Jessie Daniels: Amid all the racist flame throwing of 2010, politicians managed to achieve a bipartisan consensus when it came to one boogeyman. China-bashing profilerated on both sides of the aisle as candidates blamed the ascendant superpower for America’s economic woes
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.
Paul Hogarth: The anti-incumbent mood is not confined to the racist Tea Parties on the Right – but is just as potent on the Left, where progressives are disenchanted by a President who promised hope and change, only to capitulate to Joe Lieberman to pass a health care bill that requires us to all buy private insurance.
John Peeler: The Democratic Party just is not a mirror image of the Republicans. It’s true that partisans have become steadily more polarized in the last generation: the Republican Party really is a conservative party today, in a way that it wasn’t even in the days of Richard Nixon. The Democrats are distinctly more liberal, but they are not a liberal party in the same sense as the GOP is conservative.
Tim Gatto: Everyone who calls themselves liberal, progressive, socialist or populist should pitch in and get the corporate lackeys out of Washington and give the government back to the people who really own it. This is just a beginning. We can’t sit on our laurels and let others keep the momentum going.
Tina Dupuy: The BP spill exposed that we’re still commuting in eight-cylinder singly occupied vehicles, hopped up on plastic goods and scoffing at high-speed rail projects. Our government is representative – we haven’t clamored to get off oil. If anything we’ve threatened to riot for having to pay too much at the pump.
Paul Hogarth: Democrats are not supposed to run primary candidates against incumbents because it is “divisive” – but it was time to hold Senators like Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln (who killed the public option) accountable. 2006 and 2008 were the years that voters picked “change,” and both Senators are the reason such change failed to get traction. Joe Sestak and Bill Halter faced huge odds taking on a Senator in their own Party who had the President’s support, but what they had was disenchanted Obama activists who wanted to see change happen.
David Swanson: Marcy Winograd is a stand-out. She’s is campaigning against Congresswoman Jane Harman, a wealthy warmonger corporatist who has been caught conspiring against her nation with foreign agents, who suppressed the warranteless spying story until George W. Bush could get a second term in office, and who has referred to herself proudly as “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.” Marcy Winograd, on the other hand, has been a leader of Progressive Democrats of America and has perhaps the smartest and most progressive platform in the country. She also garnered 38% last time, with no help.
Norman Solomon: In sharp contrast to Jane Harman, Marcy Winograd would not just instantly join the Progressive Caucus — she would immediately be one of its most intrepid and resilient members. Anyone who has ever worked with Marcy is sure that her progressive commitments are unshakable. That’s why Democratic Party power brokers are doing all they can to defeat her.
Linda Milazzo: In Kentucky, political neophyte, libertarian extremist, and Tea Party enthusiast, Rand Paul, clobbered the hand-picked candidate of Senator Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Washington. Both election results send an earsplitting message to the leadership of America’s two dominant parties, warning that: ‘Your choices, endorsements and power don’t matter. We’re electing who WE want.’
John Peeler: The 2010 Pennsylvania Primary had a lot of good news for progressive Democrats. The 18 May balloting saw Representative Joe Sestak take out five-term Senator Arlen Specter, just a year after the latter switched to the Democratic Party in the face of an assured loss in the Republican primary. And, the Democrats held the seat long occupied by the late Jack Murtha. On the other hand, the most progressive candidate in the gubernatorial primary, Joe Hoeffel, finished a poor fourth, and the winner, Dan Onorato, is not only less progressive, but starts well down in the polls against the Republican nominee, state Attorney General Tom Corbett.
Robert Reich: It’s the economy, stupid. American politics is turning anti-establishment because so many Americans feel screwed by the economy and they blame the establishment. If there’s a trend here, it’s not left-wing Democrats versus right-wing Republicans. It’s the “Mad-As-Hell” Party against both.