Pander-monium Breaks Out Among 2012 GOP Hopefuls

Michael Sigman: Early frontrunner Mitt Romney has spent the last four years approaching the Platonic ideal of the shameless panderer who, when expedient, adopts positions that are diametrically opposed to one another.

The Politics of Hate—and Hate Speech

gunman roulette

Walter Brasch: While most Tea Partiers are White, middle-aged or senior citizens who are angry but not violent, whenever there is violence, whenever there is racism, discrimination, or homophobia, there are Tea Party sympathizers present.

When Radicalized Political Rhetoric and Anti-Intellectualism Meet

jared loughner

Anthony Samad: Free speech is one thing. Symbolic speech is covered by the First Amendment, but don’t say your coded messages don’t have anything to do with violent consequences.

Tpaw and the Campaign ‘Autohagiography’

tim pawlenty

Michael Sigman: Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty this week joined Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls who’ve published campaign books that might best be called “autohagiographies.”

Barbara Lee: We Need to Convince Obama to Campaign Against War

Barbara Lee

Tom Hayden: President Obama needs to be convinced to “shift his political calculus” and campaign in 2012 “on a platform of ending the war in Afghanistan,” Rep. Barbara Lee told representatives of several peace organizations in a conference call on Dec. 10.

White Power, White Terrorism, White Mainstream

tucson shooting

Jessie Daniels: The white mainstream is already framing this shooting as the act of a crazed, lone gunman, rather than part of a consistent pattern of right-wing violence perpetrated almost exclusively by white men who are responding to a political climate that is increasingly stoked by vitriolic rhetoric.

When Violence Comes From the Right, Media Hear No Evil

Joseph Palermo: Despite the work of media watchdog groups like Media Matters, and groups that track right-wing extremism, like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, the corporate media insist on ignoring the influence of the Far Right’s toxic rhetorical drumbeat of hatred and anger in promoting a political context where violence can break out.

2011: Year of Upheaval

Brent Budowsky: Prediction – Sarah Palin will issue a Sherman statement declaring she will not run for president in 2012, and will instead host a one-hour political talk show on network or cable television that will become the highest-rated political talk show in TV history.

CNN Reignites Death Panel Myth, Sparking My “Network” Moment

hospice

Linda Milazzo: Corporate media’s constant drumming of death panel lies resulted in Section 1233 (which allowed Medicare to provide advance planning doctor visits every five years) being eliminated from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that passed in 2010. This week CNN was back using the same death panel misnomer, spreading the death panel myth. Well I’m mad as hell. I’m not going to take it anymore from CNN, MSNBC, Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS and talk radio. We, the people, deserve better.

Zealous Moderates: Barack Obama and William Howard Taft

howard taft barack obama

Kenneth Weisbrode: Barack Obama has been compared to a variety of other U.S. presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. But is he perhaps most like William Howard Taft? Historian Kenneth Weisbrode argues that a Taft-Obama comparison makes a good deal of sense.

In the Cold Climate of Politics, We’ll Miss Elizabeth Edwards’ Warmth

elizabeth edwards

Linda Milazzo: In today’s America, where corporate media caters to the right, Elizabeth Edwards was that rare progressive woman who could make her voice be heard. And now that voice is gone.

Meat: Politics and Perspective on Steroids

Sleeping Calf Cow

Charles Hayes: As those who participate already know, the greatest lesson of all of self-education is that things are seldom as they seem. Examining the food industry is a good way to prove this to yourself. Then apply what you’ve learned to politics.

GOP to USA: Drop Dead

republican leaders

Tom Degan: The president, far from being the Progressive warrior his base was praying for when we elected him two years ago, appears hell bent on caving into their demands.

Should Progressives Have Chosen Clinton Over Obama in 2008?

Randy Shaw: But if progressives had a crystal ball that foresaw how Obama would perform as President by the end of 2010, I think most would have backed Hilary Clinton. Here’s why.

Obama Attacks His Political Base

one term obama

Randy Shaw: After his decision to freeze federal salaries – not as part of any broader budget and tax deal, but unilaterally – it’s clear that the President is far more politically clueless than previously thought.

Sarah Palin: America’s Full-Time Professional Duelist

sarah palin and trig

Tina Dupuy: Palin is now our nation’s only full-time professional duelist. She fights with everyone. Her entire post-quitting career is centered on flame wars, most of which she starts.

Fairness and the Bristol Stomp

bristol-palin

Walter M. Brasch: Through our actions, we continue to teach America’s children that no matter how much they’ve studied or worked, it is the boss’s niece or a boss’s friend’s son who is hired first.

Sarah Palin’s Presidential Strategy, and the Economy She Depends on

sarah palin wink

Robert Reich: The Republican establishment doesn’t get it. Celebrity is part of The Palin Strategy – as is avoiding the insider game. She doesn’t want to do what Huckabee, Pawlenty, Gingrich, or Romney have to do. She has an outside game.

Obama Can Learn From FDR

Franklin D, Roosevelt

Tom Degan: Is the president serious when he tells us that he plans on “working with” the opposition party in the next two years? Part of me has to believe that he’s not, that he’s merely taking on the guise of the good loser, holding his cards close to his vest.

What’s the Matter with America? The Big Disconnect

palin and miller

Charles Hayes: If America is going to have a better future, we need to put our Stone Age feelings of exceptional identity aside and intellectually guard ourselves against emotional manipulation while reasoning our way forward.

Mid-Term Elections: “Gloom and Doom”?

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.

What Center?

obama eating crow

Joseph Palermo: The political “center” of American politics is a moving target. And for the last thirty years it has moved in only one direction: Rightward.

Getting Real About Obama

obama republicans

Jim Fuller: Obama has done that time and again. He gives away everything important on all major issues before a fight begins. With perfect precision, the Republicans kick him in the groin each time by way of thanks.

Sarah Palin: Professor of Freedom?

Sarah Palin

Ron Wolff: I suggest that it is not necessary to postulate bias against conservatives as the reason for the preponderance of liberals in academia. The simpler answer is that conservatives (with exceptions! I don’t want to over-generalize!) are less able (or at least less inclined) to engage in critical thinking worthy of an academic environment.

Why Aren’t Business Leaders Standing Up To the Tea Party?

rand paul

Robert Reich: GE’s Mr. Immelt may be unhappy with President Obama, but he’ll be far unhappier if the tea party takes over the GOP.

Party Like It’s 1994

barack obama bill clinton

The vast majority of Americans never supported a “privatize-and-pillage” attack on Social Security. Yet many of the Republican candidates in 2010 are on record supporting all manner of schemes to dismember Social Security.

Only in America

tea party signs

Berry Craig: Like Reagan, Tea Party candidates are delivering what Tea Partiers want: simple answers to complex issues. Never mind that there never have been simple answers to complex issues.

In Search of the Real Tea Party

dennis campbell

Denis Campbell: Almost all feared what looks to become the continual flip-flopping of the government every two years that will prevent a single problem from being fixed and create an even more polarized and angry electorate. Said Marilyn from Delaware, “This will be like Israel, where no one can agree and they just fight all of the time.”

The Incredible Shrinking Women

Jeannette Rankin

Tina Dupuy: Here’s the thing about women candidates: they are more interesting to the press than their male counterparts. The media just likes them more. There’s an obsession with female candidates’ gaffes.

Discombobulated Wingnuttery

If a person is uneducated to such a degree that articulating their political views rationally and coherently is not possible, then emotion is all they can bring to the table. If a person knows little of history and little of the dynamics of human behavior and politics, then any and all arguments that they don’t fully understand are perceived as an assault on their identity.

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