Michael Sigman: How can politicians and their consultants expect voters to “re-remember” reality when a quick Google search can verify what actually happened? Perhaps because they know that’s how the brain works — or, rather, doesn’t.
Michael Sigman: Donald Trump’s transparently idiotic statements about President Obama’s birth certificate and other matters haven’t made Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post shy about touting the billionaire’s “suddenly surging presidential chances.”
Michael Sigman: Obama’s praise of Reagan leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of those who thought Reagan’s geniality was largely an act that masked eight years of making the rich richer and the poor poorer, including wasting untold billions on a crony-rewarding military spending binge.
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.
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.”
Michael Sigman: Now that Republicans control the House, they’re hell-bent on further deregulating corporations — now, thanks to the conservative Supreme Court, designated as “people” — while threatening the freedoms of actual people, such as those with preexisting medical conditions or public-sector union memberships.
Michael Sigman: So, to test the theory that my sense of self needn’t include the political shenanigans of the moment, my New Year’s resolutions are: a) To cut, by at least half, the time I spend following political news, polls, etc; and b) To actually do something — like organizing, phone banking or writing more for websites and newsletters.
Michael Sigman: What’s happened to the ideal of a free press speaking the truth — or even screwing up the truth — no matter whom it offends?
Michael Sigman: The Right’s genius for manipulating people’s sense of grievance — combined with liberals’ weak brew of tepid policy proposals and corporate coziness — leads ordinary voters to cast their ballots against their own economic interests time and time again.
Michael Sigman: Just as Bob Dylan wouldn’t be possible without Woody Guthrie, or Ronald Reagan without Barry Goldwater, the idea of a direct line from Tom Bradley to Barack Obama can give us perspective on the contemporary political scene.
Michael Sigman: It’s disheartening to see our current mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa ferociously pursue the elitist corporate emphasis of Bradley’s later years without the bravery and creativity of Bradley’s earlier service.
Michael Sigman: God knows I’m no radical — never claimed to be — but something radical needs to happen to shake things up and give Americans hope. FDR and Lincoln did it under far more difficult circumstances than these, and triumphed over vicious opposition.
Michael Sigman: Just last week, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer almost got away with conflating immigration and beheadings. When it became crystal clear she’d made it all up, she reached an Orwellian summit of non-apology-apology, acknowledging only that “If I said that, I misspoke.”