Peter Dreier: When children born this year reach voting age 18 years from now, they will take same-sex marriage for granted. And they will surely wonder how it was even possible that America once deprived gays and lesbians the right to marry.
Robert Reich: Of all the nonsense Texas Governor Rick Perry spews about states’ rights and the tenth amendment, his dumbest is the notion that states should go it alone.
Steven Conn: As midterm elections approach, conservatives seek to return America to the way things used to be. Not so fast, argues historian Steven Conn, unless you really want racial segregation, child labor, voting discrimination, and all the other things that old-time conservatives once supported.
Andrea Nill: It’s doubtful Whitman will start posting giant billboards in Spanish promoting her support for Arizona and her opposition to a path to legalization under any circumstances.
Berry Craig: When Reagan said he was a “states’ rights” guy, “he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon” and “tapping out the code,” Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times in 2007. “It was understood that when politicians started chirping about ‘states’ rights’ to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you. And Reagan meant it.”
John Peeler: Many white Southerners even today think they can somehow celebrate the glories of the Confederacy while ignoring the oppressive, inhumane institution at its roots. I certainly thought so back then. It was a glorious lost cause; implicitly, the country would have been better off had the Confederate rebellion prevailed.
The very best possible bills now under consideration in Congress are largely bailouts for health insurance companies at public expense. The “public option,” which was originally sold to us as a path toward a single-payer solution or Medicare for all, has been reduced to — at best — a token mitigating factor in a catastrophically bad law.
But, to those across the country who remembered watching the televised reports of the battle of Ole Miss in 1962, his election seemed to be nothing short of the winning of a war. It was the culmination of a long and painful struggle for equal opportunity fought by pathfinders like James Meredith whose courage made Obama’s election possible and gave Meredith a moment to celebrate.
Reaganomics didn’t work, and we all know it. Nothing ever trickled down — the rich became richer, the poor became poorer, and the middle class got squeezed.