Ruth Rosen: Any successful movement must change the national conversation and create and dominate the terms of debate. This the Occupy movement has successfully done, for now.
Robert Reich: Without bold alternatives, Americans desperate for big solutions are attracted to bold crackpot ideas like Herman Cain’s “9-9-9” proposal, which would raise taxes on the poor and cut them for the rich.
Steve Hochstadt: So-called literalists choose which passages they want to take literally on the basis of principles which are very modern, far from the ideas and attitudes of Jews and Christians thousands of years ago.
Steve Hochstadt: I was born into this American racist consensus and I have lived to see its demise. The greatest proof that we are nearing the end of this idea is the constantly repeated claim, “I am not a racist.”
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.
Anthony Samad: With no real “new ideas” to combat a recovering economy, all Republicans have to bash is President Obama, who is really more popular than polls indicate because polls don’t really survey his base.
Tina Dupuy: The current Republican Party is counting on the Tea Party’s morphing into the attack wing of the GOP – isolating moderates and anyone with genuine new ideas. And that means there will be Representatives who are not actually representative.
David Love: Tea party folks are far too extreme for old-time conservatives who mostly cared about their money. (Come to think of it, for all of their so-called Christianity, the tea party conservatives wouldn’t have thought much of Jesus for that matter—a hippy man of color who spoke out against the rich and powerful, and hung out with the sick and the poor and the prostitutes. But alas, I digress.)
Steve Hochstadt: Conservapedia is mainly silly, reflecting Schafly’s cranky ideas, such as that vaccines are a conspiracy to poison us. But the wider idea that science, and other kinds of knowledge, can be “liberal” or “conservative” is dangerous. This is exactly the argument that German Nazis and Soviet Communists used to reject “Jewish” or “capitalist” ideas.