Obama can narrow the enthusiasm gap by aggressively campaigning, but it will be up to labor and environmental groups to rouse their disaffected supporters to the polls.
Paul Hogarth: For years, House Democrats have joked that House Republicans are the “opposition” but the Senate is the “enemy” – and it’s easy to understand why.
Paul Loeb: Particularly in these difficult times, we often use our children as reasons to avoid getting involved in critical issues. We’ve got all we can handle holding on to our jobs and spending a little time with them. We fear political commitments will make their lives more insecure. Especially when they’re young, it may be all we can do just to go to work, come home, pay attention to their needs, and catch a few scarce hours of sleep. Yet when we do find ways to get engaged, our children can give us powerful reasons to act.
Paul Loeb: I love viewing Gandhi not as the master strategist of social change that he later became, but as someone who at first was literally tongue-tied–shyer and more intimidated than almost anyone we can imagine. His story is a caution against the impulse to try and achieve perfection before we begin the journey of social change.
Mario Solis-Marich: As the pressure mounts around the country on the police state known as Arizona, eyes turn to Washington for comprehensive immigration reform. Top Senate aides informed me this morning that despite news stories to the contrary, Majority Leader Harry Reid has not backed off of the idea of pursing an immigration bill as the next order of Senate business. The clarification is one that may be too nuanced for some but is an indication of the balancing act the Leader feels he must make to hold the Democratic caucus together while trying to pursue legislative remedies to the huge problems left to fester during the days of the past Republican majority. The clarification however will probably not satisfy the Latino community as the disrespectful sting of the slap in the face delivered by Arizona lingers.
Articles by H. Scott Prosterman, Carl Bloice, Carl Matthes, Adam Eran, Alfee Enciso, Robert Reich, Diane Lefer, Anthony Samad, Jim Fuller, Tom Degan, Michele Waslin, Georgianne Nienaber, Ron Briley, Tracy Emblem, Rev. Irene Monroe, Nomiki Konst, Randy Shaw, Jane Baek, Mario Solis-Marich, Andrea Christina Nill, Shamus Cooke, Ron Wolff, Sikivu Hutchinson, Marcy Winograd, Walter Moss, and Sharon Kyle
Adam Eran: Appropriately for April Fool’s, Republican California Assemblyman Roger Niello’s editorial appears in the Sacramento Bee protesting California’s public policy response to climate change (AB32). As evidence that AB32 is misguided, he cites the discredited Varshney study and the similiarly biased California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) oil-industry-funded study of AB32.
Randy Shaw: One clear impact of the health care victory: a deeply demoralized activist and progressive base has been reenergized. Activists who had lost faith in Obama’s ability to get things done now have evidence that candidate Obama’s “Yes We Can” spirit has not disappeared, a boost in enthusiasm that may have greater short-term significance than the substance of the health care bill.
Randy Shaw: Many progressives are so excited that Obama is not Sarah Palin that they accept any small step as a great leap forward. The irony is that many of these progressives saw a night and day difference between Obama and Clinton in the primaries, yet now accept policies from Obama that are virtually identical — if not more conservative — than those we feared from a President Hilary Clinton.
Emily Spence: You cannot leave critical matters for future administrations to sort out in a meaningful manner. Despite vicious backlash for your stance, you must vigorously work to change our collective course now rather than continue the same old policies that your predecessors in office had and that, obviously, do not work.
Andrea Christina Nill: According to Gibbs, the question isn’t whether President Obama still supports passing comprehensive immigration reform, but rather, whether the White House can be convinced that there is enough bipartisan support to get it passed. A recent affirmative statement from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicates that at least one key GOP member is reaching out to his colleagues and encouraging them to embrace the immigration issue. Meanwhile, themajority of Republican and Independent voters already support comprehensive immigration reform.
Paul Hogarth: California desperately needs to abolish the two-thirds requirement to pass a state budget, and even an amendment that does not include taxes would be incremental progress. But unless labor unions start putting real money in this effort, and the Democratic Party makes it the priority it must be, it’s going to get lost in the shuffle – and we won’t have what it takes to run a winning campaign.
Randy Shaw: pecifically, activists must employ what I describe in The Activist’s Handbook as the “fear and loathing” approach that has long proved necessary to get most politicians to do the right thing. Activists must make Obama fear the political repercussions of not backing progressive positions, even to the extent that the President comes to “loathe” those creating such pressures.
HR 3962 Passes After Generations of Americans Ignored. Last night, the House of Representatives passed the Affordable Health Care for America Act, H.R. 3962. It’s being touted as a major step forward but for those who support Single Payer, it is anything but. -Sharon Kyle Stop US Meddling: Support Afghan Women at the Table. No [...]
The whirlwind of summiteering on climate change, non-proliferation, the economy, and Iran swept the Arab-Israeli conflict off the news – but not before Barack Obama had spoken of a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.” That startling turn of phrase – used just before his trilateral with Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu – is a throwback to a much earlier era of American peacemaking.
Glenn Beck once insisted that he started his “9/12 Movement” to recapture the sense of unity in the nation the day after the terrorist attacks in 2001. That idea lasted about four minutes Saturday morning as evidenced by the signs held aloft at the event he and a group of well-funded astroturf organisations in Washington [...]