Tom Degan: But as I’ve noted too many times to count in recent years, the “party of FDR” has developed a positive genius for taking a bottle of finely aged, twelve-year-old scotch and turning it into donkey piss.
Ron Wolff: FDR spoke about “four essential freedoms” on January 6, 1941, naming 1) freedom of speech and expression; 2) freedom of every person to worship in his own way; 3) freedom from want; and 4) freedom from fear — which he explained was related to a reduction of armaments and the lack of physical aggression against any other country in the world.
Joseph Palermo: Tomasky argues that many of President Obama’s harshest critics on the left are reacting that way because they don’t want to admit to themselves that the “feelings of invincibility and redemption” after the 2008 election “were misplaced,” and that “the power and euphoria were somehow counterfeit.”
Tom Degan: Shouldn’t the argument be focused – not on “big government” – but rather on “good government”? Efficiency versus incompetence? We are now a nation of over three-hundred million people. The very idea that the government should be made smaller – or done away with entirely – is beyond idiotic.
Robert Reich: Friday’s job report was awful. For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.
Robert Reich: Respectful disagreement is virtuous in a democratic society, but so is appropriate indignation. Indignation signals to the public that social responsibilities have been breached, and thereby lends credence and authority to all those who are working toward them. Franklin D. Roosevelt had no hesitancy blaming the “economic royalists” – the rich bankers and executives who stood in the way of the New Deal.
Paul Hogarth: With Congress having finally passed health care reform, pundits are saying President Obama has gotten his “second wind” – and the conventional wisdom is being revisited. Could it be the 2010 midterms will be a good election for Democrats, and Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts was just their low point?
Joseph Palermo: Peter Baker’s profile of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the New York Times Magazine raises some interesting questions about President Barack Obama’s top aide. For Emanuel, it seems that all politics are electoral politics. He wouldn’t know a social movement if he saw one.
Joseph Palermo: During the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years the center of American politics was pushed about a hundred degrees to the Right. Obama gets elected and tries to move it about a half degree leftward and all we hear are screams of “socialism!”
Nick Arguimbau: All considered, we have lost twenty years for bringing about meaningful climate change mitigation and we have little time left because every year that the atmospheric CO2 load increases, there is even a lesser chance that the dangerous processes can be reversed.
Berry Craig: I’m glad to see Obama starting to show some spunk. His recent performance at the televised Q&A with the House GOP brass was a great start. It got rave reviews at our central labor council. “He looked those Republicans right in the eye and kicked their butts,” said one delegate, a retired Machinist. “But he needs to do more than that.”
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.
Colin Gordon: As the House and Senate hammer together the controversial health-care bill, a historian of the issue warns that the new law may be doomed by the American system of treating government benefits as bought and paid for.