Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?
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.
Berry Craig: I’m glad to see Obama starting to show some spunk. His recent performance at the televised Q&A with the House GOP brass was a great start. It got rave reviews at our central labor council. “He looked those Republicans right in the eye and kicked their butts,” said one delegate, a retired Machinist. “But he needs to do more than that.”
Dick Price: To get elected, we understood that Obama had to take a pragmatic approach. But underneath the pragmatism, we were attracted to the compassionate world view, the deep ability to grasp complex issues, and the eloquence to voice our best hopes and dreams for the future that we saw, and see, in the man—traits that had been so woefully absent in George W. Bush fear-mongering, hate-mongering, war-mongering reign.
Fridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Robert Illes responding to comments on his article, Obama, Never Mind FDR, How about JKP?, by Ianam. Here’s Robert’s comment: Idiot responds: The point of the article was that Polk, the only President in history [...]
I don’t recall how or when single-payer was taken “off the table” – except that Senator Max Baucus said it was. Without single payer, progressives focused on the public option – which although a compromise, could have held insurance companies accountable. Everyone knew it was tough and compromise would happen, but we were supposed to be part of that decision.
Obama still has time to deliver for his base. But this will require activists and constituency groups to ramp up public demands for such a course, rather than thinking they are helping the progressive cause by making excuses for a president whose inspirational words about social transformation have not been matched by actions.
It has become commonplace for Congress to ignore the public’s yearnings for peace and to support the Pentagon’s now habitual wars of aggression. Last November’s anti-war vote illustrates this disconnect between public opinion and public policy. War-weary Americans went to the polls believing they were voting for peace but President Obama has instead merely shifted [...]
Someone recently approached me at the cheese counter of a local supermarket, asking “what can I do?” At first I thought the person was seeking advice about a choice of cheese. But I soon realized the question was larger than that. It was: what can I do about the way things are going in Washington? [...]
Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Carole Lutness, writing in response to Anthony Asadullah Samad’s Economic Recovery Will Be More than Trusting President Obama’s Stimulus Plan.” Carole writes: The oligarchs will not play fair. They are not built that way. [...]
Even the “Blue Dog” Democrats should be alarmed about bailed out banks taking billions in taxpayer funds only to lobby against this era’s Wagner Act. I don’t think so. Labor gaining ground was essential to putting the economy back together after the Great Depression and it is essential today. The activists working in favor of [...]
As President Obama follows a $800 billion recovery act by proposing nearly $700 billion for universal health care, and financially ambitious programs for energy independence and education, the United States is experiencing 1935 all over again. That’s the year that followed huge Democratic gains in the 1934 election, and which saw Congress enact the two [...]
The stock market reached a six-year low today. Why? Some blame loose talk (including that of former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan) about nationalizing the nation’s banks. Others blame Obama’s new plan for helping homeowners who may not be able to pay their mortgages. But the real culprit is the accelerating decline in aggregate demand — [...]
Since the economic crisis we’re now in is being compared to the Great Depression, the solutions being offered are being routinely compared to the New Deal. Republicans in particular have been quick to pronounce the New Deal a failure as a way of justifying their opposition to the new stimulus package and any other federal [...]
I started to laugh when I heard that Michael Steele was selected as the first African American to chair the Republican National Committee. I don’t think much of the “new” Republican Party, but then again, that doesn’t prevent me from writing about it. But don’t get me wrong, I think that the former Maryland lieutenant [...]
The election of Barack Obama has generated speculation that he can—and will—emulate the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the manner in which he manages the problems that overwhelmed George W. Bush in his second term. In The Politics Presidents Make, Stephen Skoronek argues that presidents who come into office opposed to an existing vulnerable [...]
Tuesday, January 20th, marks the beginning of Barack Obama’s first 100 days in office. On that day the new President will begin tackling a host of economic problems currently plaguing the nation, including the loss of nearly 2 million jobs in 2008. Obama’s economic team has already formulated a recovery plan to create jobs, over [...]
by Eileen Boris, Lisa Levenstein, and Sonya Michel President-elect Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan has provoked comparisons with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Like Roosevelt, Obama is promising to pull the country out of a depression with massive job creation through infrastructure spending. But, like FDR before him, it looks as if Obama is on [...]
by Ira Chernus – Looking back on Barack Obama’s first post-election interview with “60 Minutes,” no one should be surprised that he admitted he’s reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first hundred days in office. In fact, the president-elect — evidently taking no chances — is reportedly reading two books: Jonathan Alter’s The Defining Moment: FDR’s [...]
by Sherwood Ross – As the anniversary of the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor rolls around, critics of President Franklin Roosevelt will again claim he had advance knowledge of the strike and allowed it to happen. That would be treasonable on FDR’s part, of course. A rational examination of events, though, shows [...]
s the economic crisis ripples through the world, some liberal commentators say that the only solution to it is a Global New Deal. A Global New Deal is a fine idea if it globalizes the heart of the domestic New Deal: the promise of protecting everyone from the threat of abject poverty. U.S. foreign policy [...]
The California Field Poll released today shows Barack Obama has widened his lead to a 55% to 33% margin over John McCain with 4% voting for other candidates and 8% undecided amongst likely voters. If this holds up, it will be the largest margin any candidate has won in California since World War II.