Robert Illes: The tea baggers had finally encroached on, and engulfed, the mainstream of the Grand Old Party. As John McCain cringed the other day in Arizona, the running mate he made famous, Sarah Palin was re-filling her 15 minutes of fame card. (McCain cannot stop making the same deal with the devil he made that put her on the ticket in the first place) She gave her “ich bin ein Tea Partyer” spiel… dragging the desperate old maverick along with her. He made no mention of his promise of no cooperation with the Democrats for the rest of the year – perhaps because he had already fulfilled that promise in the first part of the year.
Mario Solis-Marich: While the state known as Arizona seethed and Latino parents fell on their knees with Rosaries in hand to pray for the future of their children Governor Jan Brewer went out for a tony dinner with gal pal and media made millionaire Sarah Palin. So happy was Brewer about her night out that she posted it on her Facebook page. It seems that after a week of “agonizing” over her decision to make Latinos the subject of racial profiling she needed a night out to blow off the steam. I guess creating wholesale big government discrimination made her hungry.
H. Scott Prosterman: Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are pretty women who know how to work a crowd. They wink, they squeal, and say, “Goshdarnit;” and they don’t confuse tea with sympathy. Ole Miss had lots of pretty women on campus in the early 1960s when a major riot broke out over the admission of a black student, James Meredith. At the time, those women were big on both tea and sympathy, until Meredith showed up to enroll. Then, those cute, pretty, demure, Southern sorority girls picked up bricks & rocks, and helped in the effort to kill a few people and shoot more than 20 federal marshals. The next day they put their baby-dresses and hoop skirts back on, and went back to being sweet-natured Ole Miss sorority girls.
Joseph Palermo: Thanks to the resourceful dumpster diving of two CSU, Stanislaus students, Alicia Lewis and Ashli Briggs, the public was finally able to get a glimpse behind the curtain of Sarah Palin Land. Attorney General (and gubernatorial candidate) Jerry Brown has promised a thorough investigation. These two young people should be commended for their civic mindedness and citizenship.
Jim Fuller: Obviously, the peddling of weapons to Mexican drug gangs is highly profitable. Remember, 40,000 recovered weapons in 2008 alone, and nobody knows how many still in the hands of gangsters, but certainly many times that 40,000 figure. And there are thousands of sales to drug peddlers every day along the border. Money, money, money. America’s gun makers are going to protect that highly profitable business every way they can, and that inevitably means stirring up the knuckle draggers who front for them in every battle in the stupidly mistaken belief that they are “protecting our Second Amendment rights.”
Michael Sigman: There are those, Dr. Cohen himself passionately among them, who don’t see death as an evil to be avoided at all costs. They believe each individual has the autonomy to make reasonable end-of-life decisions, and that prosecuting doctors and nurses for anything short of criminal malfeasance is a travesty that will only ruin innocent lives and increase patient suffering.
Friday Feedback: When Sarah Palin tells her fans to “reload,” when she uses rifle scopes to depict pictorially her political enemies, when her rhetoric in Tea Bag rallies is filled with gun/violence imagery, one needn’t wonder for too long if this might have an effect in encouraging an extremist or two to shoot the man the majority of us voted into office. You don’t have to have a psychology degree to know the power of mob “groupthink” and how it can easily spur people to violence. History and research prove the deadly effectiveness of such “mob psychology.”
Tom Degan: On the one hand the latent threats of violence and intimidation that underlies the actions and speech of the Tea Party crowd is enough to make any clear-thinking person seriously alarmed about the direction the lunatic fringe of American politics seems to be headed. On the other hand, these people are just so damned funny! We’re talking Ambivalence City here! Part of me wishes them to go away and the other part would mourn their loss if they ever did. Let’s face it: These assholes are the best thing to happen to progressive politics in this country since Eleanor Roosevelt.
Jim Fuller: Conservatives and the nice, polite folks I think of as carriage liberals have no choice but to step out into the cold with the outspoken progressives or go on doing what they’ve been doing for years now – giving their money and their votes to people who despise them and routinely screw them over.
Michael Sigman: It’s often momentarily satisfying to react to outrage with more outrage. For years, I’ve rooted like a sports fan for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann when he righteously matched and even outstripped the bile of the ignorant Right. But during his recent absence from the airwaves, it’s been a tonic to follow Laurence O’Donnell’s more reasoned approach and Rachel Maddow’s measured, humorous way of skewering the opposition.
Sharon Kyle: The Right dominates AM talk radio and Fox but progressives dominate alternative media and we can be a force to be reconned with when we use the media to get out our message.
Tom Degan: It’s going to be an absolute scream in the next few years watching the Bush Mob try to rewrite history with the flood of books that are sure to come out. The latest screed by Rove is merely the tip of the iceberg. They have quite a chore ahead of them no doubt. Putting a positive spin on the worst administration in American history? I imagine something that tricky would be the equivalent of trying to put a smiley face on a decomposing pig:
Brad Parker: Americans, behavior-modified to trust advertising, swimming in the dead pool of propaganda environmentally disguised as benign advertising and Infotainment, continue to cop to the Triangulating Fog Machine’s all sizzle no steak obfuscation. The only question left to ask, now that the confidence game is more widely known, is – will they keep buying it like a beaten dog or wake up and demand their money and government back?
Articles by Randy Shaw, Charles D. Hayes, Robert Fuller, David A. Love, Shamus Cooke, Michele Waslin, Ed Rampell, Ron Wolff, Paul Hogarth, Ira Chernus, Glyn Strong, Maria Elena Durazo, Maria Brenes, Thunder Horse, Michelle Alexander, Robert Reich, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Rev. Irene Monroe, Robin Lakoff, Andrea Nill, Norman Solomon, Nick Arguimbau, Joseph Palermo, Wendy Block, Tim Gatto, Linda Milazzo, and Berry Craig.
Sharon Kyle: When asked if the movement was broad enough to attract conservative democrats, Palin said, “they’re already peeking in — it’s pretty cool to see some of the Blue Dog Democrats peeking under the tent and finding out what is this movement all about and, holy geez, I’m scared if I’m not a part of this.”
Dick Price: To get elected, we understood that Obama had to take a pragmatic approach. But underneath the pragmatism, we were attracted to the compassionate world view, the deep ability to grasp complex issues, and the eloquence to voice our best hopes and dreams for the future that we saw, and see, in the man—traits that had been so woefully absent in George W. Bush fear-mongering, hate-mongering, war-mongering reign.
This week’s articles in the LA Progressive.
Fox News is hiring Sarah Palin. Here is a poll to get your take on that news. Tell us what you think.
Gene Rothman: we progressives need to follow King’s advice and not merely listen to, but to learn from others in the world. “Compassion and non-violence help us see the enemies point of view . . . . We may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own . . . [and] may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of our brothers who are called the opposition.” Most significantly, he noted that it is the U.S. that is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”
When President Barack Obama took office, many activists and organizations saw their role as mobilizing the public support necessary to enable him to implement progressive change. After Obama’s September health care speech this strategy appeared to be working, but the President has since ignored the progressive base and taken a sharp turn to the right.