Pelosi’s Path to Victory

nancy pelose

Brent Budowsky: The president’s budget and congressional responses will have a revolutionary impact on American politics that will either cement the total domination of the right and humiliation of progressives in the battle of ideas, or pave the way for House Dems to restore Democratic control in 2012.

Palm Springs Weekend

Bob Edgar

Sharon Kyle: The billionaire Koch brothers, David and Charles, are hosting their bi-annual meeting of right-wing billionaires. Odds are you’re probably not a right-wing billionaire and weren’t invited to their event. But, no worries, a coalition of progressive organizations has planned an event just for you.

Who Are the Knuckleheads?

Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff

Steve Hochstadt: It disturbs some conservatives no end that Americans who teach in colleges and universities tend not to share their ideas about evolution, global warming, and history. So dismiss the source: just look at where we work, and that should tell you all you need to know.

Jon Huntsman: A Star Is Born

jon huntsman barack obama

Brent Budowsky: When Huntsman was named ambassador to China I wrote on this page that he is five-star and first-rate. It would be a better world if everyone in politics and political media would occasionally speak well of a member of the other party.

What’s the Matter with America? The Big Disconnect

palin and miller

Charles Hayes: If America is going to have a better future, we need to put our Stone Age feelings of exceptional identity aside and intellectually guard ourselves against emotional manipulation while reasoning our way forward.

Do We Have Common Ground?

hopey changey

Steve Hochstadt: If we tune out the shouting, we might find that we American voters are not at war with each other. Tuesday’s results included several messages about national policy that most Americans agree on.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

How’s Europe Doing?

Taksim Square

Steven Hill: When puzzled Europeans ask me to explain the American voter, the best metaphor I can give for understanding the American electorate right now is that of a coyote with its leg caught in a trap, suffering in pain, so now it is chewing off its own leg to get out of the trap.

Was This a Great Country or What?

Frustration

Tom Degan: Democrats got exactly what they deserved on Election Day 2010. So many of them have spent the last two years running like frightened rats from the legacy of their party.

The Real Center of American Politics: A Reflection on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

restore sanity keep fear alive

Robert Reich: In other words, the political center isn’t about what we decide It’s about how we decide. The center American democracy is a commitment vigorous debate, done honestly and civilly.

Word To “The Motha:” Isn’t It Nice to Have Landed on the Right of History?

diane watson

Anthony Samad: Diane Watson had to be dragged, kicking and screaming the whole way, to the right side of history. And now she’s serving the first African American President and part of a Congress that passed universal health care, something she worked her whole life for in the California legislature and something seven Presidents couldn’t do.

After the Midterms: Why Democrats Move to the Center, and Republicans Don’t

voters lined up

Robert Reich: Republicans are cynical about politics from the jump. Political cynicism fuels them. Democrats are idealistic about politics. When they become cynical they tend to drop out.

Still the Age of Reagan: Long Waves in American Politics

John Peeler: I suggest that as bad as things are, economically, politically, socially, they are not bad enough to permanently shift the way we think, to force changes in what we consider to be common sense. Such a fundamental reshaping of the political landscape has occurred only a few times in our history.

Free Speech about Saggy Pants

baggypants

Steve Hochstadt: The most unfortunate recent development in American politics is that Constitutional questions cannot be discussed calmly. Too many people care less about defending our Constitution than using it as a club to smash political opponents.

The Base’s Hissy Fit

crying baby

Tom Degan: Then there is the core of the Democratic vote, the so-called “base”. Like the half-witted six-year-old who didn’t receive the toy he wanted for Christmas, they’re in the process of having a blue-faced tantrum. Because they didn’t get all of that nice hope and change stuff that Barack Obama promised them two years ago, they’re just going to stay home and sulk on Election Day.

Creeping Fascism and the American Politics of Madness

fascism

David Love: Burning the Holy Qur’an, bombing and burning mosques, banning houses of worship on private property, widespread denial of the president’s citizenship, efforts to nullify the Fourteenth Amendment, states scrambling to enact punitive, unjust laws to target Latinos—these are the ingredients of which fascism is made.

It’s the Country, Not the System, That’s Stacked Against Liberals and Progressives

Historian Richard J. Hofstadter

Berry Craig: The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party.

Rage Against the Right: John Amato Speaks About Politics & Media

Sylvia Moore: John Amato is frustrated about the state of American politics. But he hasn’t let that frustration bring him down. Instead, for the last decade, Amato has been wielding his sword against the American right-wing machine from his computer.

Sarah Running in 2012

sarah palin with guns

Tom Degan: What if we were to wake up on the morning after the election to find the jackasses on FOX and Friends beside themselves with glee, chanting like rabid little myna birds , “PRESIDENT-ELECT PALIN! PRESIDENT-ELECT PALIN!”

Exploit This Tragedy

bill gates

Tina Dupuy: The “don’t exploit this tragedy” knee-jerk catch-all phrase is absolutely meaningless. In American politics, we rule by crisis. There is no political will to act unless something is burning, melting or spewing. We don’t plan for the future – we brace for it.

Extremism in the Defense of Librium

Rep. Michelle Backman (Rep. Stillwater, Minnesota)

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.

History: A Rovian Rewrite

tom-degan

Tom Degan: It’s going to be an absolute scream in the next few years watching the Bush Mob try to rewrite history with the flood of books that are sure to come out. The latest screed by Rove is merely the tip of the iceberg. They have quite a chore ahead of them no doubt. Putting a positive spin on the worst administration in American history? I imagine something that tricky would be the equivalent of trying to put a smiley face on a decomposing pig:

Blueprint for a Majority Third Party

Broken Government

Robert Fuller: Given the dysfunctional state of American politics, the need for a path that Right and Left can travel together is urgent. If conservatives and liberals cannot subordinate their partisan agendas to the common good, world leadership will pass to nations that do manage to transcend this obsolete ideological dichotomy.

Will the GOP Find a New Reagan?

catsam

The question is whether today’s conservative Republicans understand that they cannot save their party by destroying it. Too many on the right have tried to conciliate a base that craves ideological purity. But ideological purity does not lead to victory. It leads to irrelevance.

The Marshmallow Center of American Politics in the 21st Century

obama_steele

Recent political events dash the hope that Obama’s election has ushered in a post-racial nirvana. Both political parties understand that race is as relevant as ever. And in this curdling, partisan environment, both parties also recognize that the race card is never an ace.

To This Partisan Irish Catholic, More Change We Can Believe In

ted-kennedy

Maybe I came to revere Ted Kennedy’s work all the more because unlike his brothers, he had time and many years to make a difference, large and small, and a terrific and powerful podium from which to do so. He never hesitated to use his stature or gifts for good, to help somebody.

An End to the Southern Strategy, But No Post-Racial America

by David A. Love Lee Atwater, GOP political operative and mentor of Karl Rove, was a Machiavellian conman and a purveyor of sleaze. And through the various political campaigns he ran, he not only won races, but also destroyed lives in the process.

Election 2008: Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics

This Democratic victory should be seen primarily as a rejection of the sectarian conservatism of the George W. Bush Administration. There is certainly a mandate to reimpose sensible regulation on the economy, to do something (exactly what is not so clear) about a failing health care system, and to find a way out of Iraq. […]

Little Sarah Palin: Witchcraft Free At Last!

I’ve finally found a positive quality Sarah Palin might bring to the vice presidency: She would be the first veep guaranteed to be witchcraft-free, thanks to Rev. Thomas Muthee. This would be a refreshing change from Dick Cheney who clearly is a warlock; it’s one of the few things that can explain adequately his darker-than-the-night […]

We Don’t Need a War on Terrorism

Many opponents of the Bush administration’s invasion and occupation of Iraq have always argued that this conflict is an irrelevant and even counterproductive sideshow to the real “war on terrorism” in Afghanistan. In fact, Barack Obama led the parade to initiate a troop surge in Afghanistan after having opposed it in Iraq.