Joseph Palermo: Obama and the Democrats are in trouble politically not because they did too much to help hurting Americans, but because they did too little.
Randy Shaw: When you try to understand how Rick Perry defeated Barack Obama in the 2012 election, look to the summer of 2011. That’s when Obama did almost everything possible to alienate the voters he needs for re-election. Obama began with a humiliating surrender to Republicans on the debt-ceiling deal, leaving even longtime supporters questioning his leadership.
Brad Parker: Rather than continue to lift the citizen’s perspective through “Hope, Change and Believe,” the President’s team has moved to “Fear, Pragmatics and Censure.”
Peter Dreier: Throughout Wisconsin Democrats’ struggle, President Barack Obama has been sitting on the sidelines, failing to use his bully pulpit to encourage the burgeoning movement to protect working families from the corporate- and Tea Party-sponsored attacks.
Anthony Samad: The rise of the Tea Party wouldn’t have taken place had we had a white president. Blink if you want to…but the fact this has not happened to any other President has raised my “Race-dar,” beyond anything ideological battles could muster. Race(ism) has not disappeared in this country. It’s just been codified.
Joseph Palermo: The last-minute lobbying by the titans of industry and finance shows that President Obama might have had more leverage over the Republicans in the debt ceiling “negotiations” than he chose to exercise. We now breathlessly await the arrival of the “Super Committee,” the tragedy that follows the farce.
Tom Hayden: Launch a campaign progressive to the core, with no compromises on ending tax cuts for the rich and trillion-dollar wars.
Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.
Robert Reich: Barack Obama is one of the most eloquent and intelligent people ever to grace the White House, which makes his failure to tell the story of our era all the more disappointing and puzzling.
Joseph Palermo: The debt ceiling gambit that Republicans in the House of Representatives have used to tie the U.S. government in knots in recent months is simply the California GOP’s tactic writ large.
Walter Brasch: After significant compromise with the recalcitrant Republicans who want to continue to give the wealthy tax advantages while cutting significant social programs, President Obama has finally taken a stand on debt ceiling negotiations. However, in labor, wildlife management, and the environment he is still compromising rather than coming out forcefully for the principles he and the working class and environmentalists believe.