Republicans, for their part, worry that if they tell it like it is Americans will want government to do more rather than less. They’d rather not talk about jobs and wages, and put the focus instead on deficit reduction (or spread the lie that by reducing the deficit we’ll get more jobs and higher wages).
Robert Reich: Republicans haven’t come up with a single new idea in almost 60 years. Herbert Hoover was the last Republican president to introduce a new Republican theme back in 1952 at the Republican National Convention. Since then they’ve repeated the message. Of course, Herbert Hoover, you may remember, didn’t have a sterling record when it came to the economy. As president, he presided over the Great Crash of 1929 and ushered in the Great Depression.
Dick Price: “I was a child of the Great Depression. It never occurred to me our strong and vital nation could fall and fail as it has today,” he says. “I was brought up to have a sense of justice and truth as a basis of our country’s governance. That belief has been shattered, particularly in the past decade.”
Lydia Howell: Nine months after taking office, Obama began slamming the Democratic Party’s liberal/progressive base for daring to notice, much less criticize, his corporate-friendly policies and center-right positions. In the wake of his Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission, Obama will likely make a sober call for national sacrifice.
Mark Vorpahl: As in the 1930s, today we must organize in a way that creates unity between the employed and unemployed. To start, we can organize the largest possible union-led demonstrations to realize this unity in the streets.
David Bacon: Last year, almost 400,000 people were deported from the United States. That’s the largest wave of deportations in U.S. history, even larger than the notorious “Operation Wetback” of the 1950s, or the mass deportations during the Great Depression.
Brad Parker: I dedicate my public life to the future for all of our children but when I look around I still hear that song. In all things new I see all things that came before and seem so much dearer to me now. When you are gone I will still be seeing you in everything and everywhere.
Berry Craig: But it’s getting harder for me to defend Obama when my union brothers and sisters — who also voted and worked for him — say he’s all but surrendered to the GOP. I’m disappointed in the president. They’re downright mad.
David Love: Scrooge arrived just in time for the holidays, with Social Darwinism, bootstraps, slashing and cutting as a prescription for all our woes.
Robert Reich: Not only do we need extended unemployment benefits. We need a new WPA, modeled after the WPA of the Great Depression, to put jobless Americans to work. We need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild our crumbling highways and water and sewer systems, thereby putting additional people back to work.
Joseph Palermo: The whole tenor of the next two years is going to feel like George W. Bush never left office. The GOP will have de facto control over the nation’s politics and agenda. If President Obama goes down the Clinton path of triangulating against his progressive base (as seems likely) then he deserves to be a one-term president.
David A. Love: A sustainable movement for social and economic justice must help this president to place him on the path of greatness that these crisis times demand, that his campaign promised. Nothing less than America’s future is at stake.