Brent Budowsky: If a Democratic House and Senate are elected in 2014, it would re-empower Obama for one of the strongest closing two years of an eight-year presidency in modern history, which could avoid lame-duck status almost entirely with what historians would ultimately describe as “Obama’s third term.”
Brent Budowsky: Reid is now effectively playing the role of prime minister, trying to enact the programs of a Democratic president facing a strongly partisan and ideological Republican House and a narrow and tentative Democratic majority in the Senate.
Brent Budowsky: Obama is making a riverboat gamble that by doubling down on courting big business he will unleash a surge of jobs and lead resurgent Democrats to a triumph in 2012. Whether this strategy works will determine whether the 2012 campaign resembles the Reagan reelection of 1984 or the chaotic election of 1968.
Brent Budowsky: What does it tell us that even after the 2010 election in what was called the year of the Tea Party, Americans chose a populist progressive Democratic president, not a Republican or conservative president, as their favorite over the last 50 years?
Joseph Palermo: Our political spectrum, as refracted through the lens of corporate media, runs from center-right to far-right. No wonder the conventional wisdom in Washington holds, without evidence, that the United States is a “center-right” country. Those making that argument might not be real, informed commentators — but they play them on TV.
Robert Reich: Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor
Randy Shaw: Holding self-identified “progressive” politicians like Barack Obama accountable for fulfilling campaign commitments actually improves the chances for progressive election victories, as it pressures Democrats to satisfy their base. And as the critical midterm elections approach, ensuring this grassroots base is motivated and mobilizable by holding Obama and Congressional Democrats accountable is even more imperative.
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.
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.
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.