Tom Degan: Is the president serious when he tells us that he plans on “working with” the opposition party in the next two years? Part of me has to believe that he’s not, that he’s merely taking on the guise of the good loser, holding his cards close to his vest.
Tom Hayden: As a result of the Republican takeover of the House, hard-line right-wingers like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Connie Mack will lead key committees and sub-committees for the next two years. Any hopes to improve US relations with the new nationalist and democratic regimes of Latin America have dimmed sharply.
Shamus Cooke: Obama’s Deficit Reduction Commission attacks Social Security and Medicare. The retirement age would be raised from 67 to 68 (for those born after 1959) and from 68 to 69 (for those born after 2006). But current retirees will be affected too. The social security cost of living adjustment will be unhinged from the inflation index, meaning, payments will decrease via inflation.
Ivan Eland: Although Bush can’t change his domestic catastrophes, such as the federal response to Hurricane Katrina or the horrendous financial crisis and the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, if Iraq and Afghanistan eventually reach some stability, he may be regarded as the man who threw out the despotic regimes of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.
Sikivu Hutchinson: The mental health crisis amongst African Americans is a devastating indicator of racial and social inequity, of which the prayer as therapy epidemic is an insidious symptom. Frederick Douglass once wrote, “I prayed for twenty years and received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” What would Douglass, a trailblazing male feminist, have made of the brutal ironies of twenty first century black America?
Anthony Samad: Do Republicans expect these two segments of Obama’s enormous base to stay home in 2012? If they do, they had better wake up. The “Obama Wave” is waitin’ on ’em.
Randy Shaw: Progressives are full of great ideas for putting Republicans on the defensive, and for Democrats regaining the populist momentum. But if Obama follows Jimmy Carter’s example and continues to solely follow his own playbook, such efforts are doomed to failure.