Shamus Cooke: Most Occupiers have learned that raw enthusiasm alone cannot bring victory to a social movement; ideas matter too. Action divorced from strategy equals wasted energy, divisiveness, diversions and unnecessary mistakes. Not all tactics push the movement forward.
Robert Reich: Obama needs to stir the passions and enthusiasms of a Democratic base that’s been disillusioned with his cave-ins to regressive Republicans. Hillary Clinton on the ticket can do that.
Dick Price: Certainly, a recent tour through packed political venues around Los Angeles will tell you that there’s no lack of enthusiasm among Democrats, at least in this part of the world.
Randy Shaw: Recently polls shows Latinos’ positive perceptions of Democrats sharply rising in the wake of the Party’s unsuccessful effort to enact the DREAM act last week.
Seth Hoy: Maybe Congressional promises to keep fighting for the DREAM Act are enough; maybe they aren’t. But what the DREAMers can take heart in is the energy and enthusiasm they reverberated through the Senate this week.
Robert Reich: Super-rich financiers on Wall Street and top corporate executives have grown richer, though most Americans are getting poorer.
Robert Reich: We’re in the midst of an ongoing economic emergency that requires clear thinking, intense work, and practical ideas. It also requires that we join together rather than be pushed apart. The loonies who are taking over the GOP pose a real and present danger.
Tina Dupuy: The fact is: Obama is a good president. He’s a centrist who is somewhere between what mouth-foamers on either extreme say about him. He does listen to all viewpoints, which makes people of some viewpoints – ironically – dislike him. He’s not the villain the insane Right says he is, nor is he the do-nothing turncoat the insane Left says he is.
Obama can narrow the enthusiasm gap by aggressively campaigning, but it will be up to labor and environmental groups to rouse their disaffected supporters to the polls.
Tom Hall: Excuse me if don’t start drooling with enthusiasm at the recent disclosure that the Pentagon and Wikileaks have been talking to each other about proper handling of further disclosures on our occupation of Afghanistan.
Robert Reich: Average Americans are hurting. But their pain isn’t coming from government. It’s coming from an economy whose benefits are concentrating ever more at the top, whose giant corporations are controlling ever more of our democratic process, and whose costs and risks are becoming ever more burdensome for the middle class and the poor
Robert Reich: Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist phase of the Obama administration has likely come to a close. The President may have a fight on his hands even to hold on to what he’s already achieved because his legislative successes have been large enough to fuel strong opposition but not big enough to strengthen his support. The result could be disastrous for him and congressional Democrats.