Jim Fuller: It’s impossible to think of another situation so utterly bathed in irony as the battle in and about the attack on unions by Wisconsin’s Tea Party millionaire governor, Scott Walker, and other Republicans of his ilk.
Joseph Palermo: With the aggressive onslaught aimed at public employees and their unions that Republican governors have unleashed in recent weeks, it’s long past time for politicians calling themselves “Democrats” to push aside the anti-labor elements inside their party and stand up for basic worker protections.
Robert Reich: The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.
Carl Bloice: Social Security is not, to any significant extent, a contributing factor in the burgeoning deficit. Defenders of the system, including some leading economists, have successfully advanced that argument. Yet, a growing number of conservatives have begun to advance other specious arguments for “entitlement reform” that may threaten Social Security.
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?
John Peeler: “Winner-Take-All Politics” provides a well-documented analysis of how the United States government, since the 1970s, has systematically enriched the top one percent of the country at the expense of everyone else. Written by distinguished political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, the book shows how big business interests ratcheted up their national organizations to defend their interests in national policy debates. In addition to employing far stronger lobbying, these interests created think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, designed to challenge the liberal conventional wisdom of the New Deal and Great Society and replace it with an explicitly conservative, free-market-oriented way of thinking.
Joseph Palermo: Whatever President Obama accomplished during his first two years in office, with most of the heavy lifting thrown on Nancy Pelosi’s shoulders, his decision to normalize the sweeping changes in American governance of the George W. Bush period will likely neutralize any lasting positive effects for Democrats.
Robert Reich: The deal the President struck with Republican leaders is an abomination. It’s larger than the bailout of Wall Street, GM, and Chrysler put together, larger than the stimulus package, larger than anything that’s come out of Washington in years. The president needs new advisors.
Brent Budowsky: President Obama can rejuvenate his presidency by mobilizing every weapon against the aggressive war being waged against him, while seizing the high ground by offering Republicans a genuine role in a national unity program that the majority of voters want.
Berry Craig: Republican charges that Obama and the Democrats are “socialists” only shows how far right-wing the old party of Lincoln and Liberty has slid.
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.
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.