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.
Adam Eran: The one thing we don’t want to do is subsidize even more petroleum consumption. If we gave oil producers a special tax break (like the “depletion allowance”), or paid for the military protection for those increasingly important overseas oilfields, gas would be artificially cheaper at the pump, and we would have abandoned the “magic of the marketplace” for crony captalism, where a few favored interests get the lion’s share of public policy benefit.
Proposition 15 changes the way we finance election campaigns so that politicians will focus on California’s serious problems rather than fundraising. It imposes strict reporting requirements, penalties for violators and bans the raising of money from lobbyists, their clients and anyone else for participating candidates.
Paul Hogarth: There’s no good reason why Democrats cannot win the California governorship this year. Barack Obama won the state with 61% of the vote, not a single Congressional district has a majority of registered Republicans left, and Arnold’s legacy as Governor will be driving the state to bankruptcy. In other words, the real fight should have been the Democratic primary – and as long as progressives turn out the base in November, the Republican will lose.
Adam Eran: Niello apparently believes government’s taxes, spending and regulations never produce any real benefit; they only kill jobs. Never mind that better regulation would have prevented the sub-prime meltdown that has sent our economy into a tailspin, or that taxes have been cut for the last 30 years without any unusual upturn in the economy.
Paul Hogarth: Evan Bayh and Harold Ford Jr. have a lot in common, and not because they’re both legacies who rode into public office on their family name. Both are anti-progressive Democrats who have built their political careers on making the Left feel small and weak – egged on by a corporate media that likes to call them “centrist.”
Anthony Asadullah Samad: People got mad love for Diane Watson, and she’s not one that we were going to let go the way of Dymally. She was going to go out on her terms. Nobody was going to force her out. But I, for one, am glad she did it right. It shows that black leaders can effectively ensure quality future leaders will continue their work.
Joseph Palermo: he Republicans, who control the state’s finances through the “two-thirds rule,” tell us every day that in a $1.8 trillion economy we can’t do anything but cut, cut, cut because we simply “don’t have the money.” They tell us that a $19 billion budget deficit — about 1 percent of the state’s GDP — requires us to dismantle the higher education system, lay off teachers and social servants, close parks, and demolish public institutions that took a generation to build.
Sharon Kyle: When asked if the movement was broad enough to attract conservative democrats, Palin said, “they’re already peeking in — it’s pretty cool to see some of the Blue Dog Democrats peeking under the tent and finding out what is this movement all about and, holy geez, I’m scared if I’m not a part of this.”
Randy Shaw: President Obama aspires to change the way politics is played, saying he is tired of questions masquerading as talking points, and of “tactics” substituting for the best policies. Like Dukakis, he wants the two parties to engage in national policy debates, where the best ideas prevail. Unfortunately, that’s not how politics works in the United States, and Obama’s misguided idealism is costing his base dearly.
Paul Hogarth: In the past year, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have made major strides passing progressive legislation – only to see it die or lull in the Senate, with the President barely lifting a finger. Voters are getting restless, Obama’s approval ratings are down and Democrats are in trouble because they haven’t gotten much done. Now with the Senate acting like a House of Lords, it’s time for House Democrats to get a little respect – and give Obama a piece of their mind.
Steve Ybarra: The $28 million that the Big O spent on Latinos and Chicanos was well spent and did the job of helping Latinos nationwide figure out that the Democratic Party was indeed on their side. So far, since the new DNC Chair (whoever he is) has been in office, we have seen absolutely no evidence that he gets it. So it is time for him to be shown the door and let’s get back to winning the midterms and finding a dogcatcher to elect.
Randy Shaw: Consider the Democrats top concerns. Health care? “We’ll get to it sometime.” Comprehensive immigration reform? “It’s still a priority.” EFCA? Off the political radar screen. Climate Change? “We don’t have the votes.” The Budget? Freeze all domestic spending but education and research but protect defense.
Gil Troy: Obama quickly plunged into a much-needed defense of the bank bailout and his stimulus plan. In his most human moment, he acknowledged that Democrats and Republicans united in hating the bailout: “I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal.” His stimulus defense appeared more substantive as he detailed the bill’s accomplishments. But to avoid being too professorial, Obama failed to connect the dots, not quite explaining how that controversial bill actually created the jobs he enumerated.
David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.
Tracy Emblem: With the recent Supreme Court 5-4 radical decision treating corporations the same as individuals and asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate speech, legislation requiring public disclosure of lobbyist driven “grassroots” advertising campaigns is needed more than ever. Individuals have constitutional rights. Corporations are legally recognized business entities.
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.
Jerry Drucker: Okay Corporation. This time you’ve gone too far! We the People will take on you huge Corporations and the Republican Party, as well as the Blue Dog Dems and finally fight back. That’s what real democracies do. Damn your torturous nation changing lies and full steam ahead. We’ll fight you in the Congress until we see the waves of their AYES!