Norman Solomon: The best way to defeat right-wing xenophobic “populism” is to build genuine progressive populism. In the process, we can draw on the spirit of the New Deal.
Norman Solomon: Deficit commission co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are pushing scenarios that would undermine Social Security, while all sorts of contorted rationales are in the air for continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Paul Hogarth: If Democrats make a comeback in 2012, it will be partially because they didn’t throw Nancy Pelosi under a bus.
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.
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.
Shamus Cooke: But in a close second place in this rightward scramble are the Democrats, who’ve spent decades racing into the arms of the corporations that dominate both political parties unchallenged.
Seth Hoy: For both parties, courting the Latino vote must not only involve reigning in the fringe and turning down the fear-mongering, but some honest to God passes at immigration reform.
Nyabingi Kuti: The Crenshaw office is one of the main reasons that Kamala is now ahead by a razor-thin margin. Over 500 volunteers of all races and ages came to Crenshaw and banged out over 25,000 calls in two weeks in support of Kamala.
Mario Solis-Marich: The power of Latino voters has increased dramatically and for the first time in history the Democrats are in catch up mode with the nation’s newest voting bloc.
Norman Solomon: We need to build a grassroots progressive movement — wide, deep and strong enough to fight the right and challenge the corporate center of the Democratic Party.
Randy Shaw: In 2008, my optimistic predictions of an Electoral College landslide for Barack Obama assumed a record turnout; today, progressives are far less energized, and the electorate is driven by anger and fear rather than hope.
Norman Solomon: Demagogues in the Republican Party, and their Democratic allies, will say this is about amnesty and open borders. No matter how many times they repeat it, it won’t be true.
Lydia Howell: To foment fear of Democrats’ allegedly “socialist” policies, Republicans “No taxes! No spending!” (except for war and prisons) cry has been amplified to an absurd degree. Of course, there also is the now standard howl: “The Muslims will get you unless we keep ‘The War On Terror’ going at home and abroad.”
Randy Shaw: President Obama spent nearly his entire first year playing “bipartisanship” with those out to destroy him. As much as many of us cheered Obama’s election and still admire many of his skills, the sad reality is that his failure to aggressively push for change in 2009 is the chief cause of the celebrated enthusiasm gap.
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.