Joseph Palermo: The National Bureau of Economic Research tells us the Great Recession is “over.” The only thing this announcement reveals is just how out of touch and compassionless those who view human society through the lens of quantitative measurements can be.
Michael Sigman: But lest the healthy anger of progressives during the Bush years curdle into full-blown, hide-under-the-covers depression, it’s worth asking: When did Washington work, anyway?
Jules Siegel: The angry left presumes that the president is in full control of the government, when he’s obviously not. Even George W. Bush learned that and he was a Republican.
Michael Sigman: Karl Rove — chief political architect of George W. Bush’s presidency, the worst in modern history — is reentering frontline Republican Party politics. And the narrative-defining mainstream media have wasted no time in portraying Rove’s return as the most momentous development since Tiger Woods nearly re-mastered the Masters.
Ron Wolff: Democrats pushed health care reform, according to Will, because of liberals’ tendency to “lunge to maximize government growth.” Presumably, it was irrelevant that insurance companies were acting like bandits, taking policy-holders’ money and then withholding services when people got sick, and that millions of Americans were dying prematurely because they didn’t have access to quality medical care.
Jim Fuller: Conservatives and the nice, polite folks I think of as carriage liberals have no choice but to step out into the cold with the outspoken progressives or go on doing what they’ve been doing for years now – giving their money and their votes to people who despise them and routinely screw them over.
Ivan Eland: Although closing Guantánamo would be important symbolically, the law-free sanctuary that the Bush administration had achieved there has already been eroded by the Supreme Court’s demand that detainees have some legal rights. And even if the Obama administration closes Gitmo, some of Bush’s unconstitutional policies would continue in prisons around the United States—for example, the use of military tribunals for some detainees and the detention of some former Guantánamo detainees indefinitely without trial.
Carl Bloice: For anti-war activists in the Democratic Party, Emanuel is probably best known for his role after 2004 as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. In primary races around the country he raised cash and secured endorsements for opponents of anti-war candidates.
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!”
Kenneth Weisbode: Where do presidents’ wives fit in? Some have wielded power openly, some have been powers behind the throne, some have been all but invisible. After a year, the current first lady’s role is far from clear.
Joseph Palermo: Obama took so many daring chances during the 2008 presidential campaign but when it comes to governing it seems he has become risk averse. The Democrats’ slogan for 2010 should be: “If Ben Nelson Doesn’t Like It — We Won’t Do It!”
Jules Siegel: Rahm Emanuel must make an accommodation with Dean. Otherwise, 2010 is going to be a repeat of Massachusetts, and Barack Hussein Obama will probably be a one-term president. The most troubling aspect of Massachusetts is that the GOP now has a viable presidential candidate and his name is Scott Brown. This is not Sarah Palin. This is a very astute politician who looks like a Ken Doll and can talk like a sane person when he wants to.