Obama’s Still Shopping for a Grand Bargain

obama boehner saint paddy's

Shamus Cooke: At the end of the day a so-called progressive Democrat is still a Democrat, and the Democratic Party has re-made its image to reflect the interests of its new big donors from Wall Street, who now feel as comfortable buying Democrats as they do purchasing a Republican politician.

10 Most Read Articles — May 5 to 12

This week’s 10 most read articles leads off with David Love’s conjectures on the effect Condi Rice would have on the presidential race and Mitt’s changes in November were he to “balance” his ticket with Condolezza Rice.

Obama’s and America’s Remarkable Evolution on Gay Rights

obama reno

Peter Dreier: Historians will no doubt view President Barack Obama’s announcement Wednesday favoring same-sex marriage as an equally historic statement, parallel to those of FDR on workers’ rights and LBJ on civil rights.

The Genius of Barack Obama: Why We Must Organize Independently to keep Hope of Change Alive

President Barack Obama with ABC's Robin Roberts making same-sex marriage announcement.

Mark Naison: Together, the President’s actions cemented my conviction that he was one of the most brilliant politicians I have seen in my lifetime, equaled only by Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and surpassing even his sometimes rival, sometimes ally Bill Clinton.

It’s Halftime in America, Ya’ll

eastwood halftime

Scott Prosterman: Karl Rove’s articulated objections to the Chrysler ad, which is paraphrased as, “How dare anyone take the high road with a positive message unless is it also trashes Obama and promotes Republican ideals.”

Ross Douthat’s Hit Job on JFK

jfk

Joseph Palermo: Douthat practices the weird tactic, common among contemporary right-wingers, of criticizing whatever Democrat or “liberal” who is in their crosshairs from both the right and the left at the same time.

Rick Perry, Social Security, and the Ghost of Barry Goldwater

barry goldwater

Mark Nevin: In the 1964 presidential campaign, Republican Barry Goldwater initially criticized Social Security but then backed away from that criticism after he fell under attack from fellow Republicans. Despite his backpedaling, Goldwater could never shake the label of Social Security foe. Might current Republican front-runner Rick Perry be in a similar situation?

The Next Presidential Election

barry-goldwater

Ted Vaill: He went on to be nominated for President on the Republican ticket, exclaiming in his victory speech: “Extremism in defense of patriotism is no vice!”.

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MLK Would Oppose Today’s Wars

william loren katz

William Loren Katz: Would Dr. King have called for withdrawal from Vietnam and, had he lived, not called for a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan? Would he have failed to see parallels that are as obvious as they are frightening?

Congratulations Republicans!

Chart prepared by Rick Seaman of Portland, Oregon source: Rachel Maddow Blog

Steve Hochstadt: In 2011, the Republican strategy has been crowned with total success. They have managed to make the US government into a laughing stock, a global symbol of incompetence. Public confidence in government is at an all-time low.

Grace Before Meal: Bless Sargent Shriver and Lyndon Johnson

Sargent Shriver and Lyndon Johnson

H. Scott Prosterman: While one political ideology in this country views healthcare, quality education and the right to eat well as the exclusive province of a certain income threshold, Sargent Shriver is perhaps the single American political figure who best represents the opposite.

What Is a Republican?

Democrats and Republicans working together: Hubert Humphrey, Everett Dirksen, and Lyndon Johnson.

Ted Vaill: The Republican Party has been scoured of all moderates (except for the two Maine female Senators), leaving the Republicans in Congress consisting of hard right, fundamentalist, often Tea Party – supporting ideologues.

Rewriting History

billie-holiday

Tom Degan: So let’s all take a deep breath, shall we? These silly Republicans (in their present incarnation anyway) are about as much responsible for the gains of the civil rights era as I am for the invention of Cheese Doodles. Get a grip.

Republicans Used to Like the Whole Constitution

gop moving right

Berry Craig: In today’s uber-conservative Republican party, President Eisenhower would be a socialist, too, even a Red, and Nixon would be a liberal.

It’s the Country, Not the System, That’s Stacked Against Liberals and Progressives

Historian Richard J. Hofstadter

Berry Craig: The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party.

Taliban’s Time Horizon Longer Than America’s

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2815

Ivan Eland: The only solution is to cut the U.S. losses and leave Afghanistan for good. The good news is that removal of U.S. occupation forces from a Muslim land might actually reduce blowback anti-U.S. terrorism around the world.

Michael Tomasky’s Despairing Take on American History

Joseph Palermo: Tomasky argues that many of President Obama’s harshest critics on the left are reacting that way because they don’t want to admit to themselves that the “feelings of invincibility and redemption” after the 2008 election “were misplaced,” and that “the power and euphoria were somehow counterfeit.”

Blacks Prison and Unemployment

black child

Sherwood Ross: Slumlords charge exorbitant rents. “Convenience” stores charge higher prices. Military recruiters have their pick of jobless youth desperate for work. And the for-profit, private prisons increase their head count (and income) as the judicial system hands off the young drug peddlers caught in the legal web. As the Kaiser Family Foundation reported, African-Americans fill 40 percent of the nation’s prison cells. Yet they make up just 13 percent of the nation’s population.

Feting a Fetid War

lyndon johnson ngo diem hamid karzai barack obama

Ivan Eland: The U.S. government’s inability to distinguish between al-Qaeda, with global ambitions, and the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, with their local goals, has merely made more enemies, including those who would begin attacking the United States. How are Americans being made safer by this war?

Party of “Lincoln and Liberty” More Like Party of “Davis and Disunion”

Lincoln-and-Davis

Berry Craig: My guess is the Tea Bagger-tilting, neo-Confederate GOP is disturbing the eternal rest of some other Republicans. I remember Republicans whose politics were considerably to the left of Dixie Democrats. Some were even liberals to one extent or another.

End the Filibuster and Pass a Lot of Stuff

Joseph Palermo: The Democrats must pass a lot of legislation before the midterms or they’re going to be very sorry. Soon enough, given the Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, we’re going to see campaigns where our choice for U.S. Senator will be between the “Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips” candidate and the “Pepsi/Pizza Hut/KFC/Frito Lay/Taco Bell” candidate. Former President George W. Bush is raking in the bucks speaking at the National Grocers’ Association. First he defiled the presidency by getting John Yoo to turn the Justice Department into a law factory for monarchical presidential powers, now he shares the stage as an inspirational speaker with Terry Bradshaw. Our elections are about to become a satirical skit that Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report did a long time ago.

What Obama Must Do, and Cannot

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Tom Hayden: Obama may succeed in withdrawing 100,000 American troops from Iraq this year, and the rest by 2012. But even this goal faces opposition from the Green Zone to the Beltway, and any peace dividend will be swallowed by Afghanistan and the Long War.

Would King Have Spoken Out on LGBTQ Justice?

Rev. Irene Monroe: Sadly, Bayard Rustin, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that further catapulted Martin Luther King onto the world stage, was not the beneficiary of King’s dream.

The Goldilocks Principle and Afghan War Options

Goldilocks

Maybe the Iraq debacle has dulled our senses but there should be something stunning about a general at this late date requesting 40,000 to 80,000 more American soldiers to be sent to Afghanistan.

Shouting Conservatives and Whining Liberals

ribuffo-web

If some efficient liberals and progressives can organize an impressive march to support national health insurance, I would be delighted to join the crowd on the Washington Mall. I already have a Metropass and I promise to be civil.

Obama Needs a Shot of LBJ

It is way past time for The White House to start playing hardball politics with Congress, and I don’t mean the annoying Chris Mathews version.

Walter Cronkite

cronkite

There’s only one tribute to the memory of Walter Conkrite that means anything and that would be if TV “journalists” somehow learned from his example and did their goddamn jobs!

The Health Care Clock, and Why Obama Has to Act Quickly

healtcare

If bills aren’t passed in the House and Senate before August 7th, the fights in both chambers over the public option and money will carry over into the Fall, where they’ll become more intense and more prolonged.

Memo to the President: What You Must Do To Save Universal Health Care

lyndon johnson

Momentum for universal health care is slowing dramatically on Capitol Hill. Moderates are worried, Republicans are digging in, and the medical-industrial complex is firing up its lobbying and propaganda machine. But, as you know, the worst news came days ago when the Congressional Budget Office weighed in with awful projections about how much the leading [...]

Walter Cronkite Gravely Ill

Walter Cronkite

The most trusted man in America is said to be gravely ill and nearing death. Walter Cronkite, once The Most Trusted Man In America according to a Gallup Poll at the time, is 92 and TVNewser reports that CBS, which began updating his bio last week, is preparing a special on his life and career [...]

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