Joyce Appleby: Resistance to changing the pernicious rule that is stifling the will of the majority rests on a historical myth and both parties’ fear of being curtailed when they are in a minority.
Paul Hogarth: Suddenly realizing that Republicans aren’t going to compromise while actively starving the public sector certainly makes Jerry Brown look like Barack Obama. But Brown should not get away with it like Obama does.
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.
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.
Joseph Palermo: Jerry’s triangulating. He’s aligning himself with the Republican minority in forging a path forward out of California’s deep crisis.
Randy Shaw: How much more evidence does Brown need that a shift to “Plan B” – moving on tax extensions without Republican support – is overdue?
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.
Joseph Palermo: Schwarzenegger’s hackneyed “State of the State” address was pathetic and unconvincing. If it weren’t for his acting chops and his ability to emote on cue, he couldn’t get away with the simplistic platitudes that roll off his tongue. Then again, if he couldn’t act he wouldn’t be governor either.
Something, anything, has to be done at some point to show that the Obama Administration is not just the latest group of good people with good ideas that are absorbed into a system that makes Hamid Karzai look like a clean government activist. The corporate money so clogs the arteries of our body political the whole damn thing is sclerotic, choked off from the life-giving oxygen of democracy.
Obama’s desire to find a common ground was part of his attraction. This is not what most progressives find troubling. Rather, it is Obama’s reluctance to use the vast powers of the presidency to drive the enactment of his top domestic priority that many of his longtime supporters simply cannot understand.