Anthony Samad: Free speech is one thing. Symbolic speech is covered by the First Amendment, but don’t say your coded messages don’t have anything to do with violent consequences.
Joseph Palermo: Despite the work of media watchdog groups like Media Matters, and groups that track right-wing extremism, like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, the corporate media insist on ignoring the influence of the Far Right’s toxic rhetorical drumbeat of hatred and anger in promoting a political context where violence can break out.
Walter Moss: President Obama has often been criticized for being too ready to compromise or for not displaying enough political passion for just causes. No doubt, he has not always perfectly calibrated the right mix of passion and compromise. But there is also no doubt, at least in my mind, that he is correct in calling for more civility in politics.
Tina Dupuy: Why doesn’t the Left have a Fox News? Why isn’t there a liberal version of political organizing on television? There are currently nine 24-hour news stations, so why isn’t there one that’s outright for progressives?
If a person is uneducated to such a degree that articulating their political views rationally and coherently is not possible, then emotion is all they can bring to the table. If a person knows little of history and little of the dynamics of human behavior and politics, then any and all arguments that they don’t fully understand are perceived as an assault on their identity.
Norman Solomon: With unemployment so common that it’s widely seen as a long-term fact of life, a tacit fatalism has seeped into political discourse and the mass media. In short, what should be unacceptable has gained acceptance.
Andrea Christina Nill: Gordon described a “perfect storm” consisting of three factors. First, the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine radicalized the political discourse. Second, beefed up border security along the California and Texas borders with Mexico redirected smugglers and cartel operatives toward Arizona. And lastly, the economic recession. Gordon explains that “politicians who love their job a lot more than they love their state or their country” exploited the three factors and led Arizona into the predicament it’s in now.
With articles by Robert Reich, Joseph Palermo, Charley James, Randy Shaw, Nomiki Konst, Rev. Irene Monroe, Mario Solis-Marich, Anthony Asadullah Samad, Georgianne Nienaber, Andrea Nill, Tracy Emblem, Wayne Williams, Cathy Cockrell, Tina Dupuy, Ron Wolff, Tom Degan, Shamus Cooke, Michael Sigman, David A. Love, Sharon Kyle, Bob Letcher, Robert Illes, and Ivan Eland
Joseph Palermo: So that’s what our political discourse has sunk to? Discredited figures like Brownie are on TV jockeying for partisan gain, milking a national tragedy that is probably going to change forever the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast? Brownie uses a catastrophe that threatens many of the nation’s most important waterways and will probably be a grave setback to any national economic recovery to score pitiful political points against the Democrats? Who are these people?
Norman Solomon: While the escalating disaster of war in Afghanistan keeps setting deadly blazes, the few anti-war voices on Capitol Hill usually sound like people whispering “Fire!”
Robin Lakoff: Palin is a complex mix of preacherly earnestness and twangy cowgirl. She really cares about what she is saying and those she is addressing – but not in some heavy-handed do-gooder way – rather, like a cheery, natural gal. So she’s a mommy – but also a babe.
Robert Illes: Anyway, I’ll take a kickass Obama for four years than a watery Obama for eight. Yes FDR is a good model, but the real lesson of getting things done may be the obscure guy who came along precisely 100 years earlier.
As long as the Democratic leadership insists on being directed by the supposed wisdom of this advice, they will continue down their present path to an electoral train wreck next November as bad or worse than the one they suffered in 1994, when they played their cards the same way.