the California Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles last weekend, the vote to approve or object to the endorsement of Rep. Jane Harman (CA/36), was too close to call – certainly not reflective of a frenzied convention tabulation Party Chair John Burton delivered with the qualifier, “No one was bribed.”
Anthony Asadullah Samad: It seems the Republicans need to pump themselves up every couple of months or so these days. It’s not so much that they are meeting that troubles me. It’s sorta like an AA meeting except here it’s where “ideologue-holics” come together and try to sober up on their 2008 Presidential defeat with new rhetoric that gets more and more extreme with each outing. This time, it was at the 2010 Southern Republican Convention in New Orleans that the more “radical” elements of the party come together to try to micromanage the Presidency and give a demented spin on the course of current affairs.
Linda Milazzo: In an impressive feat against blue-dog incumbent Congresswoman Jane Harman, primary challenger and progressive Democrat, Marcy Winograd, has secured more than the needed number of votes to pull Harman’s Democratic Party endorsement recommendation and open the contest to debate today, Sunday, the last day of the convention.
Craig Williams: In a sense the Golden State is now a near corporate dictatorship, between an executive office that can be bought and usually is, minority rule in the legislature and underfunded local party organizations masquerading as party organizations, party organizations that don’t responsibly communicate and mobilize their members. Most registered Democrats are for all practical purposes ex-communicated from the party, except at election time.
Paul Loeb: It’s been a frustrating time since November 2008, but our challenge is to spend less time bemoaning our disappointments and more energy engaging with ordinary citizens the way so many of us did a year and a half ago. If we give people enough ways to act on our present crises, we never know how history might turn.
Tina Dupuy: Put a necktie on a German Shepherd who’s strong on defense and hates taxes and if he’s a Republican he will get at least a 20% approval rating nationally (as long as he’s not openly gay or Mormon). Doesn’t have to be running for anything, just wearing something that has a flag pin attached so people will know he loves freedom.
Robert Letcher: It’s not that I expected Obama to communicate with me about his policy positions, although I certainly hoped he would – even though I don’t wait around for him to call. Instead, it just seemed to me that his campaign – our campaign – would likely improve his prospects for winning if he were somehow to really communicate with this me and all the other me’s whose support he needs in order to be elected and govern successfully.
Robert Watson: There is a lot of misinformation circulating on talk radio, at town hall meetings, in the blogosphere, and around office water coolers about President Barack Obama. For instance, Obama is criticized for allegedly doing nothing and for doing too much. While Obama, like all presidents, has made mistakes, his presidency has thus far been marked not just by bitter opposition but by an ambitious array of initiatives and numerous accomplishments. His is turning out to be one of the most active presidencies in history.
Tom Degan: On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We’re talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let’s face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.
Tina Dupuy: When Republicans warn that a policy is a job-killer – Americans should listen. If any group of lawmakers and thinkers know about killing jobs it’s the Grand Old Party. In 2008, the final year of the Bush Administration, after two terms of careless deregulation implemented with bastardized pseudo-free market battle cries, the economy lost 2.6 million jobs. An annual job loss not equaled since 1945. When it comes to job extermination the GOP’s display case has a full assortment of trophies. So, of course Republicans are now the best authority on how not to kill jobs. Basically, don’t do what they did.
Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?
Jim Fuller: Conservatives and the nice, polite folks I think of as carriage liberals have no choice but to step out into the cold with the outspoken progressives or go on doing what they’ve been doing for years now – giving their money and their votes to people who despise them and routinely screw them over.
Nomiki Konst: The United States of America has a dirty little secret. We’re addicted to a drug. A drug dealt everyday in the halls of Congress, on the streets of Washington, and at the exclusive Georgetown soirees. That drug is corruption, pure and simple. And the dealers are lobbyists. The year 2009 was record breaking for the lobbying industry, mostly due to the health care debate, with total spending on all issues at more than $3.47 billion.
Jim Fuller: It is all but certain that someone prominent, probably a member of Congress or a family member or aid of a member of Congress, will be physically attacked and quite possibly murdered soon by a fanatical right-wing knuckle dragger. It’s entirely possible that several people, or even many people, as in Oklahoma City in 1995, will be slaughtered by one or some of the cretins who feed their rage on right wing radio and television and the speeches of Republican hate mongers in and out of Congress.
Sikivu Hutchinson: Reveling in nightly PR infusions from the corporate lapdogs of American journalism, the freshly evangelized macho racist right has ensured that its charge of a socialist government expansion is now viewed as a “reasonable” critique of an overhaul that effectively concedes universal coverage to the insurance industry.
Paul Loeb: Nothing makes us feel more powerless than the corruption of our democracy by money. It undermines progress on every issue we face. If America is ever to deal with our critical problems, we’re going to need to sever the links between wealth and politics, a task made more challenging by the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned a hundred years of precedent to increase still further the influence of companies like Exxon, United Health and Goldman Sachs.
Steve Ybarra: The hatemongers who fear the so-called welfare state (colored to the colored section) will begin the biggest hate and fear mongering campaign that America has seen since the reconstruction. The white-sheeted Republicants will begin to cry and monger that America will become a second-class, Nazi, communist, imperialistic, socialist monarchy populated by godless Christians.
Linda Milazzo: Winograd’s grassroots momentum so concerned her opponent that Harman retaliated with an ideological assault of minor relevance to most residents in her district. Rather than going toe to toe with Winograd on constituent-specific matters, Harman chose Israel as her main campaign strategy. Though Harman and Winograd are both Jewish Americans, they hold radically different views on Israel.
Joseph Palermo: Peter Baker’s profile of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the New York Times Magazine raises some interesting questions about President Barack Obama’s top aide. For Emanuel, it seems that all politics are electoral politics. He wouldn’t know a social movement if he saw one.