Tom Hayden: Obama may succeed in withdrawing 100,000 American troops from Iraq this year, and the rest by 2012. But even this goal faces opposition from the Green Zone to the Beltway, and any peace dividend will be swallowed by Afghanistan and the Long War.
Paul Hogarth: many Blue Dogs are in trouble because of health care, and ironically what could save their hide is a public option. Instead, they are left selling a corporate-friendly bill hashed behind closed doors that forces Americans to buy private insurance – which will only make their constituents vote Republican. That’s why so many Blue Dogs are retiring – so they can bail and become lobbyists for the insurance industry.
Ron Wolff: OK, it’s a fund-raising letter. I didn’t expect it to be scholarly. But neither did I expect an organization that claims to be a “think tank” to utilize the linguistic legerdemain (yes, I made that phrase up, and I’m mighty proud of it) that is the quintessential opposite of critical thinking.
Winograd endorses the federal Fair Elections Now Act, as well as the California Fair Elections Act. Both efforts would enable candidates to run for office without relying on large contributions from corporations and big money bundlers.
Robert Reich: Mad-as-hellers don’t trust big government. But they don’t trust big business and Wall Street, either. They especially hate it when big government gets together with big business and Wall Street – while at the same time Main Street is in shambles and millions of people are losing their jobs and homes.
Timothy V. Gatto: The pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance companies along with their Congressional minions stopped any real hope of true health reform. The current package is a windfall for health insurers, giving the 50,000,000 new clients who must take health insurance or pay a fine. That doesn’t sound very progressive to me.
Paul Hogarth: Now, the Democrats have managed to fumble Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat – losing to a right-wing Republican who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan. Evidence shows that Martha Coakley’s numbers went down after the Senate passed the health care bill. Shouldn’t the Party leaders listen to Howard Dean? At least, they owe him an apology.
Dick Price: To get elected, we understood that Obama had to take a pragmatic approach. But underneath the pragmatism, we were attracted to the compassionate world view, the deep ability to grasp complex issues, and the eloquence to voice our best hopes and dreams for the future that we saw, and see, in the man—traits that had been so woefully absent in George W. Bush fear-mongering, hate-mongering, war-mongering reign.
Joseph Palermo: With the latest Supreme Court ruling by the “fabulous five,” Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a single corporation will be able to disfranchise a million citizens. What’s to stop these conglomerates from implanting their servants at every level of municipal, state, and federal government?
Denis Campbell: Love them or hate them, Republicans get members to toe the line. Democrats need to placate EVERYONE within many constituencies. That bogs them down and they end up pleasing no one. Republicans say sit down, shut up and do as you are told. Democrats beg, cajole, plead and, even with this huge electoral majority, cower in the corner chanting the mantra “please don’t hurt me.”
Robert Reich: Under a shareholder protection law, shareholders would not have to spend their share of corporate earnings on candidates who they personally oppose. If a company dedicates, say, $100,000 to a particular campaign in a given year — directly, or indirectly through a front organization — shareholders who don’t want their money used this way would get a special dividend or additional shares representing their pro rata share of that campaign expenditure.
Timothy V. Gatto: The old maxim that hindsight is 20/20 while foresight is practically blind fits well in this example. Let me illustrate how I believe Obama has manipulated the system to the point where the political Left is for all intents and purposes, a dead political entity. The only thing left at this point is to hold the funeral and send flowers.
Joseph Palermo: The Obama Administration cut far too many deals with the same corporate special interests that have dominated Washington since the Reagan years. Obama watered down his agenda. The Democratic base stayed home. The Republicans were energized beyond belief. And the Democratic candidate in a Democratic state lost the “Lion of the Senate’s” seat.
John Peeler: The defeat of Martha Coakley in the race to succeed Ted Kennedy certainly shows the folly of taking victory for granted and failing to mount a serious campaign. But it also puts on display the complete political incompetence of the Obama administration and the national leadership of the Democratic Party and the Congress.
David Swanson: Fortunately, I get the impression that a great many Angelenos and Americans are principled, decent, and sophisticated enough to support Woolsey when she does right and oppose her when she does wrong, and to overwhelm her misplaced advocacy with our support, donations, and volunteer time for the woman who will be the leader of the fight for the people’s views against the corporate agenda in the 112th Congress, Marcy Winograd.
Linda Milazzo: At the behest of his congressional ally, Jane Harman (CA-36), Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman (CA-30) has launched a mean-spirited ideological assault on Harman’s Democratic primary challenger, Marcy Winograd, that is garnering disfavor for Waxman and Harman amongst Democratic voters.